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Ask a Lawyer: Who can I sue after being a passenger in a rideshare (uber/lyft) that was in an accident?

Dear Harsh Law:

Who can I sue after being a passenger in a rideshare (uber/lyft) that was in an accident?

Dear Potential Client:

Excellent question. If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle and the vehicle was involved in an accident, there are now multiple parties involved.

Ridesharing is becoming increasingly popular. Companies such as Uber and Lyft have provided a convenient way for people to get around. They have also been touted as a safer means of transportation, particularly for those who have been drinking alcohol. However, ridesharing drivers are just as likely to get into an accident as any other type of driver. When these crashes occur, it is important to determine which driver was negligent so that injured passengers can hold them liable.

It is important to note that when you enter into a rideshare vehicle, you are now entering a commercial vehicle with different insurance requirements.

If you are injured as a passenger in one of these vehicles, who can you sue? In general, you can sue the driver of the vehicle, the rideshare company, and any other driver or parties which may have contributed to the accident.

When filing a rideshare accident claim, taking the steps outlined below is important to increase your chances of success.

Step 1: Call the Police

Call the police immediately after a vehicle accident if you were the other motorist involved or the passenger riding in the ridesharing car.

If the ridesharing driver was negligent, other motorists and passengers can file a claim against them or the company.

If you were a passenger in the ridesharing vehicle and another driver was at fault, you will need to hold them liable.

If there was an accident, a police report will detail the negligent actions that caused it, as well as the party to blame. The details in a police report will be used by your legal team to support your case.

Step 2: Seek Medical Attention

If you are critically injured, you must call an ambulance to the scene to get medical attention as soon as possible.

If you are not critically injured, you can wait until you leave the accident scene but it is highly recommended you visit an emergency room or see a doctor right away.

Insurance companies are notorious for refusing to pay out on claims, particularly after a ridesharing accident. If the rideshare driver was at fault for the crash, Uber offers $1 million in insurance coverage in certain situations. Lyft has a similar policy. Insurers will do anything to avoid paying out on these large claims.

If you do not seek medical care right away, insurance companies will argue that you were not injured and are not entitled to compensation.

Step 3: Collect Evidence

You’ll need enough proof to show the at-fault party was negligent.

To accomplish this, start with taking pictures of the accident site, including images of the damage to all vehicles and dangerous conditions on the road. Get a variety of shots, including closeups and landscapes of the scene, and use different angles.

Locate anyone who saw the accident occur and ask for their name and contact information. You can use them as witnesses in your claim. After the accident, it is also sometimes possible to collect video surveillance footage from nearby businesses.

All evidence is important to your case, and it will provide you with the greatest chance of a favorable outcome.

Step 4: Call Harsh Law

Car accidents involving a ridesharing vehicle can get extremely complex. At Harsh Law, our experienced Southern California car accident legal team will collect the necessary evidence that will help you recover the damages you are entitled. Call us at 909-793-6261 or fill out the contact form on this website.