Ridesharing services are becoming more and more popular around the world. A recent survey of almost 11,000 people in the U.S. indicated that 36 percent of people used ridesharing services in 2018. This was a 15 percent increase from the people who used these services in 2015.
The two largest ridesharing companies in the United States are Uber and Lyft. In 2018, Uber reported revenue of 11.3 billion dollars while Lyft had revenue of 2.6 billion dollars.
As ride sharing services become more popular, car accidents involving ride sharing apps become increasingly common.
What should you do if you get into an Uber or Lyft accident? These types of accidents are different from conventional car accidents because they involve more people and companies and can involve multiple types of insurance. These types of accidents are also different from taxi cab accidents, because Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees of Uber and Lyft—they are considered independent contractors.
To understand how Uber and Lyft accidents are different from other types of car accidents, it helps to understand how these services work.
How Do Ride Sharing Apps Work?
Ride sharing companies utilize recent technological advances to match drivers with passengers at short notice for rides. While each service is slightly different, the basics of each service are the same:
- Riders use a GPS-enabled smartphone to request a ride.
- The rideshare service app’s algorithm then matches the rider with an appropriate driver.
- The rideshare driver will then pick up the rider and drive him or her to the destination.
- All forms of payment are handled through the rideshare app.
In some ways, ride sharing services are similar to a taxi service. However, one very important difference is that ride sharing companies do not fall under the regulatory and licensing requirements that traditional taxi companies are subject to. This generally grants ride sharing companies a competitive price advantage over taxi companies. This is why ride sharing is generally considered a ‘disruptive’ technology.
How is Each Service Different?
Uber has a larger market share of riders in the United States than Lyft. Uber had 119.2 million users in the first three months of 2018 compared to 76.5 million for Lyft. However, the gap between the two companies got smaller during the quarter. In January 2018, Lyft reported 16 million users compared to 38.7 million users for Uber. By March 2018, Lyft’s ridership had increased to 32 million, while Uber’s ridership had only increased to 41.8 million.
Out of the two market leaders, some people have very strong opinions about which service is best. Some people like Uber because it has more features, others say that they prefer Lyft because of its customer service and its reputation for treating its drivers better.
There are also many other smaller rideshare services. These include:
However, these services are not available in all cities. For example, Gett is currently based in many European cities, but only recently came to the United States, with its purchase of Juno. Gett/Juno is currently only offered in the New York area.
These alternative rideshare services attempt to differentiate themselves from market leader, Uber, by offering lower prices to riders and higher payments to drivers.
How is an Uber or Lyft Accident Claim Different Than a Regular Accident Claim?
Normally, if you get into a car accident and another driver is at fault, the other driver or his or her insurance company is responsible for paying for your injuries in damages. However, if you are in a rideshare accident, there are multiple parties involved, including:
- The driver of each vehicle
- The ridesharing company
- The passengers of the ridesharing company
Because so many different parties are involved, there are also many different insurance companies involved. While ridesharing companies require their drivers to carry their own personal insurance coverage, the companies also carry their own insurance policies.
For example, Uber drivers have:
- Their own personal insurance policy
- $1 million in liability coverage for accidents and collisions provided by Uber
- $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provided by Uber
If you were in an accident and an Uber driver was responsible, the Uber insurance policy will not automatically apply.
How can you tell if the driver’s personal auto insurance or the Uber or Lyft insurance will cover your accident? In general, if the driver was not logged in to the Uber or Lyft system, then only the driver’s insurance policy applies. If the driver was logged into the system, but no actively driving a rider, then the driver’s personal policy applies, but Uber will provide some additional coverage. If the driver was on his or her way to pick up a rider or had a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the auto accident, then Uber’s liability insurance policy will apply.
What to Do if You Are in a Rideshare Accident
If you or a loved one has been in a motor vehicle accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you should make sure to do the following:
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Get the name and contact information of all drivers
- Obtain all driver’s insurance information, including personal and Uber or Lyft insurance policies
- Note the identifying information about all involved vehicles, including make and model, license plate numbers, VIN
- Keep receipts and text messages or emails about your ride
- Get the contact information of any other passengers or witnesses
- Ask the driver whether he or she was logged in the the rideshare app when the accident occurred
- Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles and any injuries
- Contact law enforcement and file a police report
- Contact an experienced Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyer!
What Happens if an Insurance Company Calls?
Sometimes an insurance company will contact you and try to get a recorded statement on file. We highly advise speaking to an experienced Lyft or Uber Accident Attorney prior to talking to any insurance company.
Insurance companies hire “insurance adjusters,” people whose job it is to settle any potential personal injury claims while paying as little money as possible. Do not trust insurance adjusters. They are not looking out for your best interest.
Before speaking with any insurance company, make sure to consult with a personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with rideshare accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
As soon as you have gotten medical attention, speak to a car accident lawyer who has experience dealing with rideshare accidents. You have nothing to lose by seeking legal advice. Most personal injury lawyers will offer you a free case review and everything that you tell them will be protected by attorney-client privilege, even if you don’t end up hiring them.
Consult With an Experienced Rideshare Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries, damages, and pain and suffering. Working with an attorney who has experience with rideshare company accidents is the best way to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
To speak with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer in the Las Vegas area, contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today. We offer Free Consultations. Our phone number is (702) 857-6000. You can also request a Free Case Evaluation through our website Contact Form.