Uber and other rideshare apps continue to increase in popularity. In relation to this increase, naturally, there will also be a rise in car accidents.
If you’ve been in an Uber accident, you may be wondering what legal rights you have with looming questions like:
- Who is going to cover my medical expenses?
- Should I sue the driver?
- Is Uber responsible for my accident?
We’re here to help clarify these concerns. Here’s an overview of what you need to know if you were involved in an Uber accident.
Who to Seek Damages From
Uber and other rideshare companies, like Lyft, have regulations in place that may protect them from liability if an accident occurs while a driver is driving for them. All of this is contained in the terms of service that you agree to when you download the app and set up an account.
The short answer is that you can sue a rideshare company, but there are limitations. You will need to determine fault and who was negligent, resulting in your accident.
Sometimes, it’s not the rideshare driver who caused the accident, but another motorist on the road. In that case, you would seek damages from that other motorist. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes the rideshare company is partially or solely responsible.
Insurance companies will typically determine who is at fault and award settlements accordingly. However, even if the insurance company determines that a driver or the rideshare company is at fault, it doesn’t mean they will offer a settlement that is fair.
In this case, you may decide to file a lawsuit in order to get the compensation that you deserve based on your injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages.
Determining Fault in an Uber Accident
Again, liability could fall on either the rideshare driver, another driver, or the rideshare company. If the driver is at fault, there are different levels of liability depending on the actions of the driver. Things to consider include:
- If the driver was or was not logged into the app at the time of the accident
- The driver was transporting passengers while off the clock
- If the driver was logged in with the passenger in the care and waiting for the passenger to plug in the drop-off address
- If they were on the way to pick up a passenger after accepting a ride
- Whether they had a passenger in their vehicle
Other drivers can also be at fault if their behavior caused the accident, such as driving under the influence, reckless driving, distracted driving, or failure to obey traffic signals. It’s up to law enforcement and the insurance company to determine fault.
When it comes to holding the rideshare company responsible for your accident, there are limitations. For example, you would have to show that Uber was negligent in performing proper background checks when they hired their driver. Otherwise, your options are to sue Uber’s insurance company or the driver’s insurance company.
If you are injured in an Uber accident, you are entitled to the same type of compensation as someone injured in any other car accident. The damages that you can be awarded typically include:
Medical expenses, including future medical care and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Property damage
- Punitive damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of quality of life
An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you estimate what your case is worth.
Steps to Take After an Uber Accident
If you are in an accident while riding in an Uber or other ridesharing vehicle, there are some steps that you should take to ensure that everyone is safe, receive medical attention, and that you properly document and report the accident.
1. Seek Medical Care
If anyone needs immediate medical care, call 911. Otherwise, you may decide to wait and go to the emergency room on your own. Be sure to keep any receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, medical records, and doctor’s instructions.
2. Report the Crash
You should report the crash to the police. Most states require this if there is any property damage and you will need a police report if you should decide to file a suit later on.
You also need to report it to Uber or Lyft, depending on what company you are riding with. There is a way to report in the app or you can report online through their website.
Don’t Settle With the Insurance Company
Many insurance companies will try to get you to settle right away after the accident. They want you to settle for the lowest amount possible, so they will often make you a low-ball offer shortly after the accident. Don’t accept this and don’t speak to the insurance adjuster without getting advice from a lawyer first.
3. Seek Legal Counsel
An experienced Uber accident attorney will be able to help you determine what is a fair settlement amount, navigate the process for you, and speak to the insurance companies on your behalf. You can focus on healing from your injuries and let an attorney handle your case.
The Benefits of Hiring an Uber Accident Attorney
If you’ve been in an Uber accident or an accident with another rideshare company and have suffered injuries, don’t delay in speaking with an experienced attorney.
Car accident injuries can be costly and could have long-lasting impacts. You need to make sure you are adequately compensated for your injuries when an Uber driver is at fault. An experienced personal injury attorney can accomplish this.
If you are searching for a rideshare lawyer, contact The Law Offices of Daniel Kim. Our law firm specializes in personal injury and rideshare accident cases.
We offer a 100% free case evaluation. Learn about your legal options and how you can proceed with filing a claim following an Uber accident.