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After an Uber / Lyft Accident

What to Do After an Uber / Lyft Accident

Injured in An Uber or Lyft? Call (202) 644-8303

As with any car accident, being involved in a wreck involving Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare service can make for chaotic and stressful circumstances. Because accidents involving these types of services can also create unique challenges when it comes time for victims to pursue personal injury lawsuits and recover their damages, taking the right steps from the very beginning becomes even more important to protecting your legal rights at a later time.

Below, our personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. outline some important tips when responding to an auto accident, as well as some particular steps any victim should be focused on taking after an Uber or Lyft Accident.

The Basics: What You Should be Doing After an Accident

As we have discussed on many of our blogs, and in our own accident e-books, taking the right steps after an auto collision is important to your health and the safety of others around you – and to ensuring you have what’s needed to bolster any personal injury claim you may choose to file at a later date. Some of these basic steps include:

  1. Seek medical treatment – This includes immediate medical care (even if you think you can “tough it out”), evaluations when new symptoms arise, and follow-up treatment as recommended by your doctor.
  2. Report your accident – Reporting your accident can ensure the right first responders and emergency personnel are notified, and can help ensure a law enforcement officer arrives on scene to help you sort through the chaos and gather information for their accident report, which could prove useful in your case. If an officer does come to the scene, make sure you get their information, badge number, and contact information as well.
  3. Gather your own information – In addition to having a police officer compile an accident report, you can protect yourself by gathering as much information as possible, if you’re able to do so. That includes contact and driver’s license information from all those involved (including witnesses), photos of the accident scene, vehicles involved, and any visible injuries from multiple angles, and even detailed notes you record while the details of the crash are still fresh in your mind. This can ensure you capture the scene of the crash and the circumstances surroundings before anything is cleaned up, altered, or simply forgotten with time.
  4. Stay organized – Do your best to stay organized when it comes to information about your accident, both for any insurance issues you may face and for any personal injury claim you may decide to file. Obtain a copy of your accident report, safely store any information you’ve gathered or notes you’ve taken, and add any new developments (such as doctor’s appointments, tests, requests from insurers, etc.) to your files. Staying organized can allow you to better equip your attorney with the information they need to help you.
  5. Watch what you say to insurance companies – You should do your due diligence in checking your auto insurance policy for any specific requirements regarding accident notifications, and promptly notify your insurance company. Though you want to report the matter, you also want to be careful of talking to insurance carriers, especially when they’re representing the other motorist and want nothing more than to pay you less. You don’t have to provide a statement or sign a release if you’re not comfortable, or if you don’t yet have a lawyer. An experienced attorney can handle communication with insurance companies on your behalf.

Uber & Lyft Accidents: Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights

In addition to these general steps, you’ll also want to keep in mind that Uber and Lyft accidents are relatively new when it comes to the auto accident and personal injury cases. As such, they can create new and challenging legal issues, especially as they relate to insurance coverage and liability arrangements that vary depending on what the rideshare driver was doing at the time of the accident, and who you were in relation to them (i.e. a passenger, another motorist, or a pedestrian).

Knowing that Uber and Lyft accidents can make for more complexities during the personal injury claim process than other auto accidents involving two drivers, our firm also wanted to detail some important steps you can take to protect your rights with these unique issues in mind.

  1. Contact information – As mentioned, it’s important to get the contact information (and insurance / driver’s license information) of all parties involved in your accident. If the wreck involved an Uber or Lyft carrying passengers, you should also get the contact information of those passengers, as they may be parties or witnesses in your future claim.
  2. Make a copy of your ride receipt – If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft at the time of a collision, make sure you print a hard copy of your trip receipt and the information about your driver as listed on the rideshare app. These will be vital for your records, and potentially any claim you choose to pursue.
  3. Don’t speak with Lyft or Uber – Uber and Lyft have become wise to the high payouts and reputational harm that can accompany accidents involving their rideshare drivers, and they may attempt to contact you to resolve claims or obtain your statement. Just as with insurance companies, you do not have to provide a statement, or make any claim through the Uber or Lyft app or your rideshare account if customer support or any rideshare representative contacts you. As with insurance companies, an experienced attorney can handle communication with Uber/Lyft on your behalf.

There are also a few things to keep in mind depending on who you were in the accident, especially in regard to how you may go about seeking a recovery of your damages. For example:

  • If you were a passenger – If you were a passenger in a Lyft or an Uber and were injured during the course of your ride, you are likely to be covered by the rideshare’s commercial insurance policy, no matter who was at fault for the wreck. However, because circumstances can vary and rideshare companies or other defendants may challenge your claim, you should still do all you possibly can to gather information, preserve records and receipts, and enlist the support of experienced attorneys.
  • If you were another motorist – Your options for recovering compensation after being involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft depend on many varying factors, including whether the rideshare driver was “off the clock,” on their way to pick up a fare, or actively transporting a customer in their vehicle at the time of the crash. Depending on these factors, you may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance policy, or through various policies held by these rideshare companies. In some cases, such as when a motorist had no insurance, you may also have options for recovering your damages from your own auto insurance, if you have coverage for uninsured / underinsured (UM / UIM) protection or Personal Injury Protection (PIP / Medical Payment Insurance) coverage. Our attorneys can help you better understand your rights as a motorist and your available options after reviewing your case.
  • If you were a pedestrian or a bicyclist – If you were neither a rideshare passenger or the driver / occupant of another vehicle involved in a collision with a rideshare vehicle, your options for compensation will depend on the factors discussed above. However, because pedestrians, bicyclists, and even motorcycle riders are more likely to suffer serious injuries in crashes involving passenger vehicles, the greater need for full and fair compensation means you should be focused on working with legal representation that has experience handling the types of injuries you suffered, and the unique challenges posed by Uber / Lyft.
  • If you were a rideshare driver – If you were working as a driver for Lyft or Uber when your crash occurred, you’re entitled to not only no-fault PIP / Med Pay benefits, if you have such coverage, but also potentially to compensation through your own insurance (i.e UM / UIM coverage), the other party’s insurance, or Uber and Lyft’s auto insurance policies (including their uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage). A personalized review can help you better understand your options.

Questions About Your Case? CSCS is Here to Help.

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has recovered more than $500 million in compensation for clients injured in all types of motor vehicle accidents throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. If you have questions about your rights or how we can help you take the next steps toward pursuing a personal injury claim and a financial recovery of your damages, we encourage you to speak with a caring and experienced personal injury attorney from our firm.

CSCS offers free and confidential case evaluations, and is readily available to help. Call (202) 644-8303 or contact us online today.