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What To Do After An Uber Or Lyft Accident?

What Should I Do After An Uber Or Lyft Passenger Accident?

Lyft and Uber are very popular ways to get around Bay Area cities like San José. Put the app on your phone and you're good to go.

Free to get where you want, without being tied down to your own car. But, using Uber and Lyft are not without risks.

You may have been involved in a rideshare accident, and asking yourself: 

What Should I Do Now That I Got Hurt In An Uber Or Lyft Accident?

Please read on and I will explain.

What's The Difference Between A Ridesharing Company And A Cab Company?

Uber and Lyft are ridesharing companies. When you ask for an Uber driver using your cell phone app, you are actually sending a signal to all local Uber drivers in the area. Each Uber driver operates their own small business. Lyft explains: People who want transportation from point A to point B can be matched with transportation options to such destinations

Uber and Lyft hire drivers who are independent contractors. They are not employees of Uber and Lyft. This means that Uber or Lyft can deny liability for the accident.

Uber and Lyft drivers has a maximum insurance policy of $1,000,000 for “on duty” injuries. But, the terms of the insurance policy are very specific, depending on who is in the car at the time of the accident, and whether or not the driver is providing a service for Uber or Lyft at that very precise moment.

Taxi cab drivers are usually employees of the taxi company whose name is on their cab. Did you know what San José taxi cab drivers have to apply for a taxi cab operator license and that application has to be approved before they can even drive a cab in San José?

A taxi driver permit application in San José asks a lot of questions, such as criminal history. It also requires that the applicant agree to drug and alcohol testing and for the San José Police Department to directly receive the results. These taxi driver laws are designed to protect the public. Taxi cab drivers have to be fingerprinted and their prints are run through the FBI, which takes 30 days or so. The California government does not impose these standards on rideshare companies.

What Is the Difference Between A Rideshare Ride And A Cab Ride?

It depends on who you ask: a rideshare company or a taxi cab company.

When you tap the Lyft app on your cell phone, you are actually sending a signal to all local Lyft “drivers” in the area. Neither Lyft nor Uber drivers don't have any specialized permit, training in driving a car, nor in carrying passengers. They also don't have a special license like the one required for taxi cab drivers.

Each Uber driver runs their own small business as an independent contractor.

Ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft say their services make it easy to get a ride using an app on your phone. Their drivers are just regular people who give people rides their own cars.

What's The Difference Between Car Insurance For A Rideshare App Like Uber And Car Insurance For A Taxi Cab?

Rideshare companies have complicated insurance rules. Both Lyft and Uber have $1,000,000 insurance policies for accidents involving their passengers but it's only available under a certain circumstance.

A rideshare accident involves at least three parties: the rideshare driver, the rideshare company and the injured passenger.

Uber has a $1,000,000 policy. However - - Uber's insurance has a lot of fine print and their requirements that have to be met. 

Lyft and Uber claim their drivers comply with standards while giving rides. Here are Lyft's community guidelines and Uber's terms of use.

Because both passengers and drivers can leave each other ratings and reviews, this is supposed to help keep both riders and drivers in check.

Taxi companies say that ride sharing is really nothing more than a taxi cab service that cuts corners to sidestep the historical rules and regulations that have kept taxi passengers safe. These industry standards have held taxi drivers to a certain level of conduct and safety. For example, San José taxi cab drivers can actually lose their cab permit if they fail to meet certain standards. 

What's The Difference Between Reporting An Accident To Uber And Reporting An Accident to a Taxi Company?

Both Uber and Lyft have online accident reporting that seems “easy” to use. Many taxi cab companies don't have that capability. Even though Uber and Lyft let you report the accident online, I recommend you do not report it yourself.

Why? Because just like a Form SR-1, sometimes people who get injured in a rideshare accident make mistakes when they report an Uber or Lyft claim online and when reporting a claim to a taxi cab company. The way the questions on the online accident reporting app on Lyft and Uber and the questions from the cab company's insurance are answered are very important.

In your case, there might be a risk that completion of the form or reporting the claim directly to the taxi cab company could expose you to liability.

Uber's online accident reporting starts out saying: Please let us know what happened by sharing details that will help us to support you. Don't be fooled. Uber only wants to protect Uber. You need a good attorney who will protect you.

When a traditional cab driver is at fault in an accident, claims can be filed against that particular cab company. The tax cab insurance covers the taxi cab driver inside their cab 24 hours a day. Cab companies need to have a comprehensive insurance policy that covers all its drivers. This increases overhead for the business and means slightly higher fares for customers, but it also means protection to anyone who gets hurt in a taxi cab accident.

What Do I Need to Do After An Uber Accident?

Follow these rules: What Must I Do After A Car Accident? 

In California, passengers are not legally required to remain at the accident scene, but it's still the best idea.

Why? Because you've got to get a police report and if you're injured, you should wait for the ambulance to arrive.

After you seek medical care, reach out to a good accident attorney before talking to any insurance company, even your own.

Do I Really Need To See A Doctor After My Uber Accident?

After an Uber accident, you may ask yourself:

If feel okay after my Uber accident, do I really need to see a doctor?

Like any other accident, I recommend that you see a doctor right after any rideshare accident. Some injuries don't reveal themselves until days and even weeks after the accident. If you do not see a doctor right away, Uber or Lyft may argue that you got hurt somewhere else, after the accident date.

What kinds of injuries can be caused by an Uber accident?

Back injuries

Brain injuries 

Broken bones


Disfigurement or scarring

Infection after an accident

Internal injuries (organ damage)

Knee injuries

Loss of a limb

Neck injuries


Senses: loss of smell or taste 

Silent injuries

Wrongful Death

Who Is Responsible To Injured Uber Passengers For Accidents Caused By Uber Drivers?

After the shock of the accident wears off, you may wonder about the Uber accident insurance policy and want to know:

  • Who is responsible to me after I got hurt in an Uber accident?
  • Accident with the Uber app off?
  • Drivers own personal car insurance is responsible. Uber won't pay any of your damages.
  • Because rideshare drivers are self-employed, they have to carry car insurance that covers them for rideshare activities.
  • Regular car insurance policies don't cover rideshare activities.
  • Some Uber and Lyft drivers just assume that their regular car insurance will cover them - - it's only after an accident that they learn their personal car insurance does not actually cover them while they're working as an independent contractor for Uber or Lyft.
  • Accident with Uber app on?
  • Drivers personal car insurance and the Uber's liability coverage can cover your damages.
  • Accident during an Uber ride?
  • Uber's commercial insurance policy and its limits apply.

What Kind Of Claim Can I Make After An Uber Accident?

The same kind of claim that you can make for any other car accident.

First, it has to be proven who was at fault. That is, who was negligent. If you prove negligence and have a good case, you can receive compensation for your case.

Sometimes, an Uber or Lyft driver acts recklessly, like getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. If that's the case in your rideshare accident, then you can also get punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages.

When Should I Call A Rideshare Accident Attorney?

Generally, there is a statute of limitations of two years to file a California lawsuit and sue for a car accident. That clock starts on the date of the accident. With extremely limited exceptions, the clock runs out exactly 730 days later, because a year is 365 days.

But, it's still the best idea to contact an Uber accident attorney right away, on the date of the accident if possible. That way you can reap all the benefits and protections of having a good attorney fight for you from day one.

If you or your loved one were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, please call me at (408) 214-5555 or message me.

If you hire me, I will work on your behalf and fight for maximum payment on your rideshare accident case.

Protect your rights by talking to an attorney before you do anything besides: call 911 and seek medical care.

My name is Renée Yvonne Gardner. I am the attorney at Gardner Law. I speak Spanish - hablo español.

I am a San José rideshare accident attorney. I have experience with personal injury and wrongful death accident

If were injured in a rideshare accident, contact me at (408) 214-5555 or here: message me here for a free consultation.

If your loved one passed away after a rideshare accident, please call me about your wrongful death case.

Call Renée Today

I deliver personalized representation in serious personal Injury, wrongful death, death benefits, criminal defense, and post-conviction relief ("cleaning") cases. Please call (408) 214-5555 or fill out my contact form.