Rideshare app companies like Uber and Lyft have added a tremendous amount of convenience to our everyday lives. They help us get from here to there in unfamiliar cities, get us to where we need to go when our cars are getting fixed, and make sure we get home safely after a night on the town.
For all of the benefits that rideshares provide, they aren’t without their liabilities. Unlike a taxi driver, a rideshare driver isn’t specially licensed, although they might be required to carry additional insurance coverage by their platform. Whereas a taxi driver’s vehicle is often owned and maintained by the company, a rideshare driver’s vehicle is their own – that means the rideshare company isn’t responsible for the maintenance or condition of the vehicle.
7 Things to Do After a Rideshare Accident
When you’re involved in a rideshare accident, you can expect this matter to be handled differently than a typical collision claim. Read below for some tips on what to do if you’re involved in a collision and how you can protect your personal injury claim.
1. Call 9-1-1 for Emergency Assistance
Don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 when someone is injured or complaining about a possible injury. Even if everyone seems uninjured, calling 9-1-1 can get expert medical assistance on the scene to evaluate everyone for possible injuries. Sometimes people are in so much shock – or are so angry – that they don’t recognize that they’re really hurt until the adrenaline dies down.
2. Report the Accident to Police & the Rideshare Company
If you’ve called 9-1-1, chances are a police officer is already on their way to take down an accident report. While this report isn’t admissible in court as evidence, it can be useful in settlement negotiations with the insurance companies later on.
You’ll also want to inform the rideshare company as soon as possible that you were involved in an accident with one of their drivers or as one of their drivers. You don’t have to provide exhaustive details of the accident just yet. Merely informing the company of the incident is important because it demonstrates you were diligent in reporting the incident.
3. Document Every Relevant Detail
Here are a few details you’ll want to collect to help you prove your claim:
- Time, date, and place of the accident
- Names and contact information of all involved parties
- Insurance information for the drivers involved
- License plate numbers
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Photographs of any visible injuries
- A screenshot of the rideshare receipt
- Write down what you saw or heard leading up to the accident
4. Collect Contact Information from Any Witnesses
If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. Their testimony about what they saw or heard can be used to provide clarity to what occurred.
5. Don’t Discuss the Accident or Injuries
People at the accident scene will want to ask if you’re OK, talk about your injuries, or discuss the accident. Avoid talking about these topics. Request medical attention and clearly state that you will not discuss the accident until after you’ve spoken with your attorney.
Also, avoid posting about the accident on social media – particularly any commentary that could be used to undermine your claim.
6. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Provided you didn’t need to be sent to the hospital already, now’s the time to go get yourself checked out and address any injuries that require immediate medical attention. You’ll also want to keep track of all of the medical bills and expenses you incur during this time, as these will be the focus of your claim and potential lawsuit.
7. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Before you file a claim with anyone’s insurance company, get a personal attorney to guide you through these next delicate steps. Insurance companies can be ruthless and unfair to deal with, and having a dedicated legal advocate on your side can protect your interests.
Some firms like us at The Orr Law Firm offer clients like you a free initial consultation. This is a risk-free opportunity for you to sit down with us, tell us about what happened in a confidential setting, and learn about how we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Compensation can often account for damages such as the following:
- Medical bills and related expenses
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance costs
- Medication costs
- Physical therapy bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You need an experienced attorney’s assistance to win damages like these after a rideshare accident.