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My Rideshare Driver Hit a Car and Ran, Do I Turn Him in?
Rideshare companies such as Lyft or Uber are all over the country, taking passengers where they need to go for an affordable price. These drivers are not screened as carefully as a taxi driver might have been, and some go “rogue” when it comes to obeying traffic laws.
The laws of all states note that if you are driving a vehicle and hit another car, an accident report should be made with the police recording the accident details. This counts if it is you in the car, a rideshare driving a car, your friend driving the car, or even a high-powered official driving a car. Everyone needs to advise the police of an accident with a car, and Uber and Lyft are no exception.
If you are in an Uber or Lyft vehicle and it hits a parked or occupied car during your trip, you may think that this accident has nothing to do with you. On the surface it may not, you were not the driver, only the passenger. But if the rideshare driver hits a parked car and keeps going, it is now called a hit and run accident.
On the insurance side for the rideshare driver, for Uber as an example, once a passenger is picked up and the Uber app is engaged, there is coverage from Uber for any accidents. Therefore, there is no reason for an Uber driver to flee the scene of a hit and run. That driver of an Uber car, on an Uber fare, is covered up to $1 million per accident if liable, and covered with uninsured and underinsured car insurance coverage too. Their own vehicle is also covered in the hit and run accident up to their $1,000 deductible for the loss. For these coverages, and the morality of “skipping the scene” after colliding with another car, what gives and why would an Uber driver flee the scene? Well, there are several reasons that this might have happened, and none of them are good.
Knowing that the Uber or Lyft driver is fully covered with plenty of insurance, and the driver still flees the scene of a hit and run, here are some reasons why that driver wants to get out of town:
- The driver is already wanted by the police for something else, and is avoiding arrest.
- The driver is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medication.
- The driver is otherwise impaired.
- The driver is in the country illegally and is avoiding deportation.
- The driver is not a legally authorized rideshare driver, but is the friend of the authorized driver for Uber or Lyft.
- The driver has illegal substances hidden somewhere in the car.
- The driver is driving a stolen car, or a vehicle considered stolen or taken without authorization from the owner of the car.
- The driver freaks out
Now let’s answer your question: If a rideshare driver is in a hit and run accident while you are a passenger, should you turn the driver in? The answer is: YES! You need to turn this driver into the police. There should not be the case that you would be seen to be at fault for this loss, since after all, you are only the passenger. But there could be the case that someone saw you in the vehicle, or there was a recording of a video camera at an intersection of you being in the vehicle, which puts you also at the scene.
If you have been in any type of rideshare accident and sustained injuries, and you wonder if you have been put in any liability for that accident, just give Sarofiem & Antoun a call at (201) 792–3333. We are here to explain any liability that you might have in this case, call today, we are here for you.