Question

I was injured while a passenger in an Uber/Lyft vehicle. Can I claim damages in California?

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Michael Ghozland - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Michael Ghozland

Located in Los Angeles, CAGhozland Law Firm

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Answer

Yes, you may be able to claim damages regardless of whether your driver was at fault. Even though Uber and Lyft drivers are considered third-party contractors by the two companies, both corporations have significant insurance coverage if the drivers get into an accident while on the app for the company. That doesn’t mean that Uber or Lyft will make it easier for someone to claim damages, but it is possible if you know how to deal with them.

What To Do After The Accident

If you were injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the first thing to do is get as much information about the other driver as possible. You should also take photos of the property damage to both vehicles. Your Uber or Lyft driver may ask you to stay in the car. If this happens, stay calm and try to gather as much information as you can from where you are. If the police arrive to take statements, make sure they know that you were the passenger and that you expect to make a statement, as well.

If you’ve been injured, go the hospital and receive medical treatment. It’s important that your injuries are treated for your physical wellness, and it can serve as documentation that you were injured if you decide to file a personal injury claim. After your injuries have been treated and shortly after the accident, contact Uber or Lyft to make them aware that you were injured in a ride-share accident. Otherwise, you may lose track of the information about the driver.

The Process To File For Damages

Even though your vehicle wasn’t damaged in the accident, there are several other reasons you may choose to claim damages. Compensation may go to helping you pay:

  • Medical bills
  • Ongoing medical care, if your health was seriously impacted
  • For medications during and after your recovery
  • Missed paychecks due to your inability to work
  • Emotional distress
  • Other unexpected costs associated with your accident

You don’t need to be the driver for a vehicular accident to seriously impact your life. Unfortunately, because both Uber and Lyft consider their drivers to be third-party contractors, it can be difficult to determine who pays damages during an accident. Your driver’s insurance may cover some of the cost but may not provide the adequate resources you need to recover.

Uber and Lyft make the process to claim damages difficult on purpose, and filing a claim can be a technical and complicated process. This is why having an attorney while working with insurance companies can be beneficial. They can help you file your claim correctly and help ensure you get enough resources to heal from your injuries and move forward with your life.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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