What Happens If You're In An Accident While Taking An Uber Or Lyft?

Ride sharing, heavily popularized by Uber and Lyft, has transformed the way that people get around. It may also be contributing to an increase in the number of accidents out there on the roads.

If you use a ride sharing service, there are some important things you should know in the event of an accident.

What The Statistics Say

According to a recent study, ride sharing services have led to around $10 billion in losses due to fatal accidents. The results were actually the exact opposite of what researchers had hoped to prove. Rates of fatal car accidents have gradually been increasing about 2%-4% each year since researchers started looking at data from 2009 onward.

This is disappointing information for anybody who wants to think that ride sharing is safer than buses, subways, or regular taxis.

Why You Can't Sue The Ride Sharing Company

If you're injured in an accident involving a ride sharing service, who is to blame? You'll likely have to wait and see how the insurance claims work out for the drivers involved to be sure who is ultimately responsible for your bills. The one thing that's pretty clear is that you won't be able to sue Uber or Lyft.

Why not? It has to do with the nature of the way ride sharing works. Each driver is technically considered an independent contractor working for themselves. Unlike taxi drivers who work for a company, they aren't considered employees while they're on the clock. That allows the ride sharing companies to deny liability for accidents caused by drivers.

What You Can Do Instead

There are, however, a number of other ways that you can possibly recover compensation for your damages. 

First, you have a right to file a claim for damages with the insurance companies involved. If the driver of the car you were in was the one responsible for the accident, you would file your claim against his or her insurance company. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you'd file a claim against that driver's insurance company. If both drivers are partially at fault (or you aren't sure which driver has the blame), you may actually need to file a claim against both drivers. 

The problem you may run into is getting the insurance companies to pay without a fight. The insurance companies may try to wrangle out from other their obligation to pay by putting the blame on each other, leaving you stuck in the middle.

If that happens, you may need to consult a personal injury attorney about your claim. An injury attorney can advise you about your options and help protect your rights. Contact someone such as Jack W Hanemann, P.S. for more information.