Uber and Lyft Accidents
Uber, Lyft, and other hired car services offer an affordable and convenient way to travel. As a more efficient alternative to traditional taxicabs, rideshares are easier to schedule and pay for with simple mobile apps that do most of the work for you. With more than 41 million users, the United States is Uber’s largest market worldwide. With all these hired cars and vans transporting riders every day, it is inevitable that some will be involved in unfortunate accidents. Poor road conditions, mechanical failures, and human error are common causes of Uber and Lyft car accidents.
Individuals hurt in cars that are not their own face the physical and financial impact of medical bills, painful injuries, and emotional trauma resulting from serious accidents. Figuring out who will compensate for these losses can be challenging. This is what you need to know if you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident as a passenger, pedestrian, or driver of the other vehicle.
Insurance Coverage for Rideshare Accidents
While rideshare drivers are required to carry personal auto insurance, it generally comes with a business-use caveat that precludes it from covering accidents occurring while the driver is on the clock. Uber, Lyft, and other hired car drivers essentially work independently, yet the company that employs them is responsible to absorb the losses resulting from an accident that occurs while the driver is transporting a customer.
To fill the gap between the driver’s personal auto insurance and third-party liability insurance provided by the rideshare employer, most states require ride-sharing companies to carry commercial liability insurance for a certain amount to cover property damage, injuries, and other losses after a crash. When the driver’s insurance is exhausted, their employer provides up to $1 million insurance coverage for personal injury and other accident-related damages.
It is not always easy to establish what on-the-clock really means for Uber and Lyft drivers. There is a bit of gray area when the driver is in route to pick up a rider but does not have a customer on board during an accident. It is essential for injured parties to gather and document all details related to the crash, including:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness accounts
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Rideshare driver logs
An experienced South Jersey car accident lawyer can obtain these records through the discovery process. Rideshare driver logs are essential to determine if the rideshare driver was working when the accident occurred.
Third-Party Liability in Uber and Lyft Accidents
In accidents where the rideshare driver is not at-fault, injured passengers can seek compensation through a claim against the third-party’s insurance company or a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. If the at-fault, third-party driver is unknown or does not have insurance coverage to fully compensate the injured person for their losses, the ride sharing company’s uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage kicks in.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
As with any type of motor vehicle accident, the first step is always to seek medical attention. Not all car accident injuries are immediately apparent. Internal bleeding, head injuries, and other serious conditions may develop in the hours and days after the initial impact of a crash. As soon as possible, report the accident to the police and your insurance company. Provide as many details about the accident as possible. If you are physically able to do so, take photos and/or video of the accident scene and property damage. If anyone else witnessed your accident, ask for their contact information. Witness accounts can be incredibly helpful for verifying what went wrong in a crash and who was at-fault.
South Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Represent Victims Injured in Uber and Lyft Accidents
After you have taken all these steps to document your Uber and Lyft accident and received medical attention for your injuries, consult a South Jersey car accident lawyer at the D’Amato Law Firm. We understand the unique challenges that come with pursuing compensation for rideshare crashes and can recommend the most sensible legal course of action based on your situation. To get started, call 609-926-3300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.