Picture this scenario; you and a friend are enjoying your ride in an Uber or Lyft from an event back to your house or apartment when you find yourself in the middle of a fender bender. If you find yourself in a car accident in an Uber, Lyft or other ride-share vehicles, what do you do? Where does liability fall?
Uber and Lyft often don’t have the clearest picture of what a passenger is to do in the event of a crash incident aside from calling emergency services immediately. If you are or have been involved in a recent car accident in a Uber or Lyft ride-sharing vehicle, it is a good idea to call the auto accident lawyers in Mesa or your city to go over the details of the wreck, especially if you are severely injured or out of work due to injuries sustained during the accident.
In any car accident, it is important to take specific steps if you are physically able to. Treat the accident like any standard accident you may have been involved in. Whether you were in the vehicle when the accident occurred as a passenger or are driving your own personal vehicle and have been hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, some important steps to keep in mind and record include:
- Taking photos of the scene
- Take photos of personal injuries
- Record details on a mobile app
- Describe the details of what happened with law enforcement
- Gather details about your driver including name, address, phone number, and Lyft or Uber information
- Record insurance information
- Write down license plate numbers
- Gathering information from any potential witnesses who saw what happened on scene
At first glance of the extensive policies used within Uber and Lyft, the companies both claim that they may provide up to $1 million per accident under specific insurance policies. They may include up to $20,000-$50,000 per person located in the vehicle or as a pedestrian for any personal injury that may have occurred at the fault of the Uber or Lyft driver. Although these numbers aren’t guaranteed, it is worth your time, money and effort to contact a personal injury lawyer who can look into specific insurance information, accident details and personal injury information to benefit your case and help you get the most out of your settlement.
Whether you are the driver, passenger or pedestrian involved in a minor, major or critical Uber or Lyft accident, it is incredibly beneficial to contact a personal injury lawyer. After an accident, the last thing you want to deal with is the hassle that often comes with making claims, going to court or even representing yourself against large companies who don’t have your best interest in mind.
Many Valley-wide residents are making the decision to become a rideshare driver for the extra income, but it comes with some risks. It is very important to be diligent to protect yourself and your clients should you become part of a car accident. There are many contributing factors that can land even the safest of drivers in the middle of a catastrophic collision.
As a rideshare driver, it is recommended to sign up for both personal and commercial auto insurance policies. Some states may even require you to apply for and be granted a commercial’s driver’s license before you can get commercial auto insurance coverage.
Our Mesa car accident lawyers recommend that if you are going to be driving a vehicle for a rideshare program to choose the highest levels of liability limits for your personal and commercial auto insurance policy. Most commercial policies offer coverage that maxes out at $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident. These kinds of policies can have high premiums and deductibles but are excellent coverage should you be a part of a car accident while operating under Uber or Lyft rideshare services.
When a Lyft, Uber, or another type of rideshare driver does not have adequate coverage, they risk facing costly legal action and financial devastation to cover car accident injuries for all parties involved. There is help though. Rideshare drivers can opt-in for excess liability coverage from their service provider. This extra policy amounts up to $1 million liability per incident and only kicks in beyond personal or commercial insurance maximums. There are conditions. In fact, Lyft or Uber insurance coverage will only kick in their big dollar coverage
- if the Uber app is on, and
- if the driver has either already accepted a ride request or is carrying a passenger at the time of the accident.
Both rideshare programs also have a liability amount reserved for car accidents without passengers. If the driver is not transporting a rider and has not accepted a ride request, then they can qualify for this coverage, which is
- $50,000 per person (ie. applicable towards the rideshare driver, pedestrians, and the other vehicle’s driver and/or passengers)
- $100,000 per incident (ie. towards medical costs)
- $25,000 towards property damage (ie. vehicle damages)
In serious Mesa car accidents, there can be multiple victims in all affected vehicles. If each receives medical treatment that amounts to the thousands, it can bankrupt the at-fault party, especially if they are uninsured. That is why it is still important for you to have your own personal and commercial auto insurance coverage in place. Simply put, it protects you as a Lyft or Uber driver in the event of a car accident.
As a personal injury law firm, we know that some car accidents are inevitable. Always be defensive and aware of your surroundings to avoid striking another vehicle, person, or animal. Here are some car accident prevention tips that may help you as a rideshare driver:
1. When picking up a ride, get out of the flow of traffic. Try to arrange to pick up in load-only zones or in a spare parking spot whenever possible.
2. Always ask your riders to buckle up. Seat belts are proven to help reduce nearly half of severe internal injuries sustained in car accidents.
3. If you are playing music for your riders, ask what their music preference is and set the volume to the rear seats. This reduces distraction for you in the driver’s seat.
4. Try to keep conversation with your riders to a minimum, so you can focus on the road. Most riders sit in the backseat, so if you turn your head or use your mirrors to talk with them, you’re not paying attention to the road.
5. If you are a new rideshare driver, restrict your radius to the areas you are most familiar with to prevent driver confusion. This gives you more time to get used to the new way of driving in your town.
6. Let your riders know which route you plan to take to drive them to their destination, and ask your rider if this is ok. Your rider might have alternative routes that they prefer.
7. Follow all rideshare provider policies including keeping your provider’s light on when in service and keep all signage in clear visibility. This is a preventative measure to ensure the rider does not enter the wrong vehicle.
It is possible to avoid a car accident as a Lyft, Uber or other rideshare service provider. It takes conscious effort and planning to protect yourself as a commercial driver. If you have more questions about how the Lyft or Uber insurance coverage works, contact our car accident attorneys in Mesa, AZ. We can advise you on how to best protect yourself in the event of a collision.
Call a personal injury lawyer at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience Law Firm to discuss the details of your case and ensure that you are represented to the highest standard offered to help you heal from any physical and emotional injuries after any kind of accident. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a FREE case evaluation and get the treatment you deserve after a car accident in an Uber, Lyft, or other ride-sharing vehicles.