11 Things To Do After An Uber or Lyft Accident

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have made navigating the greater Las Vegas region easier than ever – instead of having to hail a taxi or rent a vehicle, all that’s necessary is a few taps in a rideshare app to be on your way.

While rideshare services are extraordinarily convenient, they come with drawbacks:

  • Rideshare company’s aggressive recruitment of part-time (“gig”) drivers, alongside limited regulation and a lack of specialized driver training, means that virtually anyone over a certain age with a relatively clean driving record and four-wheel vehicle can apply to become a rideshare driver.
  • A lack of in-person interviews and comprehensive background checks (a standard process for taxi and limo companies) can lead to questionable drivers working for rideshare companies.
  • More vehicles on the road (and more miles driven) increases the probability of an accident. According to Uber’s 2019-2020 safety report, an average of over 3,000,000 trips took place each day using the Uber platform – this equates to millions of additional miles driven by non-professional, potentially distracted, and inexperienced drivers.
  • A lack of specialized inspection and vehicle maintenance requirements can reduce rideshare vehicle safety.
  • Uber + Lyft’s insistence on drivers using their app for logistics and GPS navigation can result in distracted drivers, increasing the odds of an accident.
  • Gig-style, fare-based compensation means that drivers are hyper-focused on completing as many trips as possible, which can result in aggressive driving, disregard for rules of the road, speeding, and other unnecessary risk-taking.

The reality is that Uber and Lyft drivers are regularly involved in car accidents in and around Las Vegas. These accidents can – and do – result in serious injuries for passengers, bystanders, and other motorists, property damage, loss of income, and other damages. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation from the rideshare company (Uber/Lyft), the driver of the rideshare vehicle, and/or another at-fault driver.

Unfortunately, obtaining the compensation to which you (or your loved one) is entitled is rarely straightforward or simple in cases involving rideshares. Uber and Lyft are giant corporations with legions of expensive lawyers, insured by even more massive insurance companies. They attempt to use this size and scale as an intimidation tactic against those harmed by their drivers, hoping you’ll balk at the thought of getting into a protracted legal battle with these well-heeled corporate juggernauts.

The lawyers at Sam + Ash aren’t afraid of Uber and Lyft – in fact, we’ve repeatedly gone toe-to-toe with their lawyers and repeatedly come out on top. Our lawyers are intimately familiar with the nuances of rideshare law and accidents and can help you recover every penny you deserve for the injuries and losses you’ve suffered from a rideshare accident. We offer free consultations 24/7, we’re not paid until we win, and our fee is paid by the insurance company – not by you. If you have been involved in a rideshare accident, complete our 2-minute Case Review form, and we’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

Accidents Involving Rideshares Are Complex

There are no two ways about it: rideshare accident cases are complex. Unlike most car accidents, which involve (typically) two licensed drivers with relatively fixed levels of insurance coverage, rideshare accidents involve (at least) three parties with variable levels of insurance coverage.

The parties involved in a rideshare accident can potentially include any/all of the following:

  • The Uber/Lyft Driver
  • The Uber/Lyft Passenger(s)
  • Other non-rideshare motorist(s)
  • All passengers in the non-rideshare vehicle(s)
  • Pedestrians
  • The municipality (such as Las Vegas City or Clark County)
  • A car manufacturer

Each of those parties is likely to attempt to minimize their liability while seeking compensation for their damages – turning what might’ve been a simple case into a complicated, convoluted mess. The second driver of rideshare accident complexity is insurance coverage – not just which policies are involved, but the order in which they are applied and the limits of each policy.

Insurance Coverage For Rideshare Drivers

In Las Vegas (and all of Nevada), individual drivers (including Uber and Lyft drivers) are only required to carry a minimum level of insurance coverage: $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident; $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and $20,00 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Since most rideshare drivers do not carry insurance in excess of these limits, you may not be able to recover sufficient compensation for your injuries and losses if you rely exclusively on the at-fault driver’s policy.

Fortunately, Uber and Lyft (among other rideshare providers) maintain additional accident insurance. However, it is secondary to both your driver’s personal coverage along with the personal coverage of the other motorist(s) involved in the crash. The coverage from Uber and Lyft provides up to $1,000,000 in third-party bodily injury coverage for the Uber driver for your injuries, contingent on the following factors:

  • The rideshare driver is logged into the app
  • The rideshare driver is either en route to pick up a passenger for transport, in the process of transporting a passenger or dropping off a passenger at their destination
  • The driver’s own insurance policy is insufficient to cover the accident costs
  • The Uber/Lyft driver was at fault, involved in a hit-and-run accident, and/or the at-fault driver did not have insurance.

Determining insurance coverage is complex for Uber and Lyft accident cases. Which policies apply, and the order in which those policies apply, depends on the mechanics of the accident, which driver(s) are at fault, whether the rideshare driver was on the clock when the accident occurred, and the extent of the damages and injuries that resulted from the accident.

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft will not voluntarily accept liability after an accident involving or caused by one of their drivers, nor will they voluntarily offer to pay for all your injuries. Both Uber and Lyft have extensive track records of attempting to limit their liability for accidents involving their drivers and avoiding their responsibility to those injured by their drivers.

Uber and Lyft will often conceal their attempts to limit their liability under the guise of concern for you and ask seemingly innocent questions about the accident. Your statements to Uber/Lyft representatives during these calls can and will be used against you if you attempt to pursue compensation for your injuries. You are under no obligation to answer any questions or calls from a rideshare company following an accident, regardless of what they tell you.

If a representative from Uber or Lyft is aggressively trying to get information from you, consider hiring an attorney familiar with rideshare law. Your attorney can speak with the representatives from the rideshare company on your behalf, provide documentation and evidence to substantiate your claims, hold the rideshare company and other responsible parties accountable, and ultimately ensure that you receive all compensation to which you are entitled for your injuries and losses.

The personal injury attorneys at Sam + Ash Law have a demonstrated track record of successfully representing individuals impacted by a rideshare accident, understand the nuances and complexities inherent in rideshare cases, and are available 24/7 to review the details of your case at no cost to you.

What To Do After A Las Vegas Uber or Lyft Accident

If you are a passenger in a rideshare when an accident occurs, you must protect yourself and your right to full compensation for your injuries. A rideshare accident is fundamentally different from a standard car accident – and what you do in minutes, hours, and days after an accident can dramatically impact your ability to be fully compensated for your injuries and damages.

If you are riding in an Uber or Lyft that is involved in an accident, take the following steps:

  1. Do not flee the scene – it is a crime to flee the scene of a car accident in Nevada (NRS 484E.010). Even if your Uber/Lyft driver instructs you to get back in the car so s/he can leave, do not do so – remain in a safe location proximate to the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
  2. Check yourself for signs of injury – blood, bruises, cuts, scrapes, swelling, dizziness, and burns. Attempt to move your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs, and assess yourself for signs of a concussion (nausea/vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, general disorientation, sensitivity to light). Repeat this process for any passengers in the vehicle. Call 911 if there are injuries and request an ambulance for each injured person. If you’re in doubt, err on the side of caution – it is always better to have a trained medical professional assess your potential injuries.

    Under no circumstances should you say you are uninjured or underestimate/downplay your injuries. Instead, use phrases such as, “I feel okay” or “I’m able to do X.”

  3. Report the Accident to the Police – call 911 to report the accident. Nevada Law requires motorists involved in a crash that either (a) resulted in injury or death or (b) resulted in more than $750 in property damage to report it to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles within ten (10) days of the accident.
    Wait at a safe location close to the scene of the crash (i.e., move out of travel lanes or other places where your future safety may be compromised) for the police to arrive, then answer the investigating officer’s questions factually and honestly to the best of your knowledge, ability, and recollection. If you aren’t sure or don’t know the answer to a question, that’s OK, too – as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, you were not responsible for operating the vehicle.

    Remember to ask the investigating officer to provide you with a copy of the filed police report – as a passenger, you will not automatically receive a copy.

  4. Collect Information From All Drivers – Collect information from your Uber or Lyft driver and the other driver(s) involved in the crash. At a minimum, you should attempt to collect the following:
    • Screenshots of your Uber/Lyft App with your driver’s name + vehicle
    • Full Name (Take a Photo of ID)
    • Mailing Address (Included on Photo of ID)
    • Vehicle License Plate (Take a photo)
    • Email Address (ask)
    • Phone Number (ask)
    • Insurance Information (Take a Photo of the Insurance Card)

      If you have nothing to write down this information, use your cell phone to take pictures of each item on the above list. Not only are photos generally easier to read and less prone to error, but most phones automatically backup photos to cloud storage, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of handwritten notes.

  5. Document The Scene with Photos & Videos – Take photographs and videos of the scene of the accident. Pay particular attention to damages on the involved vehicles, any road conditions, intersections, etc. Videos are often helpful in documenting the scene, as they often pick up smaller details and better contextualize other images. Look around for other cameras (such as traffic or security cameras) and document their location – this footage can be used later to better understand what happened and who is responsible. Always err on the side of over-documentation; any unnecessary or duplicated photos can be ignored, but you can’t go back in time to re-take photos later.Remember: In situations where a third-party camera may have captured all or part of the incident, contacting a personal injury attorney immediately is even more critical. An attorney can act to preserve the evidence captured on those cameras right away, preventing it from being deleted, taped over, or destroyed and strengthening your case for compensation.
  6. Alert The Rideshare Company About The Accident – All rideshare companies have a mechanism in their app to alert them to an accident. Uber provides this via the emergency button in the app (click the blue safety shield on the left-hand side of your app, then “emergency assistance”), the “Help” section of the app, or this form on their website.

    Lyft offers the same core functionality, including in-trip safety alerts (“alert 911 silently”) via this reporting tool and this online accident reporting interface.

  7. Collect Witness Information – If there were witnesses to the incident (other motorists, pedestrians, etc.), get their contact information – at least a name, address, and phone number.
  8. Maintain A Pain Journal – Maintain a journal of your pain and overall health in the days following the rideshare accident. There are many types of common car crash injuries that are not immediately obvious in the moments following an accident, or the symptoms of which can be masked by a flood of endorphins. These include, but are not limited to:
    • Internal bleeding
    • Whiplash
    • Soft tissue injuries
    • Bone fractures
    • Neck & back injuries
    • Traumatic Brain Injury

    If you begin to experience significantly more pain, have trouble moving your neck, shoulders, legs, or back, or notice bruising, swelling, or other signs of injury in the days following a rideshare accident, immediately contact a medical professional to assess your injuries. Do not attempt to “tough it out” or ascribe it to “soreness” – not only does this increase your risk of aggravating your injury, but it can also dramatically reduce your ability to be compensated for those injuries.

    Document each visit in your pain journal, along with any receipts, treatments, prescriptions, or other therapies recommended by your health care professional.

  9. Keep All Records Organized, Safe & Secure – Maintain all records from the car accident in a safe, secure place. Make copies of all papers you receive, and, if storing digital files, create a secure, separate backup on a USB drive, cloud storage drive, or external hard drive. This ensures that all evidence you’ve collected is preserved.Records to maintain include, but are not limited to:
    • Screenshots from your Uber/Lyft app showing the driver’s name
    • All photos & videos from the accident
    • The name + contact information of other motorist(s) involved
    • Insurance information for the other motorist(s) involved
    • All names + contact information of witnesses
    • A copy of the police report + Nevada SR-1 (DMV) filing
    • All medical records related to the accident
    • Detailed notes on each prescription
    • A log of any ongoing medical care – physical therapy, chiropractor, etc.
    • A daily pain journal
    • Car repair bills and invoices
    • Bills or receipts for any other expense incurred related to the accident
  10. Stay Off Social Media – Do not post any comments, photos, videos, or other information about your accident on social media – even seemingly innocent comments/posts/photos/videos can be misinterpreted by insurance companies and attorneys as admissions of fault.

    Additionally, any posts of you looking healthy + happy can be used by insurance adjusters and/or other attorneys as evidence that you were not injured (or your injuries were not serious). Even private activity (such as text messages or DMs) can be used against you. Do not post if you have any doubts about whether a particular post or message is appropriate.

  11. Contact An Attorney Familiar With Rideshare Law – After a rideshare accident, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are likely to reach out to you to assess the situation. Representatives from these companies are likely to ask questions in ways that minimize their liability and undermine any future claim you have for legitimate and fair compensation. You are NOT required to answer their questions. If you’re ever unsure of what to do next, you have the option to contact an attorney familiar with the nuances and complexities inherent in rideshare accidents.

    If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, the thought of litigation against some of the largest companies in the world may feel overwhelming. That’s where Sam + Ash come in: we do this every day. We know the law inside and out, understand the tactics rideshare and insurance companies will use to avoid liability, and are relentlessly advocating for our clients. Let us handle the rideshare and insurance companies so you can focus on recovering from your injuries without worrying about money.

What To Look For In A Rideshare Injury Lawyer

The most critical decision to make after a rideshare injury is what attorney to trust to represent you or your loved one. The right attorney can be a game-changer in getting you every cent you deserve for your injuries and losses. If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, look for an attorney with the following:

  1. Knowledge & Experience: With a former insurance defense lawyer on our team, we know how insurance companies approach claims, the tactics they use to deny injured people fair compensation, and what is necessary to obtain a fair resolution.
  2. Demonstrated Track Record: every personal injury lawyer will say they can handle rideshare accidents; the reality is that relatively few have successfully navigated these complex cases. Don’t choose an attorney who will need to learn the law on your dime or who is unfamiliar with the tricks and tactics used by Uber, Lyft & their insurance companies.
  3. Proven Results: it isn’t enough just to have worked on rideshare accident cases – you want (and need) an attorney who has successfully resolved those cases. Our attorneys have recovered well over $400M in settlements and verdicts for injured people like you.
  4. Aggressive Advocacy: some personal injury firms want you to settle right away, often for pennies on the dollar you deserve – this lets them collect their fee right away without having to do the hard work of advocating on your behalf. At Sam + Ash, we believe in doing what’s right – and what’s right is fighting for every dollar our clients deserve and not settling for anything less.
  5. Cutting-Edge Solutions: While many personal injury lawyers prefer to do things the old way, the lawyers at Sam + Ash embrace technology, as we believe it makes us better and more efficient advocates for our clients. One of our law partners went so far as to co-found CASEpeer, a leading case management platform used by firms nationwide. Using cutting-edge technology allows us to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time helping our clients get every dollar they deserve.

We want to hear if you (or a loved one) have been injured in a rideshare accident. Contact Sam + Ash injury law today to speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable Uber or Lyft accident attorney at no cost to you.

Author: Ash Watkins

Ash started her legal career defending insurance companies against injury victims. She saw how insurance companies treated people who had legitimate injury claims. But she also saw how notoriously sleazy the personal injury lawyers were. Neither side was focused on the injured person, so she decided to do something about it.