Accidents can be incredibly frustrating and confusing. Even in a minor collision, it’s easy to find yourself dazed and unable to process what’s happening around you. When this happens, it’s common to miss crucial details that are important to focus on in and right after a car accident.
This confusion is magnified in the event of a traffic accident with a Lyft or Uber driver. Though similar to other accidents, there are some important elements to this specific type of collision that we’ll focus on so you’re prepared if you ever find yourself involved in this situation.
Who Pays in a Lyft or Uber Accident?
Whenever there is an accident involving people driving for Lyft or Uber, there are a few added elements you should be aware of. These include:
The party who is determined to be liable will be responsible for the monetary damages. These damages will usually be handled by the liable party’s insurance.
Keep in mind that it’s possible to dispute the determination of liability. Rideshare apps have extensive legal teams, which offers an advantage in doing so. Regardless of who the police deem liable, it is always wise to seek representation for your own protection and never admit to any liability on your own.
Most personal insurance policies don’t cover ridesharing. Insurance on personal automobiles is often not in effect when they are being used for business. To deal with this, Uber and Lyft both offer insurance for all their drivers. However, coverage only applies after the driver’s insurance company denies their claim.
The tiered coverage offered, operates according to the status of the rideshare driver in question. Specifically, they are as follows:
- Rideshare App is Off – If the App is off and the driver is not using it at all, there is no need for coverage. Their personal insurance should cover the incident as they are not actually using their car for work.
- Rideshare App is On (No Ride Accepted) – Drivers spend much of their time traveling between jobs. Though they may not be completing a task, they are still technically working with their car if they have the app on. Uber and Lyft both offer $50k in bodily injury protection per person, $100k in bodily injury per accident, and $25k in property damage per accident.
- Rideshare App is On (En Route or in Progress) – When actively working on behalf of the app, rideshare companies increase the coverage. The increase includes $100k in third-party liability, uninsured and underinsured bodily injury, and comprehensive/collision (with a $2,500 deductible).
What Do You Need to Do?
Always Call the Police
File a police report regardless of whether or not you sustained an injury. Case reports are necessary for instances requiring insurance claims and lawsuits. The police report offers a detailed account of the accident and may note who the liable party is.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have any injuries, you should immediately seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think that it is necessary, it’s not a bad idea to be checked out by a medical professional. This can protect you in the case of injuries whose symptoms have a delayed onset. Whiplash is an example of one such injury. It can take 24 hours or more for symptoms to become apparent.
Failure to seek medical attention immediately can be dangerous if there are severe injuries, and if you delay, it can be difficult to prove their source.
Document the accident if you can. Take photos of every affected area of both cars and any other damaged property. Mobile phones offer virtually unlimited storage space for photos, so be sure to take pictures of anything you think may be relevant. This will often go a long way in helping to establish liability and to preserve the scene of the accident once the damage has been cleaned up.
Be sure to also take several photos of the road to display the conditions in case that comes into question, as well as any traffic signs or signals that are in the area of the accident. Document everything you can.
Gather Information From the Other Drivers
In addition to taking photos, you should be sure to obtain:
- Get the contact information of all drivers involved;
- The names and contact information of any rideshare companies involved;
- The driver of the rideshare app will have two forms of insurance. There is personal insurance which may or may not cover the accident, and rideshare insurance. Drivers should obtain both of these forms of insurance;
- License plate numbers, makes and models of all cars involved; and
- Eyewitness contact information, if possible. If someone was in the area and witnessed the accident, it is worth asking for their phone number in case you need their testimony later on.
These steps will go a long way toward ensuring that you are prepared for anything you may encounter during the legal process.
Report the Accident
After organizing all the necessary information, report the accident to both the rideshare app and the insurance companies.
Hire a Lawyer
Seeking professional representation is key to ensuring that the scales of justice are not tilted against you. Professional lawyers like the ones at Power Trial Lawyers, P.C will put your interests first.
Uber and Lyft will, of course, be pursuing their own interests. It can be a wise move to hire legal counsel right away. Getting a lawyer is key to ensuring protection from any potential strategies that Uber or Lyft may employ.
How to Handle the Other Parties
Learning how to respond to the tactics that Uber and Lyft may use is essential to getting the best settlement available. People often make mistakes simply because they do not know the ins and outs of settlement negotiation.
Below are some tips for navigating your way through the process from those who have been in an accident with a Lyft or Uber driver.
Don’t Settle for Low Ball Offers
Insurance companies want to settle for as little money as they possibly can. Adding to this issue is how lengthy the process can be. After waiting for so long, pressure can build to accept an inadequate payout – even if it’s only a fraction of what you deserve. Looming medical bills can pressure anyone to accept an offer that is less than they deserve.
Insurance companies know that most people don’t deal with legal matters often enough to develop the skill to effectively negotiate with them. This makes it possible for them to craft settlements that are not in a claimant’s favor.
Consult a Lawyer
A seasoned lawyer levels the playing field and enables the parties affected to get the settlements they deserve. A dedicated law professional will be able to tell you if you have a strong enough case to proceed.
Now What Should You Do?
The team at Power Trial Lawyers, P.C. offers experience in navigating your concerns. Their team has a passion for, and dedication to, representing you and your interests.
Even if you are unsure about whether you have a case, you can avoid risking a mistake by seeking the advice of a professional like the ones at Power Trial Lawyers, P.C.
Call today for a consultation by calling (844) 844-POWER, we have staff standing by to help you.
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