Ridesharing services, like Uber or Lyft, crushed taxi competitors in 2017 and are still seeing growth with new apps popping up every day. But did you ever wonder, in the backseat of your Uber, what would happen if you got into a car accident right now?

It helps for any rider to understand their rights in case of an accident – especially if a rideshare service is involved. However, you need to understand how liability is placed in these unique accidents and what you can do after to help your interests.

Who is liable?

Car accidents involving ridesharing vehicles can be difficult to process – especially since Uber and Lyft use contractors as their drivers.

To large companies – Uber and Lyft included – it is easier to employ contractors instead of employees. Using independent contractors lets the company put liability on individual drivers and avoid any direct connection to accidents. They are merely the connector between riders and their drivers.

Most people injured during Uber or Lyft trip try to sue the companies themselves. However, the driver typically assumes the liability because they were the ones operating the vehicle. State courts address this conflict differently, but the contractors usually are liable for any injuries or damages that happened while they were driving.

What should I do after an accident?

You basically should do what you would in a normal car crash with a few additional steps:

  1. Car 911 and take photos of the damage
  2. Write down names and information from witnesses
  3. Write down the name of your driver – you can even find it on most rideshare apps
  4. Take screenshots of your receipt and your Uber ride
  5. Seek treatment for any injuries
  6. Consult with a legal professional about injury compensation

Following these steps can assure you have the proper evidence to file a claim or report the accident. Most injuries can be covered by Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy – which covers drivers and passengers who are hurt in car accidents.

Your situation can be more complex if you were a pedestrian who was injured by a rideshare vehicle or if you sustained severe injuries during a car accident. It would be best to seek medical treatment immediately and consult with your insurance company about the next steps.