Were you in an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. Combined, Uber and Lyft have 1-2 million drivers throughout the United States, and this new mode of transportation has not grown without a fair share of accidents.
The claims process, unfortunately, is not as simple as it would be without a ridesharing company in the mix. Let’s take a closer look at this situation.
Pursuing Compensation After a Ridesharing Accident
In the best-case scenario, you will receive adequate compensation through an insurance company. This is typically the simplest, most cost-effective way to obtain the payout you need and deserve.
You may receive a payout from either:
- Uber or Lyft’s insurer. This is the case if the driver’s ridesharing app was on at the time of the accident. In other words, the ridesharing company’s insurer would cover damages if the driver was on their way to pick up a rider, taking the rider to their destination, or simply waiting to be sent to pick up a rider. The coverage amounts differ in each of these situations, but they are the same for every ridesharing company.
- The Uber or Lyft driver’s insurer. This is the case if the driver’s ridesharing app was off at the time of the accident. The idea behind this rule is that the driver was not, at the time of the accident, driving for the company, so the company’s insurer is not liable. In NYC, Uber and Lyft drivers are legally required to carry at least $100,000 in personal injury liability insurance.
Your attorney’s job in this situation would be to find out whether the driver was active (i.e. their ridesharing app was on) and whether you were listed as their rider. These companies will very likely fight against a claim and may even attempt to cover up the accident, which is why we urge you not to go up against them alone. They may even offer a settlement straight off the bat, but this will likely be much lower than what you could potentially receive.
If you do notreceive adequate compensation through either the driver’s personal insurer or the ridesharing company’s insurer, you may need to file a lawsuit. Most of the time, a skilled lawyer will be able to resolve this through negotiation outside of the courtroom, but litigation is occasionally necessary if the appropriate insurer is refusing to provide sufficient payout.
Steps to Take After a Ridesharing Accident
The decisions you make after an accident are always critical—but especially when the accident involves an Uber or Lyft driver. Insurance policies and compensation regulations are much more complicated, and these large corporations will work hard to avoid paying you what you deserve.
If you’ve been in a ridesharing accident, we recommend taking all the following steps:
- Report the accident to both the police and the ridesharing company. Be sure to confirm that the ridesharing company received your report.
- See a doctor. Some serious injuries appear mild at first, but immediate medical attention may mean the difference between a full and partial recovery. Additionally, the court may conclude that you failed to uphold your duty to mitigate damages if you chose not to see a doctor.
- Take notes, photos, and video recordings. Memory can be unreliable, especially after a traumatic event or even after just a few days have passed.
- Get in touch with an experienced attorney. Do this before speaking with any insurance representatives. They may use what you say to deny your claim, which is why your attorney will help you make exactly the right statements.
The most important thing you can do is remember that only you and your attorney want what’s best for you. The ridesharing company will do everything it can to avoid accepting liability and losing more money. The sooner you get in touch with a legal professional, the better chance you will have of securing the compensation you deserve.
Fierce and Skillful Advocacy
At the Law Office of Seni Popat, our attorney has years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their injuries. Many of his clients are experiencing some of the most stressful challenges of their lives, and Attorney Popat is deeply grateful for the opportunity to help them overcome those challenges. With well-honed skill and tenacious litigation tactics, he is fully prepared to help you obtain compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you have sustained.