What Should I Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
- Call 911. Always contact the police after an accident. This will also provide an official police report. Additionally, you may need an ambulance if there were injuries.
- Obtain Documentation. Make sure to obtain all of the drivers’ information, license plates, witness contact information, and take pictures of the scene of the accident if possible.
- Do Not Take Blame. As a passenger or driver, you should never articulate to any party that you were at fault for the accident. Contact an attorney to represent you if one party is indicating that you have contributory negligence with respect to the accident.
- Seek Medical Treatment. Always follow up and seek medical treatment. Oftentimes, injuries do not appear until sometime later. These records will also prove important if your case ever goes to trial.
Seeking medical care is especially important after an accident with another driver. Some accident injuries do not show symptoms immediately. Many people have walked away from car accidents, seemingly unscathed, and been unable to move the next day. Adrenaline from the accident itself can dull pain sensations, so don’t delay in seeking medical care as soon as possible. You may have suffered an injury that you cannot really feel yet, and prompt treatment will prevent serious medical complications and support your legal claim.
If you delay seeking treatment after a rideshare accident and then go on to claim medical expenses and pain and suffering damages, the court will scrutinize your delay in seeking care very closely. After you deal with the immediate aftermath of a rideshare accident, see a doctor right away.
The medical report of your injuries from your doctor and the police report of the accident will be instrumental in building an insurance claim against Uber or Lyft, or a personal injury claim if that is the best available route to recovery in your situation. An experienced Orange County rideshare accident lawyer can help determine your best options for recovering compensation after suffering injuries as a rideshare passenger or if a rideshare driver strikes your vehicle.
Potential Damages in an Orange County Rideshare Accident Claim
The damages available to a plaintiff in a personal injury claim for a rideshare accident mirror those in most typical car accident claims. The main issue most people who experience rideshare accidents face is the insurance complications that often arise. Uber and Lyft may argue with a claim or refuse to pay out the full extent of applicable coverage. A driver may contest liability or blame a third party for causing the accident. Your Orange County rideshare accident lawyer will help you determine liability, navigate insurance issues, and recover proof of the full extent of your damages.
Like any other car accident, a rideshare accident can easily result in broken bones, skull fractures, soft tissue injuries, traumatic head injuries, spinal injuries, and internal organ damage. People involved in motor vehicle accidents also often suffer minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises from the force of impact and broken glass in an accident. The damages available from a rideshare accident personal injury claim could include:
- Short-term and long-term medical expenses. Your accident may have required you to be hospitalized, or you may have been treated and released from an emergency department. You can claim compensation for these and any other medical costs resulting from your accident, such as necessary physical or occupational therapy.
- Lost wages. While you recover from your injuries, you may not be able to work. If your injuries force you to miss work, you can claim the income you would have earned during that time as damages in your claim. Additionally, an accident that results in your permanent disability could yield compensation for your lost future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering. California state law allows personal injury plaintiffs to claim compensation for their physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma caused by negligent defendants.
- Property damages. If the rideshare accident you experienced caused damage to your personal property, you can include the costs of repairing or replacing your property in your claim.
It’s possible for one or more parties to bear liability for your damages. An Orange County rideshare accident lawyer will carefully review the evidence available from your accident to help you determine the proper targets for your lawsuit. If Uber or Lyft insurance comes into play, you will be glad to have an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through the claims process.
Can You Sue a Ridesharing Company?
Some studies now show that Lyft accidents and other ridesharing accidents are contributing to overall increases in traffic injuries and fatalities. If you suffered injuries related to a car accident while you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, or if you were in another car and were hit by a ridesharing vehicle, you may have the right to compensation for your damages and injuries.
First, there must be a determination regarding fault. If the Uber or Lyft driver was determined to be responsible for the car accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the driver’s insurance company. However, in some cases, a driver will not be covered by their personal auto insurance, as many insurance companies now will not cover drivers for ridesharing companies. In these cases, you may be able to file a claim directly with the ridesharing company itself. If you were a passenger in an Uber and suffered injuries in an accident, you may be able to file a claim with Uber’s insurance policy, as Uber offers insurance to cover its drivers.
Dealing with Uber and Lyft Insurance Claims
Both Uber and Lyft maintain similar auto insurance policies with different phases of coverage. These phases apply depending on their drivers’ actions. For example, when an Uber or Lyft driver is not marked “ready” in the app and is using their vehicle for personal reasons, their own personal auto insurance coverage would come into play in the event of an accident with another driver. Uber and Lyft have virtually identical insurance rules for accidents involving their drivers.
If the driver is marked “ready” in the app but has not yet accepted a fare, Uber and Lyft provide limited coverage. When a driver is available for a fare and listed as “ready” in the app, Uber and Lyft will provide third-party liability coverage if the driver’s auto insurance doesn’t apply. This coverage includes $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury to a single person, $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and up to $25,000 in property damage for a single accident.
Once a driver has accepted a passenger and is on the way to pick them up, both Uber and Lyft provide up to $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage for an accident. This includes underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, contingent comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of a covered vehicle with a $1,000 deductible.
It’s possible that your recent rideshare accident in Orange County falls well within these guidelines, but you still may encounter resistance if you attempt to file a claim unassisted. An Orange County rideshare accident attorney will carefully review your claim and help you determine the best approach to an insurance claim against Uber or Lyft.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were in an accident in an Uber or a Lyft, you should have someone by your side, negotiating with insurance companies, helping investigate the accident, and if necessary, filing a lawsuit. Ridesharing accidents can include several different companies all of which may or may not have liability to compensate you for your injuries.
For a complimentary consultation of your case, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Easton & Easton at 800-461-8259 today. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced Orange County personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling Uber and Lyft accident cases, and have helped countless clients recover the compensation they are entitled to in favorable settlements and verdicts.