What to Do if You Crash While Riding in an Uber

By  //  September 7, 2023

Millions of traffic accidents happen in the U.S. every year. In 2020, for example, an estimated 4.7 million collisions involving passenger vehicles occurred in the U.S., and an additional 3.8 million accidents involving light trucks happened.

When you choose to take an Uber instead of driving yourself, you might not consider the potential that you could be involved in a collision. However, Uber drivers are just as likely to be involved in collisions as other drivers. This makes it possible for you to sustain injuries in a car crash while riding in an Uber. As a passenger, knowing what to do immediately following an Uber accident can help you protect your rights to recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.

  1. Check Yourself and Others for Injuries and Safety Concerns

Following an Uber crash, the safety of everyone involved should be a priority. Assess yourself for any injuries, and then check your Uber driver and the occupants of the other involved vehicle. If you are physically able to render aid, do so if someone is injured. Check the scene to make sure it’s safe. If the scene is unsafe, carefully move anyone who is injured out of harm’s way. However, it’s best to avoid moving someone who is seriously injured unless doing so is necessary to protect them from further danger.

Do the following things after your Uber accident:

  • Look over your body carefully to identify any potential injuries.
  • If you can move, check every other person involved in the crash for medical needs or injuries.
  • Provide first aid to anyone who is injured if you physically can.
  • Check the scene to look for risks, including oncoming traffic, leaking fuel, and other hazards.
  • Call 911 to summon an ambulance if anyone needs medical care.
  • Only move an injured person if doing so is necessary to protect them from immediate danger.
  1. Report the Accident

Even though you were not one of the drivers in the crash, you should still report it. While your Uber driver will have to file a report with the police, the state, and Uber, you should also do so to protect your rights. Submitting reports provides you with evidence that you were involved in the accident so that you can file claims for compensation if you were injured.

Call 911

Call 911 following your accident. Your Uber driver or the other driver might call 911, but you should still do so just in case neither has called or is able to call. When you call 911, ask for the police to respond to the scene of your accident. Provide information about where the accident occurred. When the police arrive, they will investigate what happened.

Get a Copy of the Police Report

The police officers might talk to you, the Uber driver, and the other involved motorist. The investigating officer will make an initial determination of liability and figure out what happened, and they might issue citations to one or both drivers. Get the officer’s name, and ask where you can obtain a copy of the police report. Getting the report can provide your attorney with a roadmap for investigating what happened.

Police accident reports typically include the following types of information:

  • Date and time of the accident
  • Location where the accident occurred
  • Each vehicle involved, including the models and makes
  • License plate numbers
  • Weather and road conditions
  • Names and contact information for any witnesses
  • Areas of damage on each vehicle
  • Nearby road signs
  • Contact information for all involved parties
  • Each driver’s insurance information
  • Description of injuries
  • Diagram of the accident
  • Statements from both drivers, all passengers, and any witnesses
  • Any traffic violations/citations
  • The officer’s initial liability determination

Report the Accident to Uber

You should immediately report your accident to Uber. Doing so can improve your chances of recovering compensation from Uber’s insurance coverage for your injuries and other losses. Your Uber driver should also report the accident.

  1. Document Everything

If you were injured and are considering filing an accident claim, you should thoroughly document everything about your crash. As soon as you can, write down everything you recall about what happened, including during the moments just before the crash occurred, during it, and immediately after. Write down factual details about everything you observed and how the parties acted. Make notes about witnesses who saw what occurred, your injuries, and anything you noticed that you think might have contributed to the collision.

If you physically can, use your smartphone to take photographs and video of the accident scene, including the damage to each vehicle, debris left in the road, the road and weather conditions, nearby road signage, traffic control devices, tire skid marks, and any other details you think could be important.

Save copies of your medical records, including diagnostic reports, lab tests, and medical bills. Having these types of documents can help you if you file an insurance claim.

  1. Get a Physical Examination

You should see a doctor as soon as possible after your Uber accident. Don’t delay going to the doctor. Some injury symptoms can have a delayed onset, so you might not realize you were injured right after your accident. Try to see a doctor right after your accident or within 24 to 48 hours. If your general practitioner can’t get you in, see a doctor at an urgent care facility. If your injuries are more serious, take an ambulance from the scene directly to the emergency department for medical care.

  1. File Claims With the Relevant Insurance Companies

Uber provides insurance for accidents. If you suffered injuries as a passenger, you could be eligible for up to $1 million in coverage. How much insurance might be available depends on the phase the Uber driver was in at the time of the crash. However, as a passenger in an Uber vehicle, you will automatically be eligible for up to $1 million in liability coverage from Uber.

Uber’s coverage depends on the phase of driving as follows:

  • $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 when the driver had the app on and was available but had not received a request yet
  • $1 million liability when the driver had accepted a ride and was on the way to pick up the rider
  • $1 million in third-party liability insurance if the accident occurred while you were riding.

If the driver wasn’t logged into the app when your accident occurred, Uber’s insurance won’t cover it. In that situation, the Uber driver’s own auto insurance policy will apply up to its limits. If the other driver was at fault, their insurance might also provide coverage. A rideshare accident lawyer can help to identify which insurance policies might apply to your accident and work to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your losses.

When you report your accident to the insurance company or companies, be careful. Don’t agree to sign anything without talking to a lawyer. An attorney can review any paperwork you receive and any offers the insurer might have sent to evaluate them and ensure your rights are protected.

  1. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney

It’s important to consult an experienced Uber accident lawyer who understands the complexities involved with Uber accidents. If you were injured in the crash, speaking with a lawyer is critical for protecting your rights. If you weren’t injured, speaking to an attorney is likely not necessary. However, even if you suffered minor injuries, it’s still a good idea to consult a lawyer.

An attorney can help by assessing your crash and explaining whether you have a viable claim. Since Uber provides a policy with high limits to cover injuries in an Uber accident, you might be able to recover full compensation for your losses. An attorney might help you recover the following types of damages if you were injured in an Uber crash as a passenger:

  • Hospital bills
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost income from missing work
  • Reduction in your earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other losses

A lawyer will help you understand the types of damages that might be available in your case. They can help you by filing your claim, gathering evidence, and investigating what occurred. A lawyer can negotiate with the involved insurance companies to secure a fair settlement on your behalf and handle all of the details for you during the claims process.