Here is some advice from a personal injury lawyer on car wrecks involving Uber or Lyft drivers. If you are a passenger in a Lyft or Uber ride-sharing vehicle, and you are involved in a car crash, be sure that your name is included on the police report, especially if you were not the person who called for the ride.
Generally, when a Lyft or Uber driver causes a car crash while they are carrying a fare, they’re considered to be on the clock and therefore deemed an employee of the ride-sharing service. The ride-sharing service’s insurance is then responsible for all injuries and damages caused by the driver’s negligence. Questions may arise when an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident while going to pick-up a new fare. We will look at applicable state law and the service agreement to see if the driver is technically employed at this point.
If another driver is negligent and causes a collision with a vehicle operated by an Uber or Lyft driver while you are a passenger in the Uber or Lyft vehicle, the other driver’s insurance will provide coverage for all injuries and damages caused by the negligent driver. Often, a negligent driver does not have sufficient insurance limits to cover all of the losses caused by the accident. In this case, the law of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage applies. Again, depending on state law and the services agreement, you may be able to recover underinsured or uninsured motorist benefits under the Uber or Lyft insurance policy or under your own insurance policy.
Car accident attorneys handling Lyft and Uber cases know they are also unique in that those companies employ satellite technology to monitor the movements of their drivers. This information can be useful in some cases in establishing how a collision occurred. Some autos are also fitted with “black boxes,” which can contain data that helps to prove who is at fault in a particular car crash. Generally, findings of the investigating police officer control the issue of who is liability. In any event, when you are the passenger, it really doesn’t matter. One of the drivers involved in the collision will be held civilly liable.
A car accident lawyer in Cleveland, OH will also tell you that anytime you sustain a serious injury as a result of a car accident, you should advise the people at the scene, report the injury to the investigating police officer and seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is important to document your injury. The insurance companies will exploit any lapse in documentation to argue that you were not severely injured at the time of the collision.
Thanks to Mishkind & Kulwicki for their insight into personal injury claims and Uber and Lyft accidents.