How to Handle a Personal Injury Claim Involving an Uber / Lyft Driver

Posted on Apr 21, 2021

With the popularity of Uber, Lyft, and several other rideshare companies on the rise, the number of rideshare accidents is also increasing. Like any other kind of automobile accidents, passengers of Ubers and Lyfts – as well as other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians – can suffer devastating injuries in the event of a crash.

However, unlike other types of vehicle collisions, Uber/Lyft accident injury claims tend to be more complicated. In these cases, while the driver’s negligence may have caused the collision, the rideshare company may be held liable. If you or someone you know has sustained severe injuries in a rideshare accident, you may want to hire an attorney who has extensive experience in handling these types of claims. 

Which Party Pays For A Rideshare Accident Injury Claim?

If you were injured in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber driver, there are a few general scenarios that determine who will be held responsible for your injury claim:

  • You were hurt as a passenger of an Uber/Lyft car, and another driver caused the accident
  • You were hurt as a passenger of an Uber/Lyft car, and the Uber/Lyft driver caused the accident due to their negligence
  • You were a pedestrian and hurt in an accident caused by an Uber/Lyft driver
  • You were driving a vehicle and got injured in a collision caused by an Uber/Lyft driver. If the Lyft driver had a passenger in their car at the time of the accident, at least 3 separate settlement offers by 3 different insurance adjusters could be involved: the Lyft driver’s personal insurance company, Lyft’s insurance company, and your own insurance company

Note: Additional insurance coverage will likely apply if you were working at the time of the accident.

Who Is Liable In A Rideshare Accident in Virginia?

In Virginia, if an Uber or Lyft driver was responsible for causing the accident, the amount of liability coverage the company provides depends on the situation.  For example, if the driver was logged into the official app but was yet to accept the ride request, Uber/Lyft offers liability coverage up to: 

  • $25,000 for property damage
  • $50,000 per person injured in the accident
  • $100,000 total injury liability for the accident  

If the driver had accepted the ride request, Uber/Lyft provides $1 million in liability coverage. All rideshare drivers in the state of Virginia must carry primary liability insurance of $1 million – but this rule only comes in effect when a ride is in progress. This means if the Uber driver accepts your ride request, you are covered for the entire duration of your ride. 

Other motorists and pedestrians that are hit by Uber/Lyft drivers that have the app switched on but don’t have a passenger (or, in other words, haven’t accepted a ride) may still be covered by both Uber/Lyft’s contingent liability coverage and/or Uber/Lyft driver’s own insurance policy.  

Generally, if the driver’s own policy doesn’t provide enough coverage, the contingent coverage goes into effect. Both Lyft and Uber offer contingent liability coverage of $100,000 maximum per accident or $50,000 per person.

If the rideshare driver doesn’t have the app turned on, i.e., officially, they are not working for the ridesharing company, at the time of the accident, the injury claims will have to go through the driver’s own insurance policy.

What To Do After You Get Injured In An Uber/Lyft Accident in Virginia?

The first thing you need to do immediately is call 911. If you are too injured or you cannot place the call yourself, ask someone else nearby to do it on your behalf. You want the police to arrive on the scene of accident and secure it as soon as possible so they can investigate the accident and file a crash report.  

After that, the following steps should be followed:

Seek medical attention: See a doctor right away so you can be evaluated for injuries and start receiving the necessary treatment.

Contact the ridesharing company: Notify the ridesharing company – in writing – about the crash and your injuries.

Contact your insurance company: Regardless of who was responsible for the accident, your auto insurance company may require you to report the incident. Reach out to them to make sure you comply with this requirement.

Contact an attorney: If Uber/Lyft or the insurance company for the rideshare driver contacts you, it might be best to refer them to a personal injury lawyer who is representing you.

As mentioned earlier, since multiple parties are involved in these types of accidents, things can get complicated really fast. In addition, insurance companies are notorious for trying to lowball the injured victims. For all these reasons, having an experienced accident injury attorney on your side will help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact Ridesharing Accident Attorneys In Virginia 

Getting injured in a ridesharing accident can be financially devastating for the injured victim as well as their family. With multiple parties and their insurance companies involved, it will be difficult for you to hold the wrongdoers accountable for their negligence – unless you have a reliable and dedicated personal injury law firm on your side.

At Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, our lawyers have decades of combined experience in representing injury victims in auto accidents in Virginia. While every accident claim we handle is unique, one thing never changes: we always fight tirelessly for maximum compensation for our clients. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-752-0042.

References:

https://www.hsinjurylaw.com/practice_areas/virginia-beach-car-accident-lawyers-norfolk-auto-accident-attorneys.cfm

https://www.hsinjurylaw.com/case_results/drunk-driving-brain-damage-punitive-damages.cfm

https://www.hsinjurylaw.com/case_results/virginia-beach-rear-end-collision-settlement.cfm

Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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