In the modern age, getting around has never been easier, especially with the convenience of ride-share services like Lyft and Uber. However, with the introduction of these new companies, the question of liability in a car accident becomes more confusing. With 13 car accidents occurring every minute on average, there’s no time to waste learning how to stay safe and protected.
Considering rideshare drivers represent the companies they drive for, it’s natural for a person to think the company is liable. Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. After a car accident involving an Uber driver, or driver for a different rideshare service, there are a number of steps all parties need to take in order to ensure liability is properly assigned.
How to Stay Safe After an Accident
Whenever a car accident occurs, whether it’s a serious crash or fender-bender, there may be damage that needs to be addressed. Personal injuries or vehicle damage can be expensive to fix, which is why any driver involved in an accident should follow the below steps to document the accident properly so as to determine liability:
1. Inspect yourself and others for injury
First and foremost, ensure you are uninjured after colliding with an Uber driver. In the last two years, over 80,000 people were killed in accidents, going to show the importance of checking for injury in a wreck. If you are in the vehicle with an Uber driver during an accident, check yourself before checking to see if your driver is alright. Be aware that not all injuries may be physically visible. Visit a doctor as soon as possible after an accident.
By determining if there have been any injuries during the accident, both parties can note their injuries for liability purposes.
2. Get vehicles out of the road if possible
The last thing anybody needs after a car accident occurs is to get into another accident. If vehicles remain in the road, it can become a hazard for other drivers who may not see the wreck in time. This can lead them to slam into one of the vehicles involved in the accident, only complicating matters further. If possible, get all vehicles off the road as soon as possible.
3. Take pictures of the scene and any damage
One of the most important steps to follow after a car accident, whether a ride-share worker is involved or not, is to take photos of any bodily injury or vehicle damage. Don’t wait until you get home to take photos, as the other party may argue that the damage was inflicted after the accident occurred.
4. Gather information from the other driver
Once you are sure nobody is injured and all photos have been taken, exchange information with the driver. Gather their name, driver’s license, phone number, email, insurance documents, and other necessary items. If there were passengers in the ride-share driver’s vehicle, consider getting their information as well since they were witnesses to the accident.
5. Report the accident to Uber
Using the name of the driver, if you were the passenger, contact Uber or another ride-share company to inform them that one of their driver’s has been involved in an accident. Ride-share companies have certain insurance policies in place that are specifically designed for accidents their driver’s get into.
Can You Sue Uber After an Accident?
The question that may be on most people’s mind after an accident with an Uber driver is whether or not they can sue the company. In most cases, the answer will be no. Uber drivers, and most other ride-share drivers, are independent contractors hired by the company, meaning they aren’t actually employees.
This makes filing a personal liability claim against Uber challenging. However, for passengers of an Uber driver, it’s worth noting that Uber has insurance in place. Kicking in from the minute an Uber driver picks you up until they drop you off, the company covers bodily injury damage in the amount of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident.
If the accident resulted from your driver’s actions, you can still sue the driver personally or their insurance company for negligence.
Keep yourself protected on the road
Getting into a car accident is a frightening experience that can lead to injury but understanding your legal options can help you receive compensation for damages. If you’ve been an accident with a rideshare driver and are unsure who is liable or believe you are owed compensation, speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.