There’s nothing more infuriating than getting into an accident while taking an Uber or Lyft ride. Your plans for the day get pushed back or delayed indefinitely, and there’s a chance that you’ll sustain serious injury.
If you’ve been in an Uber or Lyft accident in San Antonio (or anywhere else) – know that there are ways to get compensated. There are caveats to filing a claim for an Uber or Lyft accident, so we want to make things clear.
Below you’ll find:
- How Common Are Uber or Lyft Accidents?
- Steps to Take After an Uber or Lyft Accident
- Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer After An Uber or Lyft Accident?
- How Much Compensation Can You Recieve?
- Will Uber and Lyft’s Terms of Service Prevent You From Filing?
- What is the Deadline to File a Uber or Lyft Accident Claim?
How Common Are Uber or Lyft Accidents?
Being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident is thankfully not that common, but it also isn’t particularly rare.
According to research conducted by the University of Chicago and Rice University, app-based driving services like Uber and Lyft account for a 3 percent annual increase in traffic-related fatalities since their introduction in 2011. This equates to roughly 987 deaths per year. In the case of a fatal accident, you – as a loved one – can pursue a lawsuit against the driver or the ride-share company itself.
Of course, the amount of non-fatal Uber or Lyft accidents is far higher in frequency. Uber and Lyft drivers are not immune to car accidents, and sometimes it may be the fault of another driver. Regardless of fault (if it’s not your own, at least), you may be entitled to file a claim and get compensated.
Steps to Take After an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, follow the steps below. These steps will ensure that you gather the proper evidence and build a strong case for yourself:
Step 1: Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
Make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe. If people are injured, it is important that you call 911 and wait for help. Do not try to move anyone or provide assistance unless you are trained to do so. If you hurt yourself, aim to get medical assistance as soon as possible.
Step 2: Call the Police
Even if no one is in need of immediate medical attention, it is important that you still contact the police. Dial 911, and wait for a police officer to arrive at the accident scene. The reason we recommend having a police officer on the scene is so they can create a police report. This report summarizes the officer’s investigation, and will most likely need to be included with your claim.
Make sure to get the name of the responding officer and an incident report number so that a copy of the report can be requested when ready.
Step 3: Get Contact Information of Others Involved in the Accident
To stay in communication, it’s important to get the contact information of all parties involved. This includes your rideshare driver, the driver in the opposing car, and any witnesses that may be able to testify to what happened. Make sure to note all driver’s license plates in case you need to search for records.
Step 4: Gather Evidence
Look for concrete and potential evidence, and make sure to document it. Examples of evidence include photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and the damages that you sustained. If you don’t know if something is evidence, we suggest still documenting it just in case it works in your favor.
Write down everything that happened as soon as you can. Having the most accurate notes will come in handy, and may be helpful when speaking to a lawyer.
Step 5: Report the Accident to Uber or Lyft
Rideshares like Uber and Lyft want you to report accidents to them. To report an Uber or Lyft accident, you can either 1) contact the company directly through the mobile app or 2) submit an accident reporting form available directly on their respective websites.
In the case of serious injury, it may be a good idea to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer first.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer After An Uber or Lyft Accident?
If you choose to do so, you can legally file a rideshare-related personal injury claim without a lawyer. But, it’s not the best choice most of the time. Why? Companies like Uber and Lyft will have legal teams dedicated to minimizing your compensation, so it’s important to have a professional on your side.
Rideshare personal injuries are complex because it involves several different parties and rules. If you don’t know these rules, you may find yourself liable and potentially lose out on the compensation you deserve.
If expenses are a concern, we recommend seeking a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio that works on contingency. This means that a personal injury lawyer will charge you if and only if you win your case, with them taking a percentage of the winnings.
How Much Compensation Can You Recieve?
The amount of compensation you receive will be influenced by the fault party in your accident, and the insurance that they carry. Almost every rideshare-related accident will be the fault of either the Uber or Lyft driver or the opposing driver in the at-fault vehicle.
If Your Uber or Lyft Driver is At Fault
If the Uber or Lyft driver is currently clocked into work and an accident occurs, that company’s insurance may pay out. Here’s what you can expect in terms of compensation.
If you’re injured when the driver is picking up passengers or during the ride, Uber and Lyft will provide up to $1 million in liability coverage. In some states, the same companies will offer uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UMI) and comprehensive and collision insurance for drivers who maintain the coverage on their personal auto insurance.
Note that you may also be entitled to compensation if you are injured by a Uber or Lyft driver without being inside the car. If a Uber or Lyft driver is clocked in and injures you while waiting for a ride request, here is what you can get compensated for in 2022:
- Up to $100,000 in bodily injury per accident (maximum $50,000 per person)
- Up to $25,000 for property damage
Note that we’ve emphasized Uber or Lyft drivers that are specifically clocked into work. If you are in an accident with a Uber or Lyft driver that isn’t on the job, your compensation will be influenced by their personal insurance instead.
If the Other Driver is at Fault
If the opposing driver is found to be at fault and negligent, their personal insurance may pay for accident-related losses. In the case that the other driver is at fault, the case becomes similar to if you got injured while in your own car.
However, the caveat is that if the at-fault driver is under/uninsured or you are the victim of a hit-and-run situation. In these situations, some states will require that Uber or Lyft take responsibility and offer compensation instead. This compensation will vary from state to state.
Will Uber and Lyft’s Terms of Service Prevent You From Filing?
Signing up for any rideshare requires that you agree to a Terms of Service (ToS). Uber and Lyft don’t prohibit you from seeking compensation through their insurance, but you can’t file a lawsuit directly against Uber or Lyft – at least in the traditional sense.
Uber and Lyft’s terms of service require riders to resolve most legal disagreements with that company through binding arbitration. This means that you agree to settle any disputes in front of an arbitrator who decides the outcome instead of a formal court. There are exceptions to the arbitration agreement which include:
- Claims brought in small claims court
- Claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment
- Claims related to the loss of certain intellectual property.
What is the Deadline to File an Uber or Lyft Accident Claim?
Uber or Lyft accident claims do not have a specific time frame beyond what’s expected for other personal injury claims. If you’ve been caught in an Uber or Lyft accident in San Antonio, Texas make sure to file within 2 years (Civ. Prac. & Rem Code, Title 2, Ch. 16, Sec. 16.003).
If you live in a different state, the statute of limitations – the amount of time before a party can be no longer liable – ranges anywhere between 1 and 6 years. Of course, the sooner you file your claim, the greater the odds of receiving a higher compensation package.
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