WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT UBER/LYFT ACCIDENTS:
The most important thing you need to know if you've been injured in a wreck that involved an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare service, is that you can seek compensation for your injuries, your lost wages from work, your pain and suffering and your property damage.
As with any injury case, you will have to prove your damages and who was at fault.
If you've been injured in a wreck involving Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare service, it was likely one of the following situations:
1. You were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft when a wreck occurred.
The wreck may or may not have been your driver's fault. In either case, Uber and Lyft provide significant insurance to protect their passengers. Who will be responsible for your damages will depend on the facts.
2. You were driving or riding in another vehicle that was involved in a wreck with an Uber or Lyft.
If the wreck was the fault of the Uber or Lyft driver, they will likely be responsible for your damages. If the wreck was your fault or the person who was driving your vehicle's fault, either your or their insurance will be responsible for your damages.
3. You were a pedestrian that was injured by an Uber or Lyft.
Depending on what you were doing when you were injured, the incident may or may not be considered the Uber or Lyft driver's fault. If it is determined that the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault, you can seek compensation from the driver's personal insurance and/or Uber or Lyft, depending on whether the driver was active at the time.
4. You were an Uber or Lyft driver involved in a wreck with another vehicle, and it was not your fault.
Your damages will be the responsibility of the person who caused the wreck. Unfortunately, that person may not have auto insurance or may not have enough insurance. In that case, depending on your status at the time of the wreck, Uber or Lyft may provide backup coverage for your damages. According to Uber, if you were offline at the time of the wreck or if you were waiting for a ride request, Uber's Uninsured Motorists policy would not kick in for you.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU WERE IN AN UBER/LYFT ACCIDENT:
1. CONTACT THE POLICE.
As with any car wreck, the very first thing you should do is contact the police. The police will investigate the incident, write a report, and issue a citation. It is very important to have a police report when making a claim for your damages because the police report helps to prove whose fault it was. Without a police report, it may be difficult to prove that the wreck was not your fault.
2. DOCUMENT THE WRECK YOURSELF.
Take pictures of the scene. Get the names, contact information, and insurance information for everyone involved, including witnesses if there are any.
3. DOCUMENT YOUR INJURIES.
If you have any injuries or develop any, take pictures of the injuries and keep a written record of your symptoms. This will be important information to tell your doctor when you seek treatment, and you will need to be thorough. If you end up filing a claim for your injuries, insurance companies will not pay you for your injuries just because you say you have them. They will require proof that will be found in your medical records.
4. GET THE RIGHT KIND OF TREATMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
If you have any injuries whatsoever, you should seek medical treatment. This is not the time to “wait and see.” The longer you wait to get treatment for your injuries, the less you are likely to be compensated for them. The insurance company will argue that if you waited, it must not have been that bad.
But keep in mind that getting medical treatment for an injury after a car wreck is not as straightforward as it should be. If you are not having acute symptoms like broken bones, cuts, etc. that require immediate attention, some doctors may not be willing to see you. Likewise, some doctors will not take litigation cases because they do not want to be involved in the legal process. If you need help finding a doctor who has experience treating car wreck injuries (and yes, there is a difference) we'd be happy to give you our recommendations.
The billing process after a car accident is also not as simple as it should be. Your insurance company may not want to pay for your treatment if they believe someone else should be responsible. Don't let the confusion keep you from getting treatment though. Your attorney will help you sort out the billing questions.
5. HIRE THE RIGHT KIND OF ATTORNEY.
We support people who want to handle their minor car wreck case themselves without getting an attorney involved. In fact, we even wrote a book to explain how.
But when your car wreck involved an Uber or Lyft, handling the case yourself is not the right strategy. The reason is because there are multiple insurance companies that could be responsible for your damages, and each of them will likely try to pass the responsibility off to someone else. And just by nature, a car wreck involving an Uber or Lyft is likely to involve multiple people seeking compensation, which muddies the waters even more.
It's also important to hire a lawyer who has experience dealing with complex commercial claims and cases that involve multiple claimants, defendants, and insurance carriers. In these cases, your lawyer needs to have the right experience to know how to identify the parties who should be responsible for your damages and to hold those parties responsible when they try to point fingers at others.
Finding the right lawyer to handle your Uber/Lyft injury claim doesn't have to be difficult, and we'd be happy to answer the questions you have about your case at no charge. Give us a call at 337-347-7177.