Uber and Lyft have become incredibly popular in Portland and other Oregon cities. These convenient ride shares allow customers to quickly hitch a ride virtually any time and anywhere within the Portland Metro region. The drivers are regular folks who are often driving as a second job. However, this can create problems. Uber and Lyft are regularly in the news for the various issues that arise when their drivers don't behave or make mistakes. People have reported incidents of Assaults, Sexual Assaults, and verbal abuse from ride share drivers. However, the most common incident with Uber or Lyft is when the driver gets in a Car Crash with a passenger in the back seat. (Click here for recent story of Uber Driver Crashing Into Gas Pump)
If you are in a passenger in a Ride Share program and are injured in a car crash you are going to face some unique issues. One of the major issues that you will face is whose insurance is going to pay for your medical bills and compensate you for your injuries. Many insurance policies exclude coverage for drivers that are working for Uber or Lyft. That means if the Rideshare driver was at fault for the crash, then their bodily injury insurance may not provide coverage to pay you for your medical bills or damages. Uber and Lyft have their own insurance policies, but they are not usually willing to pay without being forced to. That is why you will usually need a lawyer if you are injured while a passenger in a ride-share program.
If you are injured in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver here are some tips for you:
- Ensure you preserve the driver's information. You need the driver's name and the license plate of the vehicle. You can take photos of the driver's license and the license plate. However, it is important to try and document the Uber or Lyft Ride. The best way to do this is Screenshot the Lyft or Uber app right after the crash. This is not always possible due to the severity of the injury, but that is the best way to ensure you have the driver's information. If you were unable to screenshot the App immediately after the crash, both apps have a ride history section where you can bring up the driver's information and the ride route. (click here for instructions for UBER) (Click here for instructions for Lyft) Once you find the ride then screenshot the page to ensure you preserve it.
- Get the UBER or LYFT Driver's Insurance Information: Get their Auto Policy information and all of the Uber or Lyft Insurance information. If the driver drives for both Uber and Lyft then try and get insurance information from the driver for both companies.
- Other things to do At the Scene: Once the area is safe, USE YOUR CELL PHONE to gather evidence: Take pictures of the car damage, the scene, the bad driver, witnesses, and the bad driver' driver's license, the bad driver's license plate, and the bad driver's insurance card. Call 911 if there is an injury and relay what the injuries are. Have witnesses text or email you their contact information from their phones. This way you can locate them later if needed.
- Seek Medical Care: Immediately seek treatment if you are injured. Oregon auto insurance policies should pay $15,000.00 for up to two years of crash related medical treatment. The Uber or Lyft Driver's insurance may pay as well. This is why it is important to contact a lawyer first, as these issues need to be addressed early in the case.
- Call A Lawyer at 503.224.1658: It won't cost you anything to chat, and you can learn about what you need to do next. I will give you a free case evaluation.
- If you choose not to call a lawyer, you should contact your auto insurance if you have it: Call your insurance company to set up a claim. Cooperate with them, but be cautious of their motives.
- Be Cautious of Discussing things with The Other Driver's Insurance and Lyft or Uber.
If you have any questions please call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation. Legal Stuff: Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and you will likely need to do more than what is listed above to pursue an injury claim on your own behalf. Also, the law is constantly changing, so please consult with a lawyer rather than relying on this post.