What happens if I was injured in an accident while in an Uber or Lyft?
Rideshare apps, like Uber or Lyft, are a popular way to travel in downtown Atlanta or when you are going out where parking is scarce. These apps work by allowing individuals to request rides from nearby drivers through their phones. It is cheaper than a taxi and quicker because they use your location to match you with a ride. You are also allowed to see where you are going on a live map so many people feel safer when riding with a stranger. But what happens when you get into an accident?
If you are injured in an accident while in a rideshare like Uber or Lyft, then you still have rights to recover damages for your injuries. In Georgia, if you are injured while using a rideshare app you may be entitled to receive money for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. In the event of your death, your family may be able to receive wrongful death compensation
If you have been in an accident while using a rideshare app, you will need a lawyer to help you navigate the difficulties that arise due to insurance and liability in a rideshare accident. Here at the Law Office of Julie M. Essa, LLC, we have over 15 years of experience with personal injury cases. We have been helping those injured in accidents longer than Uber or Lyft have been in business. At the Law Office of Julie M. Essa, LLC, we know how to help you get the money damages you deserve in order to help heal from your injuries. We will fight for you to get you the compensation you deserve!
If you are a passenger…
As a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, you are not considered to be at fault for the accident regardless of whether or not the driver of the vehicle was the at-fault driver. At a minimum, you are eligible for a refund for your trip. You can do that be leaving a comment, submitting a feedback report or alerting the company through the “Help” tab on the app. Once the company has received your feedback, an insurance agent will contact you. But if you were also injured in the accident the process is more complicated, and you should contact an attorney immediately at the Law Offices of Julie M. Essa, LLC.
It is important to understand how insurance works when you are using a rideshare app. The driver must have their own personal car insurance as well as insurance required by Uber or Lyft. This insurance is in effect from the second the driver picks you up until you are dropped off and it covers you as the passenger. The driver’s personal insurance can vary and may cover commercial or paid drives.
Ridesharing apps require drivers to use their phones to map and pick up new riders. In Georgia, there is a Hands-Free Law (HB673) that prohibits drivers of any vehicle on a highway from touching a phone with any part of their bodies. While this law allows drivers to press one button, it restricts activity. This potential for distraction makes riding in an Uber or Lyft more dangerous than you might originally think.
Filing a Claim
First, for Uber or Lyft to have a record of the accident the driver must report the accident to the company. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, then you will be able to get compensation from their insurance. When the driver of your vehicle was at fault you would be able to pursue compensation from the driver as well as Uber or Lyft.
If you are in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft, the protocol is similar to any car accident. If you are injured, seek medical help immediately. Even if you don’t feel pain immediately you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You should also document the accident with pictures and videos of the scene. You may be able to receive payment for medical costs, lost wages for missing work, and pain and suffering.
You as the passenger are not an at-fault party regardless of who caused the accident. There are a few exceptions, if you were somehow responsible for the accident, the compensation might be reduced. Imagine a drunk and unruly passenger that distracts the driver to the point where the driver of the Uber or Lyft loses control of the car. Then the passenger can be considered partially responsible for the accident.
If you are a driver….
Even if you are a driver for Uber or Lyft, you may still be able to recover damages for your accident. If you are not the at-fault party, meaning you did not cause the accident, you can recover damages from the other driver.
Steps to Take after an Accident
If you are in an accident while driving for Uber or Lyft, there are several steps we recommend you take.
- Call 911 immediately. Getting a police report is important in determining and documenting who the at-fault driver is.
- If possible, document the accident with pictures and videos.
- Seek medical attention even if you do not feel hurt.
- Contact us at the Law Office of Julie M. Essa.
- Report the accident to Uber or Lyft
You should never admit fault when in an accident because proving liability can be difficult. You don’t want the other driver to be able to prove your liability over theirs. Exchange insurance information with the other driver, but make sure you get a police report.
Depending on if you drive for Uber or Lyft, each company has their own protocol for reporting accidents. Both companies require you to make a report. Especially if you were not the at-fault driver, you should contact a lawyer. If the at-fault driver has limited or no insurance, you may be able to be compensated by your Uber or Lyft insurance.
The insurance coverage you have depends on a variety of factors. Depending on if you were with a passenger, or on your way to pick up a passenger
- When driver mode is off: Your personal insurance is the only applicable insurance.
- When driving mode is on but before you’ve received a ride request: The policy has a $50,000 maximum limit per person, $100,00 maximum limit per accident and $25,000 maximum limit for property damage with no deducible for Lyft. With Uber, the policy is similar but with $30,000 maximum limit for property damage with $1,000 deductible.
- When you have a passenger: For both Uber or Lyft, there is a $1 million commercial liability and another $1 million to cover uninsured or underinsured drivers.
Call Julie M. Essa, Esq. and Noor E. Janho, Esq.
Calling an attorney after an accident is always a good idea, but after an accident when riding or driving in an Uber or Lyft, you need an attorney to help the difficulties in liability and coverage with a huge company. Here at the Law Offices of Julie M. Essa, LLC, both attorneys Julie Essa and Noor Janho have experience working with both passengers and drivers for Uber or Lyft.
Julie M. Essa and Noor E. Janho have a stellar reputation for fighting tenaciously for their clients. They treat their clients like family and work hard to ensure that you are able to not only receive the compensation you deserve but also that you are able to heal and recover from your accident. You can read reviews from our clients here.
If you are in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft, call our office at 770-955-8322 today and get the compensation you deserve