Gone are the days of taxis being the only alternative to public transportation. Now, ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, are running the show and changing how we all get from one place to another. Ridesharing is a great alternative to parking in difficult places and a great option to take home if you’ve had too many drinks and no designated driver. Still, rideshare vehicles aren’t immune to accidents. What happens if you’re riding in an Uber or Lyft and it gets in a wreck? Things can get complicated, so our Dallas car wreck attorneys break it down for you.
What Should I Do After My Uber or Lyft Driver Gets in an Accident?
Like with other types of car wrecks, there are a few important things to do at the scene of a car wreck involving an Uber or Lyft.
- First, after making sure everyone is okay, call the police. This establishes a police report and can be important down the road if you have to make a claim for your injuries.
- Next, gather information and take pictures and videos of the scene. This includes your Uber driver’s driver’s license, license plate, car insurance, and contact information. Take pictures of any injuries you have, damage to your driver’s car and the other driver’s car, and pictures of their license plate, driver’s license, and car insurance. This also may be important if you need to file a claim.
- As soon as possible after the wreck, get medical attention. Even if you feel okay, injuries can show up later, and adrenaline from the wreck can mask pain. See a doctor to make sure you’re okay and don’t have any hidden injuries.
- Finally, file a report with the rideshare company. Below are links to some of the more popular rideshare companies used in the area:
Who Pays My Medical Bills?
The short answer is because rideshare drivers are independent contractors and not employees of the rideshare company, the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy will most likely pay your medical bills. If that is exhausted, or the driver is uninsured, your medical bills should be covered by the rideshare company’s insurance policy, depending on the situation.
If your driver caused the wreck, their car insurance should pay your medical bills. In Texas, Uber or Lyft drivers can add on a rideshare policy that protects them in the event of a wreck that happens when they’re driving for a rideshare company. Uber and Lyft also require that drivers carry a $50,000/$100,000 auto insurance policy. So you may be able to collect up to $50,000 from them for personal injuries, or $100,000 per wreck if there is more than one claimant. If this is exhausted, which it would be in a traumatic brain injury or wrongful death case, then you may have a claim on your underinsured motorists (UIM) policy.
Uber as a company also carries a $1,000,000 insurance policy for passengers only. However, this is only a secondary policy that is not tapped into until after using the primary policy held by the Uber driver for the vehicle in which you were traveling.
If your Uber driver is not at fault, the at-fault driver’s car insurance should cover your medical bills and costs related to the wreck. If that is exhausted, or the other driver is uninsured, the rideshare company’s policy should kick in.
Are Rideshare Services Liable For Their Drivers' Accidents and Riders' Injuries?
The short answer is, maybe. Because Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors and not employees of Uber and Lyft, rideshare companies generally won’t be held liable for the negligence of their drivers and any accidents they cause.
However, it’s always important to know all your options if you’re hit while riding in an Uber or Lyft, and there are potentially other avenues you can pursue to get compensation if you’ve been injured.
Is it Possible to Sue Uber, Lyft or Another Rideshare Company For Damages?
The short answer is, it may be possible, but it can also be very difficult. According to the terms of service you must agree to in order to ride in an Uber or Lyft, as a passenger, you waive the rights to a public trial, jury, and appeal. Per their terms of service, any legal action you take against Uber or Lyft can only be through binding arbitration.
Because of this, most passengers hurt in accidents involving a rideshare vehicle will sue the at-fault driver rather than the rideshare company. However, you can still bring up a claim against Uber or Lyft for damages caused to you while you were a passenger. Because rideshare companies will do everything in their power to deny these claims, it’s important to talk to a car wreck attorney who has experience with wrecks involving a rideshare vehicle.
Our Texas Car Wreck Attorneys Can Help if You’re Injured in a Ridesharing Wreck in Dallas
Our Texas auto-accident attorneys in Dallas represent folks injured in car wrecks involving rideshare vehicles. Whether you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle or in another vehicle that was hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, we are here for you. At The Button Law Firm, we will investigate to find out what could have prevented the wreck beyond the traffic safety rules. We want to know if the rideshare driver should have been hired in the first place. In the end, we want to make sure that our roadways are full of safe drivers. We believe that by holding negligent drivers responsible, and companies liable for who they hire, we are securing safety for the passengers in these rides, and also safety for those driving on the road.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options if you’re a passenger injured in a wreck involving an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle.