It is estimated that there are roughly 3,000,000 Uber users each month in Florida. Moreover, Uber is the most frequently expensed business vendor in the nation. So, if you travel for work, chances are that you use Uber or Lyft to get around at some point in your journey. But what if you're a passenger and your Uber or Lyft driver gets into an accident?
As of 2019, there is a minimum of $250,000.00 of UM insurance coverage for Uber and Lyft passengers.
First, the moment you get in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you are covered by at least $250,000.00 in insurance coverage regardless of whether the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault for the accident or not. For purposes of any medical treatment or injuries you may have sustained, you are entitled to make a claim against Uber's or Lyft's third-party insurance company.
You should also know that, even if you have your own car insurance, Uber's or Lyft's insurance coverage will be primary, meaning that you must make your claim against Uber or Lyft before pursuing a claim against your auto insurance for uninsured motorist coverage. This is a relief to many that fear that their personal car insurance rates will go up if they make a claim.
Should you tell your company about the accident?
This is a frequently asked question in this scenario. If you were traveling for work and you are injured in an accident while a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you may be eligible for worker's compensation benefits. However, you are not required to report the accident to your employer or make a claim for worker's comp. In some situations, it may be more beneficial to maintain a claim separate and apart from worker's comp.
You should speak with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer prior to opening any insurance claims.
Should you report the accident through the Uber or Lyft app?
Both Uber and Lyft provide riders with apps through which riders can report accidents. These "incident report" forms also typically ask a variety of questions and also may prompt a call from Uber or Lyft or their insurance investigators to call you and get recorded statements.
If you suspect you may have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should report the accident through Uber or Lyft's app but be cautious about what information you provide to them. I strongly recommend that you contact a skilled rideshare injury lawyer before taking any phone calls from either Uber or Lyft or their investigators. Certainly don't agree to provide any recorded statements before speaking with an attorney.
Should you leave the scene of the accident? What if you're trying to catch a plane or attend a meeting?
Valid question. If you are involved in a rideshare accident with either Uber or Lyft and you are on your way to anything time-sensitive, you should call the police, or verify that the Uber or Lyft driver has called the police to report the accident. Second, you can call another Uber or Lyft or take a cab from the accident scene and continue on your journey. You can also report the accident through the Uber or Lyft app.
Why call the police even if you can't stick around?
Many neck and back injuries don't manifest until the following day or the following week after a car accident. If you did get into an accident and you don't call the police, there may be no independent record of the accident and you may risk making a claim against Uber's or Lyft's insurance. If you do call the police, even if you're not there to speak with police, it will generate a public record memorializing the accident. It is not uncommon for Uber or Lyft drivers to refuse to call police because they don't want to jeopardize their record as a rideshare driver.
In sum, if you travel for work, there is a high chance that you will use Uber or Lyft to get around. There is also a significant probability that you will be involved in an accident while a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle. If you are in an accident:
(1) Be sure to call the police so they can make a report. Even if you don't stick around at the scene, you can still make a claim against Uber or Lyft if you believe you have been injured in the accident.
(2) Speak with a lawyer before speaking with any insurance companies, including your own after an accident.