The popularization of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft has been revolutionary for Los Angeles and the rest of the world. DUI arrests went down 14% in Los Angeles since the introduction of these apps, and Angelinos used the apps to take more than 6.3 million trips in 2016. Rideshare apps have been credited with reducing the problem of racial discrimination against riders of color, an often unacknowledged problem in the traditional taxi industry, and may improve auto-mobility for residents in lower income neighborhoods.
Lyft and Uber also tout their services as a safer alternative for travel. Both companies conduct background checks to screen out prospective drivers with bad driving records. However, one study found that Uber drivers were involved in more fatal car accidents than yellow cabs in New York City. The threat of getting into an accident is ever-present, whether you are in your own car, a cab, or an Uber. Here’s what you should do if you are injured while in an Uber or Lyft.
1) Contact Authorities
As in any car accident, your first move should be to contact the appropriate authorities. Call for a police report, and request an ambulance if your injury requires immediate emergency medical attention. Sometimes, car accident injuries don’t manifest symptoms until several days after the accident—be sure to monitor your health and seek medical attention if anything seems ‘off.’
2) Gather Evidence
Take photos of the accident if you are able, and exchange contact and insurance information with your driver, the other driver, any passengers in your car and the other car involved. Be sure to keep any medical bills or other documents that will support your compensation claim.
3) Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
What entity you should seek compensation from will vary depending on the facts of the accident and the insurance situation of your driver and the other party to the accident. If your rideshare driver is responsible for the accident, they (or rather, their insurance) will be responsible for compensating for your injuries. Most rideshare drivers do not have special commercial insurance, and many personal insurance policies have a “business use exception” which places restrictions on compensable damages that occur while the driver is using their vehicle as a for-profit driver. If the driver’s insurance policy does not cover your injuries or does not provide sufficient coverage to compensate the entirety if your injuries, Uber and Lyft both carry third party liability insurance coverage.
However, these insurance companies routinely deny liability and most often seek to minimize your damages. They have powerful defense law firms at the ready to ensure “their own” best financial outcomes on injury cases. That is why you need a powerhouse law firm on your side. At the Dominguez Firm, our rideshare injury attorneys will fight for you to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our offices today for a free consultation about your case at 800-818-1818.