Izzy Yetnikoff, an injury attorney at Yetnikoff Law Offices has extensive knowledge on Uber and Lyft accidents. The rise of rideshare companies in recent years has given us a new outlook on modern transportation. Companies like Uber and Lyft are convenient services for passengers and a great way for drivers to make some quick cash. But before you sign up, it’s important to do your research and find out what happens if something goes wrong on a trip.
Why Isn’t Uber Responsible for Accidents?
Many people are surprised to learn that Uber and Lyft drivers are not employed by their companies. These companies classify their drivers as independent contractors. While this provides drivers with the flexibility to make their own schedule, it takes a lot of heat off of the companies in terms of liability. While Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that cover personal injury and property damage, several factors come into play when figuring out who’s going to pay for injury damages in an accident.
Who Pays for Damages in an Uber Accident?
When a driver heads off to work, they click “go online” on their driver app, and wait for ride requests. When they are en route to pick up a passenger or have a passenger in the car, the app enters trip/ride mode. When the driver is done working, they click “go offline”. These statuses may sometimes determine who will be responsible to pay for an accident. Here are the guidelines when a rideshare driver is at-fault:
- Driver’s app is online: If the app is on, but there is no passenger in the car, damages can be paid by either the driver’s personal insurance or the rideshare company’s insurance.
- Driver’s app is in trip mode: If the driver is picking up a passenger, or has a passenger in the car, the rideshare company’s insurance is likely responsible for damages.
- Driver’s app is offline: When the driver’s app is off, the driver’s personal auto insurance may be responsible for damages.
These differences show why it’s important for drivers to verify that their personal car insurance is up to date with proper coverages. It also explains why it’s important for the apps to be used properly. For example, if a driver agrees to give a passenger a ride “off the books”, and the driver is negligent, you might have a tough time seeking damages from either party’s insurance.
What Should I Do If I’m Injured in an Uber?
If you’re injured in an Uber accident, you should follow the same process as you would in a regular car accident:
- Call the police. Be sure to ask for a copy of the police report.
- Obtain contact information for the driver and any witnesses, if possible.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Inform the rideshare company of the accident
- Take lots of vehicle and injury photos.
- Call an attorney
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, dealing with multiple insurance companies and parties can get complicated. An experienced personal injury attorney like Izzy Yetnikoff of Yetnikoff LW Offices, PLLC will guide you through the process, and ensure that you recover any damages that you deserve. Call Izzy Yetnikoff at Yetnikoff Law Offices at 800-279-6331 for an attorney with extensive knowledge on Uber and Lyft accidents.