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Can I Sue Uber or Lyft as a Passenger in a Rideshare Accident in North Carolina?

December 27, 2018

Today more than ever, thousands of people rely on peer-to-peer ride-sharing to get from one point to another. Whether for commuting to work, doing last-minute shopping, or getting home after an outing, Uber and Lyft services have gained immense popularity. However, as demand for these services increases, so do the chances of accidents. You may wonder what you can do if you were injured during a ride-sharing trip with an Uber or Lyft. Our Charlotte ride-sharing accident lawyers at Dewey, Ramsay, & Hunt explain more about ridesharing services and what to do in the event of a crash.

What Do I Do After Being Involved in a Ride-sharing Accident?

It is easy to be confused and overwhelmed after being involved in a ridesharing accident. While some people may react quickly after a car accident, others may not know what they should do in such circumstances. If you are ever involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should take the following steps.

Find a Safe Place

Sometimes, depending on traffic, you can experience one or multiple collisions with other vehicles after the initial impact. If you are able, find a safe place away from oncoming traffic. This will help you avoid additional injuries.

Call Emergency Services

One of the first things you should think about after being involved in an accident is safety. Calling emergency services like 911 will help you get medical assistance quickly. Additionally, calling 911 will enable other people involved in the accident to receive medical attention.

Report the Crash to the Police

You should report the wreck to the police as soon as you can. An officer will take notes on the accident and prepare a report. A police report is not required under North Carolina law in minor accidents not involving bodily injury or significant losses. However, this report may be useful when filing a future insurance claim with help from your personal injury lawyer.

Gather Information

After being involved in a crash, make sure you obtain as much information as you can from all parties involved, especially your Uber or Lyft driver. The essential information you should gather includes names, addresses, plate numbers, phone numbers, and insurance information. Additionally, you should take as many pictures as you can from the crash. A Charlotte car accident attorney can help you obtain the necessary information to prepare a stronger injury claim.

When Will Uber or Lyft Insurance Cover an Accident One of Their Drivers Was At Fault For?

Uber and Lyft will look at three different stages to determine which insurance policy will cover you. The first stage is when an Uber or Lyft driver is not logged into the app. If the driver is not on duty (logged off), his or her personal insurance policy may cover injuries they caused to another person. The second stage is when the driver is on duty (logged into the app) but has not accepted a ride. If there is an accident during this stage, Uber or Lyft insurance will cover the driver only if the driver’s insurance is inadequate or is not a commercial insurance plan. The third stage is when the driver is on-duty and is carrying a passenger. If there is a crash during this stage, both the driver and passenger(s) may be covered under the ride-sharing service’s insurance policy.

Can I File a Claim Against Uber or Lyft for My Injuries?

Filing a lawsuit directly against Uber or Lyft can be difficult. The reason lies in the fact that ride-sharing drivers are not considered employees, but independent contractors. Therefore, Uber and Lyft claim they are not responsible for the negligent actions of their drivers. While you may not be able to sue the ride-sharing companies directly, you can still potentially receive coverage for your injuries. For instance, Uber now has a $1.5 million liability insurance that will cover passengers injured during a trip. This insurance will kick in as soon as you step into your driver’s vehicle, and ends as soon as you finish your ride. What happens if you were injured in an accident due to the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver and another vehicle? This is where a legal concept is known as joint and several liabilities may come into play. This refers to how liability is assigned and divided between two or more parties who are responsible for an accident. In joint and several liability claims, each defendant is deemed independently responsible for the crash. Therefore, if you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident with multiple vehicles, you can potentially obtain compensation from two or more drivers’ insurance policies.

Charlotte Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyers Offering Free Consultations

After being injured in a Lyft or Uber accident, or experiencing the wrongful death of a loved one, the last thing you want is to engage in a dispute with insurance companies and their lawyers. You should focus on healing your wounds while our skilled and knowledgeable injury lawyers help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your case in a free, confidential consultation, call Dewey, Ramsay, & Hunt today at (704) 377-3737, or contact us online.