Ridesharing apps have revolutionized today’s mode of transportation. Millions of users enjoy the convenience and accessibility of these services. However, with the increased car usage, an Uber or Lyft accident may still happen. This guide will let you know what steps to take if you ever find yourself in such an unfortunate situation.
One of your primary concerns should be the immediate safety of all parties involved. Of course, you have to check yourself for injuries first, and then the others as well. If possible, request the driver to move the Uber/Lyft vehicle to a safer location away from the traffic and turn on the hazard lights. If you need medical attention, call emergency services immediately.
Document the Scene
You should gather as much information as possible. Try to take photos and videos of the accident scene. Include the damage to the vehicles, road conditions, and any visible injuries. In an Uber or Lyft accident, photos will serve as a guide in accident reconstruction. A well-documented scene will provide clues on how the accident happened, and prove the fault of the liable party.
Exchange contact and insurance details with the driver of the Uber/Lyft vehicle and any other drivers involved in the accident. Note down their names, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. Look around to see if there are witnesses; collect their contact information as well.
Report the Accident
Both Uber and Lyft have processes in place for reporting accidents. That is why you should inform the rideshare company about the accident through their respective apps or support channels. When submitting a report, you should provide a detailed account of the incident, and ensure that it is documented.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not manifest immediately and could worsen over time. Keep records of all medical visits, diagnoses, treatments, and expenses related to your injuries. You will need this information when filing an injury claim.
Consult an Attorney
Consult a lawyer experienced in handling an Uber or Lyft accident to guide you when filing an injury claim. A personal injury lawyer can assess your case, protect your rights, and guide you through the legal process.
An attorney will help you understand your options and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. That goes both ways – from understanding your policy coverage to dealing with the ridesharing company’s insurer as well. Remember, if there is someone who would truly advocate for your maximum compensation, it is your attorney.
Perhaps the most important reminder in this Uber or Lyft Accident guide is for you to preserve evidence. Keep all your medical records, videos, photographs, witness statements, and correspondence with Uber/Lyft and insurance companies. All documentation related to the accident will strengthen your case should you need to file a claim or pursue legal action.
Understand Insurance Coverage
Both rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft, provide insurance coverage for their drivers and passengers. So, familiarize yourself with their policies to determine what coverage may apply in your situation. Such coverage may vary depending on whether the driver was actively carrying passengers or between trips at the time of the accident.
Be Cautious of Settlement Offers
If the rideshare company approaches you with a settlement offer, exercise caution. More often than not, accident victims are entitled to a compensation amount that is higher than the settlement offer. In addition, you may be waiving your chance to sue if there is negligence when you accept an early settlement. It’s advisable to consult with your attorney before accepting any amount to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Experiencing an accident while using Uber or Lyft can be a distressing event, but it is essential to know how to handle the situation. By prioritizing safety, documenting the scene, seeking medical attention, and seeking legal advice, you can protect your rights and work towards receiving the compensation that you truly deserve. Remember to consult with an Uber or Lyft accident lawyer who can guide you through the process and advocate for your best interests.