Many people use Uber or Lyft as a convenient mode of transportation to get to where they want to go. While ride-share apps are very popular, you might not know what to do when your driver is involved in an accident during your ride. If you sustain injuries in a Uber or Lyft accident, getting help from an experienced injury attorney like the lawyers at the Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers is important. They can help you to understand what to do and how to handle your injury claim. Here is an overview of how to handle an Uber or Lyft accident as a passenger.
What passengers should do immediately after ride-share accident
As a ride-share passenger, being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident will likely leave you wondering what to do. If you suffered injuries, you might have medical bills that you will need to pay, experience pain, and be unable to report to work. Taking the right steps immediately after your accident might help you to protect your ability to recover compensation to pay for all of your losses.
If you read their websites, Uber and Lyft are not very clear about what riders should do when there is an accident. However, the drivers are instructed to call 911, check their passengers for injuries, and get medical help for anyone who is injured. If you are in a Lyft accident, a representative from the company’s Trust and Safety Team will contact you to provide you with insurance information.
Riders can reach Uber or Lyft after an accident through their websites. However, they are not clear about what will happen after you do. It is a smart idea to get help from an attorney when you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident because the process can be complex.
Whenever you are injured in a ride-share accident as a passenger, there are certain steps that you should take. Make sure to get the driver’s information and the information of any other drivers involved in the crash. You will want to get their names, insurance information, license plate numbers, and the makes and models of each involved vehicle. Write down the time and location of the accident, and make sure to save the ride information on your phone.
Other steps you should take immediately after the accident include the following:
• Check everyone for injuries. The first thing you should do is to check yourself, any other passengers, and your driver for injuries. If anyone is injured, provide any help you can and call 911. Even if you think that your injuries are minor, you should still make sure to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. You might not experience symptoms of certain types of serious injuries for hours after an accident.
• Call 911. If your driver has not already done so, call 911 to report your accident. Make sure to tell the dispatcher the nearest cross streets, how many vehicles were involved, and whether anyone has any injuries. This will let the dispatcher know which types of emergency responders to send to the scene of the accident.
• Talk to the police. When the police arrive, tell the officers what you recall happening in the moments leading up to the accident and any details you can remember about the crash itself. If you are asked whether you are injured, you should tell the officer that you want to see a doctor. Do not deny that you are injured. You might have injuries about which you are not immediately aware, and a denial of injuries could be used against you by the insurance companies later when you file your claim.
• Gather evidence at the scene. Gathering as much evidence as possible at the scene can help you when you file a claim. If you can, use your smartphone to take pictures of the damage to each vehicle, wide-angle shots of the entire accident scene, pictures of the weather conditions, photos of any traffic control devices or speed limit signs, and pictures of other relevant details like tire marks. Photos can be strong types of evidence to show what happened in the accident. If anyone else witnessed what happened, get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of each witness so your attorney can contact them later.
• Go to the hospital or your doctor’s office. You should always seek medical care after an accident. Doing so can speed your recovery from any injuries you might have and helps to show that your injuries were caused by your accident instead of a different incident. Make sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations, and keep all appointments for follow-up care.
• Talk to an experienced injury lawyer. Uber and Lyft claims can be very complex. There might be several insurance companies involved, and the companies will have teams of defense lawyers who are prepared to fight against claims and minimize the amounts that the companies might have to pay. You do not want to be on uneven footing when you are trying to recover compensation for your losses. An attorney who has experience handling ride-share injury claims can help you to navigate the claims process and handle communications with the insurance companies for you.
In an Uber or Lyft accident, you might be dealing with three or more insurance companies, including your driver’s personal plan, the other driver’s insurance plan, and the Uber or Lyft liability policy. This makes it crucial for you to gather as much information as possible immediately after your accident to help you with your claim.
Getting compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident
If you are a passenger who is injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should be entitled to pursue compensation for your losses.
Uber and Lyft provide $1 million in liability insurance for accidents that happen when drivers are transporting passengers. Passengers are generally never liable for Uber or Lyft accidents. However, the value of your claim might be reduced if you were not wearing a seatbelt.
Insurance carriers for Lyft and Uber try to avoid paying out claims if they can. This means that it is not unusual for the ride-share company’s insurance carrier to deny a claim. If this happens, you will need an attorney to help you fight the insurance company. You can also seek coverage for your losses from the driver’s own insurance policy. However, if the driver does not have a special endorsement on his or her policy allowing him or her to drive for pay, the company might deny the claim because the driver was operating his or her vehicle for pay. Finally, the other driver’s insurance policy might also be a source of recovery if that driver shared a degree of fault for causing the accident.
What damages can you recover?
Damages are the monetary amounts that are awarded to the victims of personal injury accidents involving negligence, including rideshare accidents. How much you might receive will depend on the severity of your injuries, how likely you are to fully recover, the potential sources of recovery, and other factors. Some of the types of damages you might be able to recover in a ride-share injury accident include the following:
- Medical bills, including the future costs of treatment
- Rehabilitation costs
- Physical therapy
- Past and future income losses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional harm
- Loss of consortium, if applicable
- Other damages
If the driver’s actions were particularly outrageous, punitive damages might also be recoverable.
Because of the complex nature of insurance claims following a ride-share accident, it can be difficult to navigate the process after being injured while riding as a passenger. An experienced attorney should know how to help you navigate the claims process and protect your right to recover damages.