So much is out of your control when you’re a passenger in a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. And yet, you can still get seriously injured in a rideshare accident.
Recent studies have found that while rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have decreased DUI incidents by 20%, they’ve also increased car accident fatalities on roads across the United States by 3% since they hit the market. Why? Because rideshare services ultimately result in greater traffic congestion – which leads to a higher likelihood of accidents.
- 21% of all rideshare accident fatalities were passengers
- In the span of one year, Uber recorded 107 fatalities in 97 crashes
- 58% of fatalities in rideshare crashes were other motorists or pedestrians
What rights do you have as a passenger if your rideshare driver gets into an accident? Can you get financial compensation to cover your medical expenses and losses from an injury?
In car accident cases, whoever was responsible for causing the accident can be held legally responsible or liable for the consequences by filing a personal injury lawsuit. As a passenger in the vehicle, you generally have the least control over the situation – which means that in most cases the accident will be someone else’s fault, not yours.
That means you can file a claim against the rideshare driver’s insurance or even the rideshare company’s insurance. However, you should always remember that neither the rideshare company nor any insurance company is on your side – not even your own. From their point of view, they would prefer to pay you the least amount of compensation possible.
If you experience a car accident as a rideshare passenger, you should immediately get checked out for injuries even if you feel “fine” after the crash. This is because many injuries like concussions can go undetected and even worsen over time. You can also call 911 and file a police report at the scene so that you get a record of what happened.
You should also talk to a personal injury attorney about your case. No one else will be in your corner like your lawyer. Uber and Lyft and their insurance companies have shareholders to worry about. Your rideshare driver is busy trying to protect their own rights. Without proper representation, you could get lost in the shuffle. Having an experienced rideshare injury lawyer on your side will ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.
What Are Your Legal Rights as a Rideshare Passenger?
As a rideshare passenger, you carry a certain amount of legal responsibility for your own safety. For example, if you refuse to wear your seatbelt and get injured as a result, that’s on you.
However, rideshare drivers are also responsible for operating their cars safely. So if you get injured in a crash because the rideshare car didn’t have a proper seatbelt available for you to use, then the rideshare driver would be responsible for your injuries. The same goes for accidents caused by a rideshare driver’s negligence, such as speeding or running stoplights.
Because insurance companies want to pay out the least possible amount on your claim, they might try to use your behavior to undercut your case. For example, the rideshare company may claim that you were drunk and unruly so you caused the accident by distracting your driver. An experienced lawyer will know how to fight back against these types of accusations.
In some cases, your rideshare driver might not be the one responsible. Another car on the road, completely unrelated to Lyft or Uber, may have caused the crash. In this situation, you could file a legal claim against the other driver and their insurance company to cover your injuries.
Your lawyer can look at the evidence and help you determine the best course forward.
Steps to Take After a Rideshare Car Accident
Once you check for injuries and move somewhere safe, the most important steps to take after a rideshare car accident are to document your injuries and record evidence of the crash.
- Even if you think you have a mild or minor injury, you want to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible after your accident to start documenting any injuries you suffered as a result. If you go to the doctor the next day after a crash, it’s much easier to prove that your injuries were actually caused by the accident. Especially compared to getting checked out weeks or months later, when hundreds of other things could have caused your injuries in the meantime.
- You want to record any and all evidence you can as soon as possible after the accident. Get written testimony from witnesses before their memories start to fade and shift. Gather security camera footage from nearby businesses before the files get deleted or overwritten. Capture photographs and videos of the scene of the accident before it changes – if you wait, a tree that was blocking your driver’s view could get cut back or the local municipality may fix the road condition that caused the crash. Then your case may become much harder to prove without that evidence.
The strength of your evidence can make or break your personal injury claim. Your lawyer can help you get the right evidence and access the resources you need to build your best case.
What to Expect from Rideshare Lawsuit Settlement Negotiations
As a passenger, you don’t want your legal claims to fall through the cracks or get brushed under the rug. You deserve full compensation for losses caused by someone else’s negligence.
If you try to file your claim against an insurance company on your own, you may get offered a settlement that covers only a fraction of your actual losses and expenses.
Your insurance company may offer you a lowball settlement soon after an accident, hoping you’ll take less just to be done with the process. But when you hire a lawyer on a contingency fee basis, they’re just as invested as you in making sure you get what you’re truly owed. An experienced attorney will know the right negotiation tactics to get you the best possible settlement and the formulas to properly calculate your damages including future losses.
You should never settle for less than you deserve after a rideshare accident. Getting caught up in an Uber or Lyft accident as a passenger could feel like you’re stuck in an overcomplicated process – but the right lawyer can simplify your options for you.
At Sepulveda Sanchez Law, our seasoned legal team can help. Click here to contact us now for your free consultation. You don’t pay us until we recover damages for you.