When you call an Uber or Lyft to take you to the airport or out for a night on the town, the last thing you want to worry about is getting into an accident. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and it is important to protect yourself when you’re a passenger of a rideshare service.
Baltimore, MD Uber accident attorney Randolph Rice is here to explain what you should do if you are injured in a vehicle collision as a passenger of an Uber or other ride share company car.
Steps to Take After an Uber Car Accident in Maryland
Just as if you were a passenger or driver in a personal car, you should follow similar steps if you are riding in an Uber that gets into an accident:
- Call 911 to report the accident and seek medical attention for anyone who is seriously injured. Even if you think you are unharmed, it’s good to have a medical evaluation to document the impact in case injuries manifest later.
- Document the accident and damage. If possible, take photos of the crash scene and damage to the cars. Collect the following from both your Uber driver and the other driver: name, contact information and insurance information. Also look for witnesses and collect their information for follow-up.
- Get a copy of the police report. Even if your state doesn’t require police to be called, make sure you take this step to have more documentation of the accident.
- Call your insurance company. Let your insurer know what happened.
- Consider contacting a Maryland car accident lawyer.
Is Uber Liable for Car or Pedestrian Accidents?
Uber has an accident policy, but it’s not straightforward. Essentially any coverage Uber provides is secondary to the driver’s personal auto insurance, as well as the insurance of the other driver involved in the crash.
If you are riding in an Uber and the driver gets into an accident that causes you injuries, the Uber accident policy covers the driver up to $1 million in liability for your injury. But Uber coverage only kicks in if the Uber driver or the driver of the second car is at fault and has insufficient bodily injury coverage on their own auto insurance policy.
So the first thing to consider is the insurance of the Uber driver (if he caused the accident) and the other driver (if he caused the accident). The $1 million Uber insurance coverage also applies when your Uber driver is in an accident with an uninsured driver or if your Uber driver is involved in a hit-and-run accident.
If your driver or the other driver has the appropriate coverage, you may be dealing with their insurance company, not Uber’s.
What happens if Lyft driver gets in an accident? The same process and insurance considerations apply to Lyft, another popular rideshare service. If the Lyft driver is at fault, his car insurance coverage will apply to your injuries.
However, if the driver’s insurance doesn’t include provisions to cover passenger injuries, that’s when Lyft coverage comes in.
Their accident policy is the same as Uber’s: third-party liability coverage that pays up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident.
This coverage, again, picks up where the driver’s leaves off, and doesn’t come into play if another driver is to blame and that insurance takes care of your injuries or damage.
How to Report an Accident to Uber in Maryland
Uber recommends the following steps after an accident:
- Check that all parties involved are safe.
- Notify police and paramedics if necessary.
- Contact Uber.
On the Uber website select Trip Issues and Fare Adjustments > I was in an accident. Explain to Uber what happened and make sure you refer to the correct trip. Uber says that Uber will follow up to collect any other required information.
Do Uber Drivers Undergo Background Checks?
New Uber and Lyft drivers are required to complete an online background check when they apply, and then are subject to annual background checks once hired.
The check includes driving record and criminal background, but no credit check.
The Uber background check looks for the following:
- A minimum of one year of licensed driving experience in the US (3 years if under 23 years old)
- Motor Vehicle Record review
- Criminal background check (will vary based on local laws and is based on criteria specified in local laws)
- Uber’s internal safety standards (undescribed)
Applicants may be disqualified for major driving violations or recent history of minor driving violations; convictions or pending charges for felonies, violent crimes, sexual offenses or registered sexual offender status; and any additional violation of local/state laws that Uber must follow.
How to Get Compensated by Uber for a Car Accident
This can be very tricky since you are most likely going to deal with a third-party insurer, not Uber or Lyft. Proper documentation of the accident and data to support who is at fault are key.
A personal injury attorney can be instrumental in helping you claim compensation for your injuries or property damage.
Can You Sue Uber for Damages in Maryland?
While Uber or Lyft provides the service, it’s the driver/independent contractor who is held liable for the accident. Because drivers are not Uber employees, Uber can deny liability.
If you need to file a lawsuit, it would target the at-fault driver, not Uber or Lyft. If the driver cannot cover your medical bills, that’s where the Uber or Lyft accident policy come into play.
One thing you can do is have a lawyer send a preservation of evidence letter to Uber and the driver. This ensures all data related to your ride is preserved properly.
Call Baltimore, MD Uber Accident Lawyer Randolph Rice Today
A personal injury attorney can make a huge difference in pursuing compensation from your Uber driver or insurer. Even with the proper documentation of the accident and information about each person involved, you may face a battle to cover the damages.
If the Uber driver is not to blame for the accident, you may want to pursue a case against the other driver or insurer. If you are concerned that you will not be compensated properly for your injuries, do not hesitate to bring in an expert who will protect your interests in this situation. Call The Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 for a free consultation about your legal options.