CAN I MAKE A CLAIM AFTER AN UBER OR LYFT WRECK?
The short answer is...yes.
If you are in a wreck while riding in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle, you are still entitled to compensation for your damages and/or injuries just like you would be as a passenger in any other car crash.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
If you are a passenger in a car wreck in Louisiana and are injured, you can make a claim against the person who is at fault for the accident. The same is true if you are a passenger in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle.
In Louisiana, Uber and Lyft require their drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage, but Uber and Lyft also add an extra level of coverage to protect their passengers.
This is very beneficial to Uber and Lyft passengers because it means that if the person who caused the wreck, whether it was their driver or someone else, does not have enough insurance to fully cover the passenger's losses, Uber/Lyft's insurance will kick in.
So if another driver caused the wreck, you will first make a claim against the other driver's insurance company. And if their insurance isn't enough (or if they don't have insurance), you will then make a claim for Uber or Lyft's UM coverage.
If your driver caused the wreck, Uber/Lyft's liability policy will be responsible for your damages.
This is much better than some other transportation options. If you are riding with a friend who doesn't have insurance or has a minimum limits policy, you may not be able to be fully compensated for your injuries if you get into a wreck simply because there isn't insurance coverage. Or, for example, if you utilize public transportation options, their insurance coverage usually doesn't apply to passengers unless the bus driver causes the crash.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I'M IN AN UBER/LYFT WRECK
If you do end up getting into a wreck while riding in an Uber or Lyft, the first thing you or your driver should do is contact the police.
The police will come to the scene, investigate the crash, take statements, write a report and issue a citation if necessary.
The second thing you should do is get the contact information (names, addresses, insurance information) for the people involved. The driver will likely do this, but you should do it as well. You'll be making your own claim, and you will need to have the information for the at-fault driver.
The third thing you should do is see a doctor. This is true for any car wreck you are in, and we talk a lot about why here.
Finally, you should contact a car accident attorney. There are definitely situations in which you can handle minor car wreck claims yourself, but car wreck cases involving Uber/Lyft drivers will be complicated. It is very likely that the different parties involved will try to point fingers at the other making it hard for you, the victim, to get the compensation you need to move on. And if you are injured whatsoever, having an attorney handle the claim for you will not only take the stress off of you but will also make it much more likely that you will actually get a fair settlement.
Even though Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services are relatively new and the territory is somewhat uncharted, we've been dealing with cases that involve commercial policies, multiple claimants, and multiple defendants for years. We are very familiar with the complexities of these cases and would be happy to help you out.
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