Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, make it convenient to book a ride home, to work, or from a late-night party with just a tap. However, there’s a particular catch to these ride-sharing services—you’re entrusting your life and your companions to a stranger the moment you get into an Uber or Lyft vehicle.
Since you know little about your rideshare driver, his vehicle, and its condition, you’re risking your safety and of your loved ones when you book and board. A 2019 study conducted by the University of Chicago attributes a 3% increase in road fatalities all over the U.S. to rideshare drivers. Cities, where Uber and Lyft operate, contribute to higher night-time crashes and deaths, weekend mishaps. Rideshare drivers not only hurt themselves, other drivers, and their passengers, as they can also injure pedestrians.
Uber’s 2019 U.S. Safety Report also shows their drivers were involved in 36,000 fatal crashes during the previous year. These numbers are indeed alarming.
While this is often the worst-case scenario for anyone using Uber or Lyft, it’s best to know what immediate actions to take.
Immediate Steps to Take
Being involved in a car accident, particularly rideshare accidents, can be traumatic. But, you’ll need to get a hold of yourself and do the following steps for your safety:
1. Call 911
Call emergency services immediately so responders can assist you. They can send help for you and others involved in the crash.
2. Check Yourself and Others for Injuries
Check to see if you are injured. You might feel a little groggy from the crash, and you may think you don’t have any when you don’t see any visible cuts or bruises. One way to check for internal injuries is to check your skin. If you feel pain when you lightly press it, chances are you could have organ damage. It’s best to stay away from the road and wait for the paramedics to arrive.
If you didn’t sustain any severe injuries, you could check on other passengers or even the drivers involved in the accident.
3. Get Photo of Receipt and Note Time of Accident
Take a screenshot of your receipt and remember to take down the time of the accident. These are handy information that can help the police in their incident report and even help build your insurance or personal injury claim.
4. Take More Pictures
This time, you’ll need to document the extent of your injuries. Take pictures of the rideshare vehicle and the other vehicle involved in the accident. Make sure to capture the vehicles’ license plates. You can also snap a photo of the crash site and accompanying landmarks such as road signs or nearby buildings.
5. Get Driver Information
Talk to your rideshare driver and ask for their complete name, address, and contact number. You can also inquire if they have adequate insurance coverage to pay for your injuries. Uber and Lyft maintain that their drivers are independent contractors, and claims are often determined based on their status on the app. You can only claim against rideshare services if drivers are using the app and their status is either ‘requested’ or ‘accepted.’
You’ll also need to get the other driver’s contact information and their insurance coverage as well. If ever they’re responsible for the crash and your injuries, you’d need to negotiate with their insurance adjuster.
6. Obtain Witness/es and Their Contact Information
Besides getting drivers’ information, you can also look for a witness who can provide statements regarding the crash. Ask for their complete name, address, and contact number so you can get in touch with them should you need witnesses for your injury case.
7. Provide Details for the Police Report
Help the police create a comprehensive report regarding the accident by telling them all that you know. Once they’re done, ask for a copy of the police report.
8. Seek Medical Assistance
Once you’re done providing details about the crash, ask the police officer if you can go to the hospital for a checkup. Doctors can determine the extent of your injuries, prescribe medications or further tests, and even hospitalization. Obtain a copy of your medical records and keep your medical bills.
9. Consult Rideshare Accident Lawyer
You’ll need to consult a rideshare accident lawyer regarding how you can seek compensation for your injuries. Rideshare accidents are often complicated since Uber and Lyft may deny responsibility and place it all as the drivers’ burden.
Rideshare accident lawyers are adept at determining Uber or Lyft’s liability. They can represent you in your insurance claims and even defend you should you choose to sue both the driver and the rideshare company.
10. Stay Off Social Media
While social media is crucial for keeping in touch with loved ones after you’ve encountered an accident, it’s best not to post anything updates regarding your ongoing insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Allow the process to push through without bias and focus your time towards full recovery.
Rideshare accidents are harrowing and complicated. It’s best to know what immediate steps to take to prepare yourself and others when such a life-changing instance occurs.