In June 2017, Governor Walker signed a bill that allowed Uber, Lyft, and other similar companies to start operating in Alaska. Within a week, Uber and Lyft began working in our state and providing a convenient and often useful service to the people of Alaska. However, as is the case with all motor vehicles, the potential for serious accidents and injuries exists.
Alaska law requires that ridesharing companies conduct background checks and look at the driving records of potential drivers, but the state counts on these companies being self-regulating and does not ensure that these steps were taken. Yet, even if the state did make sure that these background checks were carried out, it would not prevent every crash.
Accidents Will Happen Anyway and You Need to Know What to Do
If you are an Uber or Lyft passenger and the vehicle in which you are traveling is involved in an accident then it is important to do the following, if you are physically able to do so:
- Call the police.
- Take pictures of the accident scene.
- Record the names and contact information for any witnesses to the crash.
- Save the information about the driver and the trip from your Uber or Lyft app.
- Accept medical help.
Additionally, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer.
Who is liable—or legally responsible—depends on who caused the crash. If it was a driver other than the Uber or Lyft driver, then your claim would be against the other driver. However, if it was the Uber or Lyft driver who was negligent, then your claim would be against the Uber or Lyft driver.
Generally, Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors. That means that if a driver is negligent then your legal claim is likely against the driver. However, it is important to know that the driver should be covered by the insurance policy held by Uber or Lyft. There also may be limited circumstances when you could also sue Uber or Lyft directly.
You have a lot at stake. You have been hurt and the accident was not your fault. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you make a fair recovery after an Uber crash or another ridesharing accident. To learn more about your rights, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Together, we can work to protect the recovery that you deserve.