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Any car accident’s financial, physical, and emotional consequences can be devastating, especially for anyone not at fault. When the at-fault party is an Uber or Lyft driver, seeking compensation for damages is often more complex. You still need to talk to an insurance company, but whose insurance you should contact depends on certain factors. Should the driver’s personal insurance cover your damages? Should the ridesharing company’s insurance pay? If you suffered an injury in a rideshare accident, you may benefit from reaching out to a rideshare accident attorney to ask specific questions about your accident and the laws that apply.

What Should You Do if You Are Involved in a Rideshare Accident?

Anytime you experience an auto accident, you can take a sequence of actions to protect your right to compensation and get the medical help you need. In the event of a rideshare accident, follow these simple steps:

  • Take deep breaths and stay calm. Car accidents are stressful and scary. If you panic and start moving around before checking your body for injuries, you could cause more physical damage. Instead, remain calm and assess your body for any sign of injury before moving.
  • Call for emergency assistance. If you or anyone else on the scene needs immediate medical attention, call 911 and wait for the ambulance to arrive.
  • Report the accident to the police. If you need to contact 911, the police will arrive with first responders. If you did not need emergency assistance, call the local non-emergency number to report the accident and have officers dispatched. If no one suffered an injury, the police may not come to the scene, but you should still report it online or in person.
  • Take photographs of the accident. Use your phone or a camera to capture everything you see at and around the crash scene. If you have visible injuries, document those as well. Take a video if you can, and include the surrounding area, including any stoplights or road signs.
  • Gather everyone’s information. Write down the name and contact information of everyone involved. If you see any eyewitnesses, talk to them about what they saw and ask for their names and phone numbers. The drivers should exchange insurance and driver’s license information as well.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible. No matter how well you feel, you could still suffer injuries. In addition, you may experience latent symptoms because of the adrenaline rush, which is why you need to have a complete medical examination right away.
  • Contact a ridesharing accident lawyer. You can call an attorney as soon as the accident happens or anytime after if you need advice about the next steps. 

If collecting photographs and information at the scene was not possible, you can still seek compensation. With the help of a rideshare accident attorney, you will have the help you need to build a case to support your claim.

What Do You Do if the Rideshare Driver Is at Fault?

Whether you are the passenger in a ridesharing vehicle or the driver of the other vehicle, you should not be held responsible for the damages from a car accident caused by another party. As a passenger, you bear no responsibility for the accident, and if you suffer injuries during the ride, you should receive compensation from the ridesharing company’s insurance.

Similarly, if you are the other driver in a car accident with a rideshare vehicle, you would contact the company about filing a claim. However, which insurance pays depends on whether the rideshare driver was on duty at the time of the collision. When the other driver is at fault, the rideshare driver and any injured passengers they have at the time will file claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In a no-fault state, everyone would file claims under their personal injury protection insurance unless the damages are significant enough to warrant a lawsuit.

Do Ridesharing Companies Offer Insurance Coverage?

Rideshare companies typically offer coverage to their drivers under certain circumstances. The amounts depend on the state and the company. Additionally, all rideshare companies stipulate exactly when their insurance coverage takes effect. For example, look at the coverage offered by Lyft and Uber, the two largest ridesharing companies in the U.S.

Lyft and Uber Insurance Policies

Lyft and Uber both provide liability coverage for drivers when the app is on. However, the driver’s personal insurance policy applies when the app is off. Additionally, having the app on is different from having a passenger. When the app is on and waiting for a ride request, Lyft and Uber provide the following protection:

  • $25,000 for damaged property per accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 for bodily injury in total per accident

When the driver picks up a passenger or is in the process of a ride, they have the following coverage:

  • Comprehensive and collision coverage with a $2,500 deductible
  • $1,000,000 in liability coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage for bodily injury

These are the basic levels of coverage offered by both companies. However, because states mandate driver insurance requirements, Lyft and Uber provide additional coverage in certain states.

What Are the Potential Damages From a Rideshare Accident?

To file a lawsuit and pursue compensation in a personal injury case, you must prove that you suffered damages due to someone else’s negligence. Compensatory damages refer to the losses you incurred from the accident and are further divided into economic and non-economic losses. Additionally, you may receive punitive damages under infrequent circumstances.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the specific losses with tangible evidence. For example, you may receive compensation for the following:

  • The total current and future medical bills, including your prescription medications, ambulance costs, and visits to in-patient and out-patient care
  • The total lost wages from time off due to your injury or recovery
  • Any lost potential earning caused by a loss of earning capacity if your injury permanently restricts your ability to work
  • Cost of any medical equipment or caregiver services
  • Childcare costs if you supply the primary childcare services
  • Cost to repair or replace any property damaged during the accident
  • Cost of necessary transportation 

With the help of a ridesharing accident lawyer, you can prove your claim by providing medical bills, receipts, repair estimates, and any other documentation proving these losses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are distinguishable from economic damages because they are more subjective. Examples include:

  • Mental and emotional pain and anguish
  • Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of your ability to enjoy hobbies or engage in events and other activities as you did before the accident
  • Disfigurement, including amputation
  • Permanent or temporary disability

Non-economic damages from a car accident or personal injury case often require a deeper understanding of the law and precedent. A rideshare accident attorney can help you value your case more accurately.

Punitive Damages

To receive punitive damages, you must prove that the other driver acted with complete disregard for your safety and the safety of other drivers. This may include driving recklessly, speeding excessively, or driving under the influence. The purpose of punitive damages is not to replace your financial losses but to punish the other driver for their behavior.

How Can a Rideshare Accident Attorney Assist You?

Serious auto accidents typically come with significant financial damages. Additionally, you often have to manage those financial repercussions while trying to get through the physical and emotional strain of recovering from your injuries. You can take on the case without legal representation, but the burden can be heavy. If you have not yet decided to hire a rideshare accident attorney, consider the following benefits they have to offer:

  • Experience with the legal system and accidents exactly like or very similar to yours
  • Developed negotiation skills to help you reach a settlement and avoid the lengthy and costly trial process
  • Ability to prepare your case for trial should the need arise
  • Knowledge of various experts in relevant fields that could assist in building your case

A ridesharing accident lawyer stands in for you throughout the entire process of your case. They offer a professional presence and work with compassion. As a result, you can rest easier and focus on healing while your attorney handles all the paperwork and keeps in contact with the insurance company. Arguably, the most significant benefit of hiring a personal injury attorney for a car accident is they typically work on contingency, meaning you pay nothing upfront for the services they provide. Instead, they only receive payment when your case concludes in a settlement outside of court or an award provided in court.

If you suffered an injury in a rideshare accident caused by someone else, consider talking to a rideshare accident attorney at Mike Morse Law Firm today. We are dedicated to helping accident victims reach fair compensation for the damages incurred and have the experience to back it up. With a ridesharing accident lawyer at our firm, you have a powerful, winning advocate on your side. Contact Mike Morse Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation.

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