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How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Help With Uber/Lyft Accidents?

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Posted on February 17, 2023

With the meteoric rise of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft in the last decade, fewer people choose public transport, and instead, the roadways are more crowded with private vehicles, including Uber and Lyft vehicles transporting passengers, traveling to pick up passengers, and cruising the streets while waiting for a passenger to request a ride. Studies link at least 1,000 fatalities to rideshare vehicles annually, a 3% increase, and even greater increases in overall accident numbers. The cost of rideshare accidents exceeds $10 billion annually.

While using rideshare is a convenient choice for local travel when you’ve experienced an accident and sustained damages, a personal injury lawyer with years of experience with the complex insurance laws associated with rideshare vehicles can help you navigate the process of gaining compensation for your injuries. 

An Attorney Can Help Determine the Coverage in Place at the Time of Your Rideshare Accident

Unlike a family car, a rideshare vehicle has a complex system in place for insurance coverage that depends on the “stage” the driver was in at the time of the accident. Because there are different levels of insurance coverage for various stages of the Uber or Lyft ride, it often takes an attorney experienced in rideshare accident claims to investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine which insurance company and which policy was in place at the time of the accident.

Because both Uber and Lyft maintain that they’re only an app service used to connect passengers with independent contractor drivers, they are not liable for accident claims. To address the need for accident coverage, their contracted drivers must have the following specific policies in place:

  • When the Uber/Lyft driver drives their vehicle for personal use, their private insurance policy is in effect for coverage
  • When the driver’s rideshare app is turned on and they are waiting for a ride request their rideshare insurance is in place, providing $25,000 in property damage and $50,000 in personal injury coverage per person or $100,000 per accident
  • Once the driver has an assigned passenger and is on the way to make the pick-up and throughout the drive to transport the passenger to their destination, the rideshare insurance provides up to $1 million in personal injury coverage and property damage
  • Uber and Lyft vehicles also carry uninsured motorist policies to protect their drivers and passengers if an accident occurs with an at-fault driver who is uninsured

It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to attempt to claim their policy was not the one in place during the rideshare experience. An experienced attorney understands how to investigate an Uber/Lyft accident to determine what coverage was in place at the time of the accident and whether or not the rideshare driver was at fault or if another driver or third party bears liability.

What Should I Do After An Accident Involving Uber or Lyft?

Whether you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle during a car accident in San Diego, you’re another driver involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, or a pedestrian struck by a rideshare vehicle, there are specific steps you can take to protect yourself physically and financially in the aftermath of the accident:

  • If you have serious injuries, remain in place and wait for help from emergency services
  • If you can move safely without causing further injury to yourself, move to a safe position on the shoulder of the road and call 911 to report the accident. You can also use the Uber or Lyft app to report the accident to the rideshare company
  • After providing any necessary aid or comfort to any other injured victims, use your phone to take photos of the damaged vehicles and the accident scene
  • Collect contact information for the driver and any other involved driver as well as for eyewitnesses
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible to treat and document your injuries
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions and get a detailed medical report
  • Gather your medical report and a copy of the police report and then speak to a personal injury lawyer with Uber/Lyft accident experience before talking to insurance company representatives

A San Diego personal injury lawyer can strongly advocate for the maximum compensation for your damages in an Uber/Lyft accident so you can focus on recovering from your injury while also recovering financially.