Rideshare services from companies like Uber and Lyft have eclipsed traditional taxi services. Now, when someone wants a ride, they don’t call a taxi company. They use an app on their smartphone to summon a driver right to them.
For all the wonders that rideshare services have done for modern society, they have also caused some sizeable headaches. Specifically, figuring out what to do after a rideshare accident can be downright confusing. Can you even sue for an Uber or Lyft accident? The answer depends on who is found liable for the crash, and if the rideshare company was even involved in the loosest sense.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
Before we discuss suing Uber or Lyft, let’s review what you should do after a crash:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, whether it means taking a trip to the emergency room in an ambulance or seeing your physician after it is time to leave the scene. If you were injured and fail to seek medical attention, you might not receive much in terms of compensation since an insurance adjuster will assume you were not hurt.
- Contact the police. Once a police officer arrives at the scene, they will be able to create a report, proving the accident occurred, which will serve as helpful evidence.
- Obtain the insurance information of the other driver. If you are a passenger of an Uber or Lyft driver, you must ask for their contact information as well as their driver’s license and insurance information. Obtain the information of any other drivers who might have been involved in the accident as well.
- Gather as much evidence as possible. Take pictures of the scene, any injuries you suffered, and any damaged property or vehicles.
- Never speak with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier regarding your injuries. The fact is that you might not know the extent of your injuries at this point, so do not make a statement or it will come back to haunt you.
- Consult an attorney. They will be able to help you navigate your way through a settlement claim or, if necessary, litigate your case in court.
Can You Sue Uber for a Crash?
Uber and Lyft have strikingly similar insurance policies that provide coverage for drivers who use their apps under certain conditions. If the coverage applies to you – either as someone who was hit by a rideshare driver or a passenger who was hurt after a rideshare driver caused a crash – then you can file against Uber or Lyft’s policy.
Uber’s insurance policy can provide three levels of coverage:
- No coverage: When a rideshare driver causes an accident but was not currently using the Uber app, it is not an Uber accident. The rideshare company does not owe anyone any coverage, and injured parties will have to file against the privately held policy owned by the driver.
- Some coverage: Once an Uber driver opens the app and marks themselves as available to pick up a new passenger, Uber can offer some coverage in an accident. After the driver’s insurance policy is exhausted, Uber can provide up to $50,000 for bodily injuries per person, $100,000 for bodily injuries per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident.
- Most coverage: After an Uber driver has accepted a fare and has either picked up the passenger or is driving to pick them up, Uber can offer the most coverage. This policy is $1,000,000 for third-party liability damages, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) bodily injury damages, and a contingent comprehensive and collision policy with a $1,000 to $2,500 deductible.
The question of whether you can sue Uber or Lyft after a rideshare accident becomes dependent on how the rideshare driver was interacting with the app at the time. If they were looking for a fare or accepted one, then you could have the option to sue.
If you need help after an Uber or Lyft accident in Colorado Springs, Parker, or Pueblo, then contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP now.