Car accidents can be overwhelming, even in the best-case scenario. However, passengers injured during an Uber or Lyft ride often face additional confusion about their rights after an incident. Many don’t realize that recovering compensation for a rideshare accident isn’t as simple as filing an insurance claim after a regular car accident. 

If you’ve been hurt while riding with Uber, don’t assume that generic legal advice will be enough. It’s essential to consult with an Uber accident lawyer in Santa Maria who is familiar with the complexities of this new and growing type of motor vehicle incident. The award-winning lawyers at Frederick Law Firm have the experience and commitment to support you through each step in getting the recovery you deserve.

How Is an Uber or Lyft Accident Different from Another Car Accident?

Rideshare accidents may involve several different insurance companies:

  • Uber or Lyft’s commercial insurance,
  • The personal insurance policy of the driver, and
  • The insurance policy of another at-fault driver.

However, who is responsible for a claim and how much coverage is available depends on when an accident happens. 

Both Uber and Lyft boast $1,000,000 in liability coverage for crashes caused by their drivers. However, these policies only apply when a driver is transporting a passenger for the app. 

Any time before a driver hits “GO” on a trip, different policies with lower limits are in play.  

When a driver is signed into the Uber app but doesn’t have a customer, Uber offers minimum liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for accident injuries.

Drivers who get into a collision when not logged into the Uber app fall entirely outside the rideshare company’s coverage. Any damages caused in an accident must be addressed by the driver’s or at-fault party’s personal insurance policy.

Regardless of whether the rideshare driver is logged in or carrying a passenger, if someone other than the rideshare driver is at fault for the accident, their insurance company will be responsible for damages. However, rideshare companies in California must also carry $1,000,000 in uninsured motorist coverage that applies when the driver is carrying a passenger. So if you were riding in an Uber hit by another vehicle and the at-fault driver’s insurance is inadequate to cover your losses, you can file a claim under the rideshare company’s policy.

What Kind of Compensation Can I Get for an Uber Accident?

Passengers injured in a rideshare accident can receive financial compensation for:

  • Damaged property,
  • Hospital bills,
  • Future medical expenses,
  • Wages lost during recovery,
  • Emotional suffering or distress, and
  • Lost quality or enjoyment of life.

In rare cases when damages are caused by someone’s willful, conscious disregard for the safety of others, punitive damages may also be available.

What Happens If Both the Rideshare Driver and Another Driver Share Fault for the Accident?

If your rideshare driver and another driver are both partly to blame for your injuries as an Uber passenger, you may be able to file a claim against more than one insurance company. California law requires each person at fault in an accident to pay an amount proportional to their degree of fault.

Can I Sue Uber for Negligence?

Although rideshare companies must provide insurance for their drivers, as discussed above, you generally can’t sue them directly for a crash caused by a driver’s recklessness. Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees. This lets the company distance itself from liability for the negligent actions of any individual driver. 

However, a rideshare company could be considered negligent if it didn’t take reasonable preventative action to protect passengers from a dangerous driver. If you suspect a rideshare company is partly to blame for your accident, immediately contact an Uber accident lawyer for assistance.

How Can an Uber Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?

A rideshare accident attorney can provide much-needed support for victims recovering from the shock of a crash. A qualified attorney can investigate your accident and gather evidence to determine who’s at fault. When calculating damages, they can help ensure your claim includes a fair estimate of all your losses. A lawyer who understands the laws around rideshare accident claims can also help you navigate multiple complex insurance policies. If an insurance adjuster offers you a settlement, an attorney can negotiate to help make sure you’re getting the maximum compensation.

How Do I Find an Uber Accident Lawyer Near Me?

Not all lawyers who take personal injury cases will be well-versed in rideshare accident claims. If you’ve been hurt in an Uber accident, look for attorneys and law firms with a track record of success in handling rideshare passenger cases. Experience matters when navigating the complexities of these motor vehicle claims.

The attorneys at Frederick Law Firm know how vulnerable accident victims feel when fighting for compensation. Our team’s dedicated, aggressive representation strives to even the playing field for you. As a small firm, we can offer accident victims the caring, personal attention needed to recover the maximum amount they’re owed. If you’ve been hurt in a rideshare accident, you don’t have to suffer alone. Contact us online or call our office today to speak to a trained Uber accident lawyer in Santa Maria.