The drastic increase of ridesharing use has transformed the way we travel. The goal of these ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are to ease the transportation process whether that is a night out drinking, a ride to work, lack of a personal vehicle, or simply a convenient ride. Uber is available in 600 countries and drivers complete 14 million rides each day. While ridesharing does have positive impacts on the environment and the ease of personal transportation, driving in any vehicle has its risks.
Steps to Take After a Rideshare Accident
After experiencing an accident in a rideshare, the steps to follow are the same as the ones to complete after a personal accident with the addition of contacting the rideshare company. As with any other automobile accident, the first step is to assess yourself and passengers for injuries. If the accident is serious, call 911 for evaluation, evidence collection and to record your statement of events.
It is important to collect as much evidence on your own as well following a car accident. You will want to take photos of the damages and collect all contact information of the individual and their insurance company. Do not leave all of the evidence collection to the ridesharing company because they can prioritize looking out for their bottom line and instead of the passengers’ safety. Also, make sure to keep a record of your Uber or Lyft receipt.
If there was a witness to the accident, ask if they are willing to provide a statement of events they recalled of the accident. Next, reach out to your ridesharing service and write a spoliation letter. A spoliation letter is a letter requesting the rideshare service preserves all evidence of records and details about your ride from their system. Since there are multiple elements to a rideshare car accident to pursue, it is recommended to speak with an attorney who has experience with rideshare accidents.
Both Lyft and Uber have Collision Customer Care Teams available to contact with any questions following a collision. These rideshare companies have different levels of insurance funds available depending on whether the driver was driving with passengers or waiting for a ride without passengers. After logging into your Lyft or Uber account, you will be prompted to input your phone number and a member from the safety collision team will reach out to collect all information.
Who is Responsible?
Due to the rise in popularity, it’s evident that our society appreciates the convenience that ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft provide. When it comes to liability in a driving accident with Uber or Lyft, things can get confusing. As an Uber or Lyft driver, you must have your own personal insurance that meets the minimum requirements of the state that you are conducting business.
On top of this, these ridesharing companies offer insurance that is broken down into the different stages of operation. If the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault for the accident while driving passengers, these companies have a $1 million liability insurance policy for personal injuries and property damages endured by the victim. If another driver was at fault for the accident, the passenger would recover compensation from that driver’s insurance. This insurance from Uber and Lyft take effect only in the time when ridesharing passengers are in the car between pick up and drop off. If the driver is unknown, uninsured or underinsured, Uber and Lyft have a policy of $1 million in place to protect passengers.
Ridesharing drivers are independent contractors, so if a victim is looking to sue, it will most likely be against the individual and not Uber as an entity. Due to the rideshare drivers being independent contractors, Uber and Lyft cannot be held liable for negligence because drivers are not technically employees of their company. Accidents that occur in an Uber or Lyft can be tricky because there are complex rules to follow when recovering money from insurance agencies. It is advised to contact a trusted attorney to walk you through the steps after a rideshare collision.