With all the ridesharing companies out there today, it’s so much more convenient to have someone drive you to your destination. You’re helping the environment and your wallet at the same time!
It’s a win all around—until you’re in an accident in a rideshare vehicle.
If you’re injured, things can get tricky. Factors like who was at fault, insurance coverage for all parties, and the state’s laws determine who covers your medical bills.
Another key factor is what you do and say after the accident. Rideshare laws are still being developed. But these tips will guide you through your first steps during this confusing and stressful time.
1. Stay Calm and Check for Injuries
The most important thing to do is to make sure you and the others in the accident are safe. Some common injuries might take a few days to show up, but you’ll know if anyone is seriously hurt and needs medical care right away.
Make sure the driver pulls the vehicle out of the way of other traffic if possible. Then, you or someone else can call law enforcement and ask for an ambulance if necessary.
2. Get Everyone’s Info
While you’re waiting for the local law enforcement to arrive, tensions can be high. People are scared, frustrated, and angry, and rightly so. But they’re also looking for someone to lead them, and that could be you.
When you’re sure everyone is out of harm’s way, use your phone or a notepad to collect each person’s contact information. Get their address and phone number, since one or the other could change by the time you need to use it.
Ask for their insurance cards and write down the company and policy number. Having all this info in one place may be helpful later, and you can send it to everyone involved to make things easier for them.
3. Collect Evidence
If there were any witnesses to the accident, that’s great! It’s not up to you to interrogate them, but you can get their contact info. If you end up going to court later, your lawyer may need this.
As long as you’re able to safely move around, use your phone to take pictures of the damage to any vehicle. Include photos of the area it happened in and any injury you sustained.
Rideshares like Uber and Lyft have different laws regarding responsibility. Because of this, getting a personal injury attorney who specializes in this type of accident is essential.
4. Report the Accident
Since law enforcement has already been called, your next step is to contact the rideshare customer service line. When you report the accident, let the company know that law enforcement has been called and you will have a police report.
Most rideshare companies have the same type of coverage plans, broken into what they call “periods.” These periods range from 0 to 3, and where you were in their block determines how much liability the rideshare coverage includes. But it can get complicated, particularly if the driver of the rideshare was at fault.
Be careful not to say too much to the rideshare customer service person. They may put you in contact with their insurance representatives or recommend you call your insurance company.
Your attorney will be able to give you more advice to help you avoid the tricks that insurance companies frequently use to get out of paying claims.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Whether you feel like you were injured or not, you must let the medical experts decide. In many cases, after an accident, your body is in shock. As you deal with the immediate necessities, your mind shuts down any pain.
When the shock wears off, the pain begins to show up. A medical professional knows what to look for. There may be internal damage, a concussion, or another serious physical problem.
This medical report is going to be necessary when you file your complaint with the rideshare company, as well.
Rideshare companies are popular all over the world, and for the most part, they’re pretty safe. But accidents can and will happen. When they do and you’re in an Uber, Lyft, or similar company, the legalities get tricky.
Use these tips to guide you on what to do after a rideshare accident. It’s a stressful time, but when you know what to expect, it’s a little less complicated.