As California is the birthplace of rideshare services, we tend to see more rideshare drivers on the roads than anywhere else. While this is convenient for those looking to catch a ride, it also means we see a higher rate of rideshare-related accidents.
While rideshare accidents can happen the same as any other kind of accident, how the claims process is handled is quite different. This is because rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft must not only protect their drivers but consider the rights of their passengers as well. They also have certain policies in place to protect them as a company against lawsuits.
When you are injured as an Uber car accident passenger, what are your rights, and how do you file a claim? Continue reading to find out.
If you have been injured in a rideshare accident in California and have further questions after reading and need help with your claim, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.
What Are Your Rights as an Uber Car Accident Passenger?
Because companies like Uber and Lyft provide a service, they must abide by certain regulations to protect their patrons. Legally, this means rideshare companies owe you a duty of care, and if they breach that duty, such as if one of their drivers causes you harm by causing an accident, you could hold the company liable.
Uber and Lyft are also required to carry a certain amount of liability insurance in case their service causes someone harm. If you are injured in a rideshare accident, you could potentially file a claim against the company and recover compensation through their insurance policy, which can cover damages such as medical expenses.
California Rideshare Regulations and Passenger Rights
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requires rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to abide by the following to protect the rights of their passengers:
- Rideshare drivers are required to take an annual background check
- Rideshare drivers must display their decals on their front or back windshields where passengers can clearly see them
- Rideshare drivers must take their vehicles in for an inspection every 12 months or 50,000 miles
- Rideshare drivers are not allowed to refuse passengers who have a service dog
California Rideshare Insurance
Under California Assembly Bill No. 2293, rideshare companies must carry insurance that meets certain requirements, which are as follows:
- $1 million that covers property damage, personal injury, and death
- $1 million for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Additionally, Uber and Lyft must also inform their drivers of how the insurance policies work, so they fully understand their rights as well as the passenger’s rights.
Filing a Claim as an Uber Car Accident Passenger
After an accident, Uber and Lyft passengers also have the right to file a claim to recover compensation for their injuries and other damages. However, who you can file a claim against will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident.
If the rideshare driver caused the accident while you were a passenger, you would file a claim against the rideshare company. If another driver caused the accident, you would file a claim against that driver, and their personal insurance policy would cover your damages. If both the rideshare driver and another driver share the blame for causing the accident, you can file a claim against both the rideshare company and the third-party driver.
It’s important to note that if you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, the driver must have actively been on duty for you to pursue a claim against Uber or Lyft for the accident. The fact that you were riding in the car should mean that the driver was actively using the rideshare app and on duty. However, if for some reason the driver was not actively on duty, then you likely won’t have access to Uber or Lyft’s full $1 million insurance policy.
If the driver was not on duty when they caused an accident, you would file a claim against their personal insurance policy. Understandably, this can be confusing to navigate as an injured passenger. When in doubt, consult a rideshare accident lawyer who can help you with your claim.
What to Do If Your Uber Crashes
If you are injured in an Uber accident or any rideshare accident, your health and wellbeing should be your number one priority. If your injuries are severe, call 911 and request emergency medical services. Even if your injuries are minor, you should still call 911 to ensure the police arrive and get yourself checked out by a doctor after dealing with the accident.
A police report will serve as substantial evidence to help back up your claim when you seek compensation for the damages you have suffered. You can also take photos and videos of the accident scene if you are able as this can also help you build a strong case against the at-fault party. If any witnesses saw what happened, you should ask for their contact information so they can be called upon to give a statement to further back up your claim.
Beyond this, working with a lawyer is wise. Rideshare accident cases can be complex. Even though you have rights as a passenger and are entitled to compensation, rideshare companies will often do whatever they can to get out of a lawsuit and their insurance companies will try to avoid awarding high settlements. Even if another driver caused the accident, you should still consult an attorney, as both the rideshare driver and a third-party driver could be liable, and filing multi-party claims can be even more difficult.
Were You a Passenger in an Uber Car Accident? Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you were an Uber car accident passenger or a Lyft passenger and need help filing your claim and holding the right party responsible, we are here to help. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have years of experience handling rideshare accident cases and know what it takes to ensure our clients are fully and fairly compensated for their injuries. Call us at 877-380-8852 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation with one of our rideshare accident lawyers.