Ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber have become popular alternatives to driving. In 2018, 36% of people used a ridesharing service, up from 15% in 2015. Though 65% of people stopped using these services during the COVID-19 shutdown, they are now experiencing a comeback as life returns to normal. But with increased use also comes increased concerns about what happens if you are a passenger in a Lyft or Uber that gets in an accident. We created this blog to help you understand what happens in these situations and who may or may not be responsible for any damages like lost wages or medical bills.
What Happens if Your Lyft or Uber Gets in an Accident?
Whether you are a passenger in the Lyft or Uber that is in an accident, a pedestrian who gets hit by a Lyft or Uber driver, or you are hit by an Uber or Lyft while you are driving your own car, you can seek compensation for your injuries as long as the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault. If you are a passenger in a Lyft or Uber and the other driver in the accident is at fault, you can also seek damages from the other driver.
When an accident involves a Lyft or Uber, the immediate process is identical to any other car accident. The police and any other necessary responders will arrive on the scene to document the accident and take everyone’s information. Take pictures of the scene and any injuries you sustained. Make sure to go to the hospital or a doctor for a thorough examination.
Are Lyft and Uber Passengers Insured?
Lyft and Uber passengers are insured by those respective companies, up to $50,000 per person for injuries. This insurance plan is the primary plan that will be covering your damages if the Lyft or Uber driver was responsible for the accident and the app was active when the accident occurred. This coverage applies even if the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault for the accident. Though the driver’s own damages to their vehicle may not be covered, the policies always cover passengers and other third parties. This even applies when a rideshare driver is on their way to pick up a fare and gets in an accident.
If the other driver was responsible for the accident, their policy will be the primary insurer, though the policies of Lyft or Uber may supplement your needs if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Is Uber or Lyft Liable for Its Driver’s Negligence?
Uber and Lyft are partially liable for damages caused by their independent contractors who are driving negligently or otherwise cause accidents. This is why they maintain the insurance policies we described above. But when it comes to other negligent behavior, like forcing passengers to leave the vehicle in unsafe areas, rideshare companies may avoid liability because drivers are independent contractors. Questions like how closely the driver was evaluated, whether or not the rideshare service monitored the length of their shifts, and other considerations may mean these companies can still share the responsibility. If you were in an accident with a rideshare driver and believe the parent company might share responsibility, contact us to discuss your unique situation.
What Happens if an Uber or Lyft Driver Hits You?
When an Uber or Lyft driver hits you, whether as a pedestrian or a fellow driver on the road, it’s important to determine if their app was open when the accident occurred. If they were on their way to pick up a fare or had a fare in the car, the insurance policies of Uber or Lyft will take precedence. The claims will be processed fastest if the Uber or Lyft drive begins the claim in the app and shares the information with you.
Work with Top Indiana Auto Accident Lawyers
A car accident that involves an Uber or Lyft has an added layer of complexity, but the law is still on the side of those harmed by another party’s negligence. Christie Farrell Lee & Bell have the experience, insight, and passion to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable so you can recover damages you need to get life back on track. From listening to your story to fighting for you in court, we’re your advocates. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an Indiana rideshare accident attorney.