Uber & Lyft Auto Accidents
Who pays if I am involved in an Uber or Lyft collision?
Are Uber and Lyft accidents different than a typical auto accident as far as legal proceedings go? The short answer is yes and no with a few minor details. Getting into an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you are already assuming a minor risk due to the fact that another individual is responsible for getting you from point A to point B. For most, this is not something to stress too much about, but for some, it can be frightening. So what happens in the event that your driver is involved in an accident?
Uber and Lyft vehicles typically have one million dollars in liability coverage as well as underinsured motorists coverage. Long story short, you are likely covered. Most taxi cab companies have very little to no insurance coverage, so keep in mind that these new ride-sharing companies have your safety in their best interest. The accident scene, however, is very similar to a typical car accident. You will want to ensure everyone is okay and does not need immediate emergency medical assistance. Once that is assessed, you will examine and document damage to vehicles involved. Next, make sure to get everyone’s insurance information and take pictures of the accident for documentation purposes.
Other Parties Fault:
To elaborate more on the insurance coverage that Uber & Lyft have, most of the time underinsured motorists coverage will come into play. The other party may not have enough coverage to pay out the claim, so this will ensure that your medical bills, legal bills, and any other expenses are compensated for. Similar to any accident scenario, you will want to document the accident scene for legal purposes.
So what happens if there is no other vehicle involved? What if the driver is looking at GPS and crashes into a light pole? The good news is Uber & Lyft carry enough insurance that you won’t have to worry about recovering damages. They also care about their reputation and state of business, so it is likely they push to settle out of court in the event that an individual is injured or killed.
Most recently, a woman was crossing the sidewalk when an autonomous Uber vehicle struck her and killing her instantly. In this case, Uber was very quick to settle and pay the family damages. Autonomous vehicles are in the very near future and Uber is one of the first services to utilize them in the form of ride sharing.
Some generalities to auto accidents and Uber/Lyft:
- Never sign a legal document before having a lawyer look at it
- Never sign any sort of release form before approaching legal counsel
- Don’t attempt to settle on your own if you have severe injuries that need medical attention
- These apps have a tool for tracking your ride. You can send friends or family your ride so that they can see when you have arrived safely (very important for solo passengers)
- As always, utilize Brown & Crouppen’s FREE consultation service for these matters
Check out our roundtable discussion on this topic!