What To Do in a Ridesharing Accident during Covid-19

Car accidents are an extremely frightening experience on their own, but there is an added level of complexity when you are in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle. These moments can be quite confusing for a victim of a ridesharing accident, who likely has not experienced an accident involving these companies before. 

Certain questions come to mind for the victim who is injured in a ridesharing accident: Should I go to the hospital? Who is responsible? Whose insurance will cover any damages? The answers to these questions are not readily available to most victims and can cause added apprehension to an already tense situation. 

First, Seek Medical Attention

Your first priority in a ridesharing accident should always be your health. While the COVID-19 outbreak might lead to hesitation in seeking medical attention, a rider should certainly still call for emergency services or go to the emergency department if they are in need of immediate medical assistance. 

Now that the pandemic has been ongoing for months, hospitals and other medical facilities have had the opportunity to implement proper safety protocols that limit patients’ potential exposure to the virus. With these protocols in place, the value of getting treatment for your injuries might outweigh the risk of contracting the virus.

If immediate medical attention is not required, then you should still call your doctor and explore the telehealth options that are available. Discussing these options with your doctor is vital for two purposes: First, you should ensure that no lingering health issues could occur that originate from the accident. Second, it is important to develop a medical record that can be used to seek compensation for your injuries and subsequent losses stemming from the accident.

Injuries such as fractured bones, bruises, and burns are very common in car accidents. However, there are many accidents that result in even more serious injuries that have the potential for greater long-term damage to the victim. Some of the other common and more serious injuries from car accidents include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal injuries (including organ damage and internal bleeding)
  • Whiplash and other neck injuries
  • Limb loss
  • Nerve damage

It is important to note that not all serious injuries are immediately noticeable. The adrenaline created by the accident might cover some signs of injuries, making it vital to continue monitoring your condition in the hours, days, and months after the accident. 

Steps that Should be Taken After the Accident

  1. Make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe. If you or any other person involved requires immediate medical attention, call 911. While you may be concerned that leaving the scene of the accident due to injury could result in losing the opportunity to gather information on the accident, this should not prevent you from seeking medical assistance. 
  1. Gather Evidence. After ensuring that everyone is safe, make sure you collect as much information from the scene as possible. Take pictures of the accident, including both vehicles and any injuries you might have sustained in the accident. The greater number and detail of pictures, the better.
  1. Collect contact and insurance information. Get this information from both the Uber or Lyft driver and the driver of the other vehicle if another vehicle was involved, regardless of who you might believe is at fault. Getting contact information from witnesses will also be useful.
  1. Contact the police. If the accident is serious enough to cause injuries, you should contact the police, as a police report will be very helpful in determining fault for pursuing insurance claims.
  1. Report the accident to Uber or Lyft. With Uber and Lyft, your ride information will be available on the app, allowing for simple retrieval of information needed for a potential claim. If you are able to, report the accident in either the Uber or Lyft app by going to your ride history for that particular ride. If you do not report the accident, the driver of the ridesharing vehicle will report it and the company will reach out to you about the accident. You should report the accident, but you should not speak to an insurance agent about the details without speaking to an attorney first.

How to Report the Incident on the App

For the Uber app, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the side menu and select “Your Trips”.
  • Select the trip where the accident occurred.
  • Select “Report Safety Issue”. 
  • Choose “I was involved in an accident”. 

For reporting the accident in the Lyft app: 

  • Navigate to the side menu. 
  • Select “Ride history”. 
  • Select the trip where the accident occurred. 
  • Select “Get help”. 
  • From the “More help topics” menu, select “Report an accident”. 

These steps will get you into contact with the ridesharing company and begin the process towards receiving compensation for your injuries.

Compensation for Your Rideshare Accident: Who is at Fault?

As you might expect, responsibility for the accident is a very significant factor on what the next steps are once a ridesharing accident occurs, and in how much compensation you might receive from the accident. 

In the event that the driver responsible for the accident is not the driver for Uber or Lyft, then the rider should pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance company. Every driver must carry car insurance in Pennsylvania, meaning that the other driver will have liability coverage for accidents, however the amount of coverage varies by driver. 

If the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is inadequate for the amount of damages required, both Uber and Lyft carry Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UM/UIM) coverage. This means that Uber or Lyft’s UM/UIM coverage will cover the excess of damages required whenever the at-fault driver’s insurance does not cover the entirety of the damages. 

Both companies also have commercial insurance coverages that include a maximum of $1,000,000 liability coverage when the drivers have an active ride. Even when the Uber or Lyft driver is not the at-fault driver, you can still receive compensation from the company because they cover the other driver’s liability limits.

When the Uber or Lyft Driver is At-Fault

In the event that the Uber or Lyft driver is responsible for the accident, you will pursue a claim against both the driver and the company. When you are a rider and the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, you have a much better chance of receiving higher compensation for the accident from the companies’ $1,000,000 insurance policies.

The companies’ insurance policies cover different scenarios that determine the amount of money you might be able to receive. When the driver is transporting passengers that requested a ride and is involved in an accident, that is when the $1,000,000 liability insurance kicks in. 

However, if the on-duty driver does not have an active ride, the companies’ policies are limited to $50,000 per-person in bodily injury coverage for up to two injured people. This means that if you are a driver or passenger in another car or a pedestrian and are struck by an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you can receive up to that $50,000 and up to $25,000 in property damages caused by the accident.

Final Steps

Once the at-fault party is determined, file a claim with that party’s insurance company. Recall that if the Uber or Lyft driver is not at-fault but the at-fault driver’s insurance does not cover the full extent of injuries from the accident, both Uber and Lyft will cover the excess costs.

Also recall that if the Uber or Lyft driver is the at-fault party, you will need to pursue a claim with both the driver’s personal insurance and the rideshare company. 

It will be helpful to contact your doctor to discuss your injuries next steps for treatment. Establishing a medical record or your injuries sustained in the ridesharing accident will also be useful when pursuing any insurance claim.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a ridesharing accident and do not know what steps to take next, you should call attorney Robert Disney today. Mr. Disney is a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania who can get you the compensation to which you are entitled. To schedule a free case evaluation, call or text us today at 412-999-5765 or contact us online at Disneylaw.com