What to Do After an Uber Car Accident

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Uber Car Accident

Being in a car accident is confusing, demanding, and stressful. Being involved in an Uber car accident are those things tenfold. Although Uber and Lyft accidents are becoming more common, many victims are often lost on what to do following a crash. Here is an overview of what makes a rideshare accident different from a regular car accident and what to do if involved in one–both as a passenger and another driver.


Why Uber Car Accidents Are Complicated

In any type of auto accident (car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, etc.), the claimant seeking compensation must establish both liability and damages when filing a personal claim. This is pertinent because the liable party found at fault for the accident will be responsible for compensating the claimant for damages. 

However, in an Uber or Lyft accident, more than one party can be found liable, such as the ridesharing company, the Lyft/Uber driver, or other motorists. Because these companies operate with such a unique business model, drivers are hired as “independent contractors,” not actual employees.

Consequently, this affects how liability insurance will be applied if a crash does occur with a Lyft or Uber driver in a couple of ways.

Issues Surrounding an Uber Accident Claim

First, the driver must have been enrolled with a certain insurance policy, specifying that coverage is not just for personal use and for work, as well. Otherwise, the insurance company of the Lyft or Uber driver will likely reject a claim from the rideshare accident.

Secondly, Uber’s insurance company does provide coverage for its drivers and passengers. However, there are limitations, and coverage will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. For instance, there are different insurance periods, such as if the driver is offline, waiting for a ride request, or actively transporting passengers.


Ridesharing Regulations

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Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are subject to specific regulations and laws. Navigating these regulations and understanding how they apply to accident cases adds more complexity to already complex situations. 

In California, the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates compliance with transportation network companies (TNCs). Under these regulations, rideshare companies are required to operate in a way that does not endanger their passengers or drivers. 

Failing to comply can be seen as a form of negligence and put Uber and Lyft at fault if an accident occurs. 


About Uber’s Auto Insurance Coverage

Uber is required to maintain a commercial insurance policy of $1 million in liability coverage per accident for their drivers and passengers. However, not all Uber accidents will qualify, as coverage varies depending on specific circumstances.

Liability Coverage Breakdown

It’s important to note that Uber may offer up to $1 million in coverage; this does not mean that being involved in an Uber accident will result in a million-dollar payout. Here is a breakdown of how personal injury protection works and how much accident victims (Uber passengers or other drivers) may be awarded after filing a personal injury claim. 

  • Period 0: The driver is not logged into the Uber app, and therefore not “working,” so insurance coverage would not apply.
  • Period 1: The driver is logged into the Uber app but has not accepted a ride request. Uber will provide coverage up to $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
  • Periods 2 and 3: The driver is logged into the app, accepted a ride, and either has not or has picked up the Uber passenger. During this period, Uber’s insurance company provides coverage up to $1,000,000 for liability, collision, and comprehensive car accidents.

Before Uber’s insurance coverage kicks in, fault must be established. If another party is liable, their personal auto insurance policy will be utilized until it reaches the policy’s maximum limit. If there are remaining damages and the car accident falls within one of the qualifying periods, Uber’s coverage will then be applied. 


What to Do After an Accident With an Uber Driver

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The steps to take after an Uber accident slightly differ depending on whether the affected person was an Uber passenger or another driver. Here are their differences. 

If You Were an Uber Passenger…

  1. Ensure safety and seek medical attention: The primary concern is safety. Therefore, if immediate medical assistance is required, call 911 and alert paramedics or emergency services. While waiting, exit the Uber vehicle and move away from traffic.
  2. Report the accident to the police: Like any motor vehicle accident, the Uber car accident should be reported. Then, a police report can be created and utilized as evidence when a car accident claim is filed.
  3. Gather evidence: Regardless of who appears to be at fault at that time, get the Uber driver’s full name, contact number, and insurance information, as well as any other drivers involved. Also, take photos of the accident scene, property damage, and visible injuries.
  4. Report the accident to Uber: The rideshare company provides a platform for reporting accidents, and drivers or passengers can file an accident report through the app or website. Immediately report the crash so there is a log of when the event occurred. 
  5. Seek medical attention: Even if injuries are not apparent, see a doctor. Hidden injuries like internal bleeding and traumatic brain injury are not visible but can be very serious. Only a physician can diagnose and treat them. Again, the primary concern is safety.
  6. Consult a personal injury attorney: An attorney who specializes in Uber accidents can provide legal guidance, accurately assess the situation, navigate the claims process, and keep clients protected from insurance companies that may try to minimize the gravity of the accident.

If You Were Hit By an Uber Vehicle…

The steps are similar to what to do after an accident as a passenger. The main difference is that the accident will not be reported through the Uber app. However, Uber should still be contacted, so it can be documented that an accident with one of their drivers did occur. 

Additionally, the injured drivers will need to notify their insurance company to report the car accident. This initiates the Uber accident claim process. The only information that needs to be shared at this point is that an accident occurred and with whom. 

Before disclosing any additional information, it is best to consult with a car accident lawyer. Anything shared will be documented and can negatively affect the case, regardless if another party was at fault. 


Recoverable Damages in an Uber Car Accident

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Uber accidents can result in severe injuries and damages, which can be compensated, but proof (police report, medical records, lost wages, etc.) of such losses must be provided when a personal injury claim is filed. 

Similar to other motor vehicle accidents, current medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages can be compensated. However, they will need to be accurately evaluated and documented. This is why it is so important to consult with an experienced Uber accident lawyer as soon as possible. 

Experienced personal injury attorneys who have covered Uber accident cases will be capable of guiding clients through the complex legal process, ensuring that all the qualifying damages are accounted for in the claim. They can also advise if it will be necessary to sue Uber or another party in order to recover maximum compensation.


How a Downey Uber Accident Lawyer Can Help

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Uber accident cases in California are more complex due to the unique nature of the ridesharing business model, liability issues, insurance coverage variations, passenger involvement, policy regulations, and the evaluation of injuries and damages. 

Seeking legal guidance from experienced Uber accident lawyers is crucial to navigating these complexities and protecting the rights of those involved. Promenade Accident Attorneys can help you seek the justice you deserve. We have a 99% success rate and specialize in motor vehicle accidents involving Uber or Lyft. 

If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, you may recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact our law firm in Downey, CA for a free consultation and speak with our personal injury attorneys today. 


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