What to Do After an Accident in an Uber or Lyft

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular in California. However, no one expects that they will be involved in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle. Unfortunately, these accidents do occur. In some cases, accidents involving rideshare vehicles occur due to the careless or negligent actions of a rideshare driver, though these accidents can also be caused by others on the roadway. Due to the way Uber and Lyft classify their drivers, understanding what to do after a car accident with these vehicles occurs can be confusing.

What to Do Right After an Uber or Lyft Crash

Whether you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle at the time of the crash or in another vehicle that was struck by an Uber or Lyft vehicle, there are certain steps you need to take immediately following a crash.

  • Call the police. Ensure that somebody calls the police, even if the incident seems relatively minor. The police need to come to fill out an accident report and determine which party they think is liable for the incident.
  • Seek medical care. Regardless of whether or not you think you have been seriously injured, you need to seek medical care for any injuries in the aftermath of an Uber or Lyft crash.
  • Gather evidence. If you are able to do so safely at the scene, use a smartphone or another camera to take pictures of any damages to vehicles, injuries, causes of the crash, traffic conditions, and more. Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as the driver’s license number and insurance information of any other driver involved.
  • Contact Uber or Lyft. You will want to report the accident to Uber or Lyft. Each company’s app has a help section about how to report an accident, and a team member with one of the companies will reach out to you. Do not go into detail with anyone from Uber or Lyft about the accident.
  • Report the incident to your insurance carrier. You should report the incident to your personal auto insurance carrier as soon as possible. You do not need to go into detail about the incident when you make your initial report.

Uber, Lyft, and Vehicle Insurance

It can be confusing to understand how insurance works in the aftermath of an Uber or Lyft crash. This works on a tiered system depending on the status of the rideshare driver at the time a crash occurs.

  • If the Uber or Lyft driver causes a crash when they are not signed in to the app to work and do not have a passenger, then they are on their personal time in their personal insurance carrier will be responsible for any damages.
  • If the Uber or Lyft driver causes a crash while they are signed into the app to work, but they do not yet have a passenger, then their personal insurance carrier is still going to be primarily responsible for damages. Uber or Lyft will provide supplemental coverage in the event a claim is denied or if policy limits are reached.
  • If an Uber Lyft driver is signed into the after work and has a passenger, or is on the way to pick one up, both companies have a $1 million liability insurance policy that is supposed to provide coverage to anybody involved in the crash.

All of this can become incredibly challenging for crash victims, and it is strongly recommended that anyone in this situation work with a skilled Orange County Uber and Lyft accident attorney to help with their case.