Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become tremendously popular in recent years, but they have also stirred public discussion concerning accidents and liability. In 2014, an Uber driver struck and killed a six-year-old in San Francisco. Uber denied liability for the child’s death, asserting they consider their drivers independent contractors and thus shift all liability for accidents on to the drivers.

What Should I Do After an Accident with an Uber?

If an Uber driver hits you, your state’s laws may contain a few possible avenues of compensation. Your options may hinge on whether you were driving or a passenger at the time of the wreck, but the likelihood of being able to hold Uber liable for your damages is slim. After suffering injuries or damages from a negligent Uber driver, the steps you should take closely mirror the steps for building a typical personal injury case with a few exceptions.

Your first priority should be to collect and preserve as much evidence from the accident as possible. This should include photos of the crash site, photos of all the damage done to all the cars (this will help investigators establish the cause of the crash), the position of skid marks on the road, notable landmarks nearby (to give the jury a more accurate picture of the scene), and photos of your injuries. As with any other car crash, expect to talk to the police before you can go on your way unless you sustained severe injuries. In that case, wait for paramedics and do not attempt to move yourself.

Provide the police with accurate, concise answers to their questions. Remember to avoid saying phrases like “I’m sorry,” as the police may construe such statements as admissions of fault. After you provide a statement and the police allow you to leave, seek medical attention for your injuries immediately. Even if you didn’t sustain severe injuries, seeking treatment in a timely manner is crucial to success in a future lawsuit. After handling these immediate issues, speak with a reliable attorney as soon as possible.

How an Attorney Will Help with an Uber Accident in Montana

Companies like Uber and Lyft carry liability policies for paying passengers injured by at-fault drivers during a paid trip. While this coverage may apply to your case, you may still need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Your attorney will immediately send a spoliation letter to the ride-sharing company, which will inform them of the case and require them to preserve any and all evidence related to your case. Depending on your state’s laws, violating the terms of a spoliation letter could open the door to a lawsuit against the company for failing to preserve evidence.

In most situations, you will not be able to sue Uber or another ridesharing company for the actions of their drivers unless your case meets certain criteria. Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services carry liability coverage, but these policies only apply in certain cases. If you are unsure about your legal options following any accident involving Uber or Lyft, speak with a reliable, experienced car accident attorney at Heenan & Cook, PLLC as soon as possible.