If you have looked for a taxi service anytime in the past few years, chances are you have heard of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Companies such as these have continued to gain massive popularity as services which connect drivers with people who are looking for rides. While that may sound exactly like a taxi service, there is a critical difference that can greatly complicate legal matters such as what happens in the event of an auto accident. Unlike with traditional taxi services, drivers are not directly employed by Uber or Lyft. This means that in the event that an accident occurs, filing a personal injury claim can become tremendously complicated.
What Happens after an Accident Involving an Uber Driver?
How you seek compensation after a car accident and the insurance company who may cover a claim can be largely dependent on if a driver had a passenger in the vehicle at the time of a collision. While Uber does provide their drivers (and passengers) with an auto insurance policy, it may only take effect during the time when a passenger is being physically transported. This means that if a driver is “on duty” but only on route to pick up a fair, Uber’s insurance may only cover damages in specific situations.
It is here where things begin to get complicated as the driver’s personal insurance may not cover damages in this situation either. Many personal auto insurance policies specifically exclude damages from accidents which occur while a person is working for a professional service. If the at-fault driver does not have the resources to pay for damages out of pocket, it can be difficult for the injured parties to secure compensation. Furthermore, if it is determined that a driver is at fault for an accident, such as if they are driving drunk, Uber may again neglect to cover damages.
If you are involved in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, it is vital to take these accidents just as seriously, if not more so, that any other type of car crash. Do not make the mistake of assuming that because a person is currently working in association with a professional service that they will have additional coverage.
After a car accident, all involved parties should take the following steps:
- If possible, pull over to the side of the road and check for injuries. Call medical services for those who have been hurt.
- Contact the police and file an accident report. This step should be taken even in minor accidents
- Exchange contact information with the other driver. Be sure to take down information on a driver’s personal insurance as well as any coverage they may have through their ridesharing company.
- Collect evidence from the scene of the accident. Take pictures and video if you are able to do so. Additionally, be sure to collect witness testimony and contact information.
- Inform you insurance company that you have been involved in an accident.
- Contact an attorney knowledgeable in dealing with car accident and commercial vehicle claims.
Compensation for Victims of Uber Accidents
Car accidents involving Uber drivers can introduce additional complications to an already difficult process. If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you need an attorney who understands the unique circumstances and legal issues which lie ahead. At the Ilkhanoff & Silverstein, our attorneys have a trial tested record of success in car accident cases and can help you to deal with law enforcement, insurance companies, and the other drivers. Contact our York personal injury attorneys and get more than 30 years of combined experience in your corner.
Call (717) 744-0531 and schedule a case evaluation to learn about your legal options.