In Orange County you can order rideshare services from Uber, Lyft, Blacklane, and Carmel. While most rideshare drivers are conscientious and try to drive safely, rideshare accidents happen.
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies maintain insurance coverage in case of rideshare accidents and require their drivers to maintain auto insurance coverage as well. Which insurance coverage applies to your accident claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your car collision.
The rideshare accident lawyers of Sam & Ash Injury Law can help you evaluate your options for seeking compensation for your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and other expenses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident in Newport Beach. We believe in fighting for What’s Right and will aggressively advocate for you.
Contact us as soon as you can after a rideshare accident for reliable legal guidance.
Types of Rideshare Car Accidents
The use of independent drivers by rideshare companies raises questions about liability when rideshare drivers cause car accidents that injure others. Uber and Lyft require drivers to sign statements to acknowledge that they are independent contractors. They do this to limit their liability.
Uber and Lyft and similar companies have commercial liability insurance coverage that is available to injured passengers and others hurt in accidents caused by rideshare drivers in certain circumstances.
For example, Uber maintains bodily injury and property liability insurance for rideshare drivers who are waiting for a ride request, if the driver’s personal insurance doesn’t apply.
Uber also maintains a $1 million third party liability policy and other coverages for drivers who are transporting a passenger or on the way to pick up a passenger.
Personal injury claims involving rideshare vehicles are typically based on one of four accident scenarios:
- A passenger in a ridesharing vehicle was injured in a crash.
- The driver of another vehicle (or a pedestrian or cyclist) was injured in a collision with a vehicle providing ridesharing services.
- Passengers in a second vehicle were injured in a crash with a rideshare vehicle on its way to pick up a fare.
- A rideshare driver was injured while picking up, driving, or dropping off passengers.
There are countless ways a driver can get into an accident. Some of the more worrisome rideshare accidents have involved a distracted rideshare driver who crashed while consulting their rideshare app.
A rideshare driver would rely on their personal auto insurance if he or she was involved in a collision while the rideshare app is turned off and the driver is using their vehicle for personal transportation.
Steps You Should Take After a Rideshare Accident in Newport Beach
After any car accident, you should take steps to protect yourself medically and legally by documenting the accident and your injuries. The steps you should take after a rideshare accident are not much different from any other motor vehicle accident, but you need to be sure you notify the rideshare company of the accident.
You should be able to report your experience to the company from within the rideshare app or the company’s website.
- In the Uber app, look for “Trip Issues” and “Adjustments,” then select “I was in a crash.”
- In the Lyft app, go to the Safety Center and contact the Claims Customer Care team.
For smaller services, such as Blacklane, look on their app or website for a Help or “Customer Care” tab, a contact email, or a chat function. If you speak or chat in text with someone initially, follow up with a more detailed email.
Whenever possible, put information about a car accident and the injuries you have suffered in writing.
Immediately after a rideshare crash, you should:
- Phone 911. If anyone is hurt, request an ambulance in addition to the police.
- Let emergency responders help you. If you have been injured, let EMTs assist you, and get into the ambulance if they advise you that you need emergency medical treatment. If others are injured, direct emergency responders to them when the responders arrive.
- Document the rideshare. Take a screenshot of your receipt and record the time of the accident.
- Document the accident. Take photographs or videos of cars, injuries, and property damage to depict the accident scene. Within 24 hours, write down or record the sequence of events in the accident.
- Look for witnesses. Get contact names and numbers from anyone who saw the accident, including passengers in either vehicle.
- Document your injuries. If you did not go to the hospital in an ambulance, see a doctor within 24 hours. You could have a serious injury such as a head injury that does not present serious symptoms initially. A trained medical professional may diagnose it. In addition, the doctor’s report documents your injuries from the start for an insurance claim.
- Cooperate with the police. Tell the police what happened, but don’t cast blame. If you were driving a car in the accident, do not accept blame or blame yourself. Police will likely collect each driver’s full name, address, contact number, and insurance information. Ask the police for a copy of this information, especially the rideshare driver’s contact and insurance information.
- Contact your insurer. Report the accident to your insurance company within 24 hours. Your insurer will contact the driver’s insurance company and get the claims process started.
Contact a Rideshare Car Accident Lawyer
How rideshare companies handle auto insurance and accident claims is complex. It may be hard to determine how they’ll decide whether they or their driver is responsible for a crash that injured you.
A rideshare accident claim may involve negotiating with multiple insurance companies that are trying to point fingers at each other. You will benefit from having an experienced injury attorney dealing with the insurers on your behalf.
A Newport Beach car accident attorney at Sam & Ash Injury Law can investigate the circumstances of the rideshare accident that injured you and hold the responsible drivers and their insurers financially accountable. We’ll get What’s Right for you. Contact us today.