Ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber are popular transportation options, particularly in large cities. Unfortunately, rideshare accidents happen, just as they do with any other mode of travel. If you’ve suffered an injury in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you may wonder who is responsible for paying your medical bills. Establishing responsibility in these accidents is more complex than in other car accident cases. Thus, hiring a lawyer is often necessary to get compensation. Here’s everything you need to know about rideshare accidents and hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Does My Insurance Cover a Rideshare Accident?
Typically, the driver’s insurance company that caused the accident pays for medical bills and lost wages of the injury victims. However, two insurance providers may cover your medical costs if the rideshare driver caused the accident. You can file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance policy or the coverage provided by the rideshare company.
Most companies require drivers to carry personal insurance policies covering rideshare accidents. These policies come with special endorsements covering medical expenses for passengers and other motorists injured in accidents. However, some drivers may have insufficient coverage, or their policies may have lapsed. You can file a claim with the rideshare company in these cases.
Are Rideshare Companies Liable for Passenger Injuries?
Due to the complex legal relationship between rideshare companies and drivers can be difficult to determine liability after an accident. Unfortunately, companies like Lyft and Uber typically do not have legal liability for rideshare injuries, even if the driver caused the accident.
Most rideshare drivers are independent contractors and are not considered direct employees. Like trucking companies, rideshare companies only share responsibility for accidents involving hourly or salaried employees. Even if you can prove the driver is a direct employee of the company, you must provide evidence that the employer’s negligent actions resulted in the accident.
Even though rideshare companies do not typically have legal responsibility for accidents, they may still need to compensate you for your injuries. Most states require companies to carry enough coverage to pay the medical expenses of injury victims. However, how much you receive depends on many factors, including the nature of your injury and when the accident occurred.
The amount of money you get is also determined by whether you were a rideshare passenger or in another vehicle. Only rideshare passengers paying for the trip at the time of the accident are eligible to receive the maximum amount of money.
What Should I Do After a Rideshare Accident?
As a rideshare passenger, you count on your driver to drive safely. If the driver’s behavior or a road hazard causes an accident, there are specific actions you should take to ensure your safety.
1. Seek Medical Treatment
Your health is the main priority after a car accident, and you should seek medical treatment at the first sign of pain or injury. It is good to visit a doctor even if you do not think you are injured. Many car accident victims experience a sudden burst of adrenaline after an accident. Adrenaline can temporarily numb pain, causing victims to overlook potentially serious injuries.
2. Call the Police
It is typically the responsibility of the rideshare driver to report collisions to the police. As a passenger, you want to stay at the accident scene and talk to the police. Report details of the crash circumstances to the responding officer, so it is captured in the police report. After talking to the police, you should contact the rideshare company to report the accident. Avoid making any statements before you talk with an attorney. The rideshare company may contact you for comment after you report the accident. Company representatives may coerce you into making a statement that admits partial responsibility. Hold off on making any statements until you retain an attorney, particularly if you’ve suffered an injury.
3. Gather Accident Information
Before you leave the accident scene, gather as much information as possible. Write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved in the crash. If possible, collect data or statements from any witnesses. Take pictures of the accident scene and write down the vehicle’s license plate number.
4. Speak With a Lawyer
Contact a lawyer before making a statement to the insurance provider or the rideshare company. You’ll want to retain a personal injury lawyer who has experience with rideshare accident cases. Rideshare accidents are complex, and it is in your best interest to work with a legal team familiar with these types of collisions.
How To Find a Rideshare Accident Lawyer
An attorney’s assistance is crucial if you want a fair settlement or if you want to file a rideshare accident case in court. Many personal injury lawyers are available, but choosing the right one for your case can be challenging.
Start your search by contacting your local bar association and inquiring about its lawyer referral service. Most bar associations have websites that provide the contact information for local lawyers. These websites often feature client reviews, case results, and specializations. Alternatively, call your local bar and inquire about local personal injury lawyers.
Asking friends, family, or colleagues for referrals is another way to get in touch with rideshare lawyers in your local area. Inquiring about your friend’s experience with the lawyer is a quick way to learn if the firm is a good fit for you. Even if the referral cannot take your case, the firm may suggest another attorney that may make a good match.
Questions To Ask a Potential Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Once you locate a potential candidate, ask a few questions before signing a retainer. Inquire about the following:
- How long has the lawyer been practicing personal injury law?
- Does the firm have experience with rideshare cases? If so, what was the outcome?
- How many cases has the attorney taken to trial?
- Who will handle your case? Is it the lawyer or another member of the firm? Can you meet with the other people responsible for working on cases?
- Does the firm charge a retainer, or are they paid on a contingency fee basis?
- How much money does the lawyer think you can get for your rideshare injury? What is the plan of action?
You are not obligated to retain a lawyer after an initial consultation. You should set up a few appointments with different personal injury lawyers. Ask the same questions in all the meetings and take good notes so you can reference them later.
Ultimately, you want to choose a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable and listens to your questions. You will spend a lot of time with your legal team, so you want to ensure they are a good fit.
Work With Judd Shaw Injury Law™
Were you injured in a ridesharing accident, and you are ready to file a claim against the rideshare company? The Judd Shaw Injury Law™ team has experience in many types of personal injury cases, including rideshare accidents with Uber and Lyft. We know how to prove responsibility in rideshare accidents, and we will work to get you the money you deserve so you can focus on recovering. Call us today to set up a no-obligation appointment with one of our personal injury lawyers at 1-866-909-6894 or contact us online.
If you’re concerned about the cost of hiring a rideshare accident attorney, know that we offer our clients a No Fee Guarantee®, which means you only pay us if you get paid. It’s that simple—no gimmicks and no fine print.