Ridesharing services offered by such companies as Uber and Lyft are gaining in popularity. Millions of Americans throughout the U.S. use these services daily. However, these ridesharing vehicles are just as prone to be involved in a collision on the roadways as any other vehicle.
It is important to note that Uber and Lyft drivers are not operating company cars, like taxi services provide, but rather, these drivers are operating their own personal vehicles and are considered independent contractors. If you were involved in an accident while you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, the liability for your injury and damages could rest with the driver, the other driver, or the ridesharing company. Determining who is responsible for a rideshare crash can be a legally complex and overwhelming task.
Determining Responsibility and Liability
In every car accident, including those that involve ridesharing vehicles, there must be a determination regarding fault. Liability for an accident can rest with the ridesharing driver, another driver, or both drivers. Other than the cases where a defective part or component of a vehicle caused the accident (in which case, the liability would rest with the manufacturer), the following are persons you can pursue to seek compensation for your injuries.
Other Driver At-Fault. If the driver other than the ridesharing driver was determined to be at-fault for the accident, the process works similarly to any other accident. Although you may have been a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, you are simply a passenger in a vehicle. You will file a personal injury claim with the insurance company of the other driver for any medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Ridesharing Driver At-Fault. If an investigation of the accident determines that the ridesharing driver was at fault, there are more options available to you regarding receiving compensation for your injuries. You will need to determine what company the ridesharing driver worked for and if they are considered an employee or an independent contractor. In some cases, such as with Uber, you will be able to file directly with Uber’s insurance policy, which covers its drivers. In other cases, you will need to file your claim directly with the insurance company of the driver. Many drivers will have a specific rider within their personal insurance policy that will cover any damages or injuries to passengers during the course of their work.
Steps to Take after a Ridesharing Accident
If you were in a ridesharing car accident, make sure to follow these steps — similar to any other car accident.
- Call 911
- Obtain a copy of the official police report
- Obtain all witness contact information and the other driver’s contact information
- Seek medical treatment immediately
- Attempt to determine whether you can file a claim with the driver individually or with the ridesharing company
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
Your most important step after experiencing a ridesharing crash is to contact an experienced car accident attorney. Contact an experienced car accident attorney today.