Connecticut residents appreciate the ease and convenience of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. With the simple touch of a cell phone app, you can enjoy fast pickup and transportation to your destination in a private vehicle whether you’re in your local community or you’re traveling in an unfamiliar region. Although no one anticipates a rideshare experience ending in a car accident, the overall rise in traffic congestion since the explosion in rideshare popularity has caused a 3% increase in car accidents in every state.
Both Uber and Lyft companies maintain their distance from liability in car accidents by retaining their status as app services only, functioning as a tool to connect independent drivers with passengers. Fortunately, both popular rideshare companies require their drivers to carry special insurance to cover property damage and personal injuries in car accidents.
If you’ve experienced an accident either as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle or in your own vehicle with an Uber or Lyft car at fault, it’s important to understand how to recover compensation for your damages.
How Rideshare Insurance Works
The special insurance coverage used by all rideshare vehicles contracted under Uber and Lyft uses a complex framework of coverage that depends on the stage of the rideshare experience. Whether you are a passenger in the rideshare vehicle or a rideshare vehicle causes an accident with your own car, your insurance claim coverage depends on what stage of the process the rideshare car was in at the time of the accident:
When the rideshare driver uses their vehicle for personal reasons, their private car insurance is in place to provide coverage for property damage and personal injuries
When the driver engages their app and is actively awaiting a passenger to request transportation, the coverage provides up to $25,000 in property damage and $50,000 in personal injury compensation, or up to $100,000 per accident
When the driver has a contracted passenger and drives to the pickup location, and throughout the drive to their destination, the top tier of coverage is in place with up to $1 million in personal injury coverage and property damage.
Because rideshare insurance companies operate to make a profit, they may attempt to dispute the stage of the rideshare car during the accident. It often takes an experienced Uber and Lyft accident attorney to represent your best interests after a rideshare accident.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
Accidents are frightening and traumatic, especially if you’ve suffered significant or serious injuries. While you may be too injured to move safely and have to wait in place for help, if you are able to move about without causing further injury you can use your cell phone to help protect your physical and financial future. You could also ask a bystander or uninjured accident victim to use your phone for the following:
Call 911 to report the accident
Take photos of your injuries, the damaged vehicle(s), and the accident scene
Take photos of other factors relevant to the accident such as traffic signs or signals
Gather the contact information of the Uber driver, other driver(s), and any nearby eyewitnesses
If you have time, record the details you remember about the accident while they are fresh in your mind
Use the rideshare app to report the accident
Then, be sure to accept transport by EMS to the hospital for a complete evaluation and ask for a copy of the medical report with treatment recommendations and your expected prognosis. Obtain a copy of the accident report and then contact an accident attorney with experience in Uber and Lyft accidents and a strong track record of navigating their insurance system to maximize the compensation your recover for damages such as your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.