Whether you’re an Uber or Lyft user or a passenger in someone else’s car, you may wonder what to do you are involved in an accident. Either way, it won’t be your fault, but as a non-driver, you may feel uniquely vulnerable. Anyone behind the wheel is required to carry automobile insurance to cover injuries and damages—but are you included?
There’s no need to be nervous: A driver’s policy applies to any injuries caused by their negligence, whether they are to another driver, a passenger, or a bystander. Like anyone else, you will have to prove the driver’s actions are directly linked to the losses you are facing after an injury. But, you have the same right to recover compensation to assist you during recovery.
Uber and Lyft Cars Have Different Insurance Requirements
Since 2015, the state of California has required drivers who provide transportation for hire to carry additional insurance. Transportation Network Companies, often referred to as TNCs, are required to provide this coverage for drivers whenever they are on the job. This rule was created because most personal insurance providers explicitly refuse to cover commercial activities like driving for Uber and Lyft. Though drivers can purchase their own rideshare insurance policies, and some do, every driver responsible for transporting others must have a way to compensate them should anything go wrong.
What Happens If My Uber or Lyft Driver Gets into an Accident?
The most important thing after any car accident is making sure everyone is safe. Emergency responders should be called to the scene for any serious accidents, and any vehicles involved should be moved as far as possible out of the flow of traffic. While at the scene, you can do a lot to gather proof for your injury claim. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, sometimes symptoms take a while to appear—so follow as many of these steps as you can before you leave the scene of the accident.
Don’t Let Insurance Adjusters Twist Your Words
We advise drivers to not talk to any other party’s insurer after an accident. This is because insurance adjusters do whatever they can to reduce their liability. They may ask leading questions to see if they can get the other driver to admit any fault so they can reduce their settlement. You will not have to worry about questions of fault, but insurers may also challenge your injury reports, using your own words against you.
An attorney can take care of these conversations for you so your interests remain protected. Whether you’re speaking with a driver’s personal insurance or a corporation’s insurance, we recommend hiring a lawyer to help you spot these unfair tactics.
Should I Report My Accident to Uber or Lyft?
On the other hand, failing to report an accident may be the worst thing you can do for your claim. Both drivers involved should send in reports, but this doesn’t let you off the hook. The good news: Both Uber and Lyft offer online accident reporting. You can inform them without having to speak directly to an insurance adjuster (if one reaches out to you, you can tell them you need some time to calm down before speaking and hang up).
Make sure to save a copy of your accident report as well as a screenshot of your app showing the ride that was in progress when the accident happened. It’s usually a good idea to get the driver’s full information directly from them rather than relying on in-app details. Finally, follow up with the responding authorities to get a copy of the accident report.
Working with a Lawyer to Maximize Your Uber or Lyft Accident Claim
Dealing with insurance after an accident can be tiring, especially if you are also trying to coordinate medical care and dealing with other difficulties in your life. When you’re facing off against a big corporation like Uber or Lyft, they may deploy far more resources than you know how to handle.
Our experienced rideshare accident attorneys have handled cases like yours before. We can take care of all the communication and advocate for your interests against insurance adjusters who are unlikely to offer you a fair settlement the first time. Having someone on your side can be invaluable when you need help after an injury.
We understand hiring a car accident attorney isn’t a decision you take lightly, which is why we offer free consultations. We want you to meet the team who will be working for you, which includes not only a team of compassionate attorneys but also a dedicated case manager to ensure your concerns are heard. Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. is here for you.
You don’t have to fight Uber or Lyft on your own after a bad accident. Call our team at (916) 229-6755 or send us a message if you need help.