The popularity of the ride-sharing service phenomenon of companies like Uber and Lyft has exploded throughout the country, and they’re in particularly high demand in cities like Las Vegas. The majority of miles logged by ride-sharing drivers are traveled without incident, but in some cases, a driver could be in a car accident while you’re the passenger. If this happens, you’ll need to contact a car passenger injury attorney in Las Vegas to help advise you, because these types of cases can be complicated.
What to Do Immediately After the Car Accident
Our passenger injury attorneys at Harris & Harris explain what to do if you find yourself in an accident while riding an Uber or Lyft car:
- Check yourself for injuries – Make sure you, the driver or any other passengers have injuries. If anyone is injured call 911. Even if the injuries are minor, seek medical attention.
- Call the police – Police officers file a report detailing drivers’ and witness’ statements when they respond to the scene of the accident. Although they’re not admissible in court, these reports yield information about the driver, including their insurance company policy number.
- Gather all the information possible – Take pictures of the ride-sharing vehicle and its damage and any visible injuries you might have.
- Seek medical attention – Even if it’s a small injury, don’t assume it will go away on its own. You need to go to a doctor because, at the moment of the accident, the adrenaline from the trauma will mask the pain.
As a Passenger in a Car Accident, Who Pays for Your Injuries?
Various different scenarios can come into play:
- The ride-sharing app’s insurance – Uber provides insurance coverage for its drivers that cover riders in their vehicles. The coverage amount is at least $1 million of total liability coverage. It also covers the passenger in case another party is at fault but has no insurance. This cover is $1 million of total coverage for bodily injury. Lyft’s policy has a $1 million per accident limit.
- The driver’s insurance – Your driver should have his or her own auto insurance, but it may need to be a commercial insurance policy or personal coverage providing specific coverage for ride-sharing in order to pay off.
- Challenging scenarios – Although Uber and Lyft carry insurance policies for their drivers, that doesn’t mean that they’ll be eager to pay out on a claim. They may try to push responsibility onto the driver’s policy since their drivers are independent contractors, not employees. And the driver’s insurance company, assuming it’s the correct type of insurance and hasn’t lapsed, will probably try to say that the ride-sharing app’s insurance is responsible.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Uber or Lyft Directly
According to Uber and Lyft, their drivers are not employees, but rather, independent contractors. This is an important distinction because employees have more rights than independent contractors, and a company is likely to be legally responsible for the negligence of its employees, but not that of its independent contractors.
If the ride-sharing driver was responsible for the accident, you can try to argue that the ride-sharing company shares some level of blame for the crash, but this will be a difficult argument to make since Uber and Lyft have worked extremely hard to maintain the currently accepted legal standard that Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, not employees.
And keep in mind that, since recovery against Uber or Lyft insurance coverage is probably an option for you, whether through the company’s $1 million liability coverage, or through its $1 million UIM coverage, if you’re injured in a ride-sharing vehicle, going after the company directly is probably a last, and hopefully unnecessary, resort.
Get Help from Our Car Passenger Injury Attorney in Las Vegas
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Las Vegas in which you were the passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle, contact Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers today. We’re available 24/7 to take your call at (702) 384-1414.