Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the transportation industry, providing a convenient, cost-effective alternative to traditional taxis and public transit.
However, as more ridesharing vehicles hit the streets, the likelihood of accidents rises, necessitating a clear understanding of the legal aspects and insurance policies that apply to these incidents. In fact, a University of Chicago study from 2018 found that the increased prevalence of ridesharing accounts for a 2-3% increase in car accident fatalities across the country.
Ridesharing accidents present unique legal challenges compared to traditional car accidents, as they often involve multiple parties, such as the ridesharing company, the driver, and the passengers. Additionally, ridesharing companies often maintain their own insurance policies, which can create complexities when determining liability and seeking compensation.
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help victims protect their rights and navigate the aftermath of an accident more effectively.
Immediate Steps to Take After an Uber/Lyft Accident
In the aftermath of a ride share accident, passengers should prioritize their safety and well-being.
First, they should call 911 to report the accident and request any necessary emergency services. Additionally, passengers should document the accident scene by taking photographs or videos of the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and the surrounding area. Collecting contact and insurance information from all drivers and witnesses is also crucial.
Following the accident, passengers should seek medical attention, even if their injuries seem minor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and receiving a thorough medical evaluation can ensure proper treatment and recovery. Moreover, medical documentation, such as doctor’s reports and diagnostic tests, can be vital when pursuing legal action or seeking compensation for damages.
Ride Share Accidents and Insurance
Both Uber and Lyft have insurance policies in place to cover their drivers and passengers in the event of an accident. These policies supplement the drivers’ personal insurance and provide additional coverage to those involved.
However, the specific coverage amounts and conditions may vary depending on factors such as the driver’s status at the time of the accident (i.e., whether they were actively engaged in a ride or waiting for a request). And because rideshare drivers are hired as independent contractors as opposed to fulltime employees, the liability might fall more on the driver than on the rideshare companies themselves, which can create complex overlapping liability situations.
It’s worth noting that Utah is a no-fault state, which means that your own insurance will cover the costs of an accident that’s not your fault up to your specific policy’s limit. Considering this, along with the aforementioned layers of liability, can create even more opportunities for issues, which is why having an experienced attorney on hand is so highly recommended.
Additionally, while Uber and Lyft do perform background checks on their drivers and contractors, these processes have occasionally been criticized for their leniency and can allow drivers on the road despite their poor driving records. This can add another layer of complexity to a rideshare accident case.
In some cases, passengers may need to file claims with multiple insurance companies, including the ridesharing company’s insurer and the driver’s personal insurance provider. Navigating this process can be complex, but being proactive and hiring an experienced Utah car accident attorney can help facilitate a smoother resolution.
Great West Injury Law Can Help
When insurance coverage proves insufficient or liability is disputed, passengers may need to pursue legal action to secure the compensation they deserve. Consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in ridesharing accident cases can help protect the injured party’s rights and navigate the complexities of the legal process.
At Great West Injury Law, our attorneys can evaluate the specific circumstances of the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on the injured party’s behalf. In some cases, we may need to file a lawsuit to hold the responsible parties accountable and obtain fair compensation. Partnering with our skilled attorneys may improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.