The increase in rideshare vehicles such as Uber and Lyft has generated several benefits that help the general public stay safe and schedule rides without the added expense brought on by traditional taxi services. People are able to schedule rides to the airport, a trip to work, or a night out on the town without worry or much planning. In addition, those driving for these companies enjoy the benefits of independent work and offering a convenience to society.
But what happens if you are a Lyft or Uber driver and you are involved in an accident? Do you know your rights and responsibilities?
As more and more ride share companies hit the road, collisions involving Uber and Lyft drivers surely increase. It’s not to say that they are not responsible drivers, but as more rideshare drivers are out there, the chances of a rideshare collision increase, whether or not the rideshare driver was at fault.
Even worse, Uber and Lyft give little guidance on how to best handle a collision in the interest of the driver. California’s laws can also be confusing and hard to navigate, leaving many drivers without proper advice on the best course of action following a collision with another driver.
Here are a few helpful tips to get you on the right track following a collision.
The first and most important thing to do if you are involved in a crash is to call emergency services. While some people may think it is not important to contact 911 or feel guilty about calling for even a minor collision, having emergency responders on the scene will pay off.
When you contact 911, the police will respond to your crash site and make a detailed report of the scene. They will often take statements from each driver and any applicable witnesses before investigating the scene to see how the statements match the crash. In addition, they will contact medical personnel to treat any injuries or take victims to the emergency room.
It’s important to be honest when calling 911 and not to minimize the seriousness of your crash. Even a minor impact can have serious ramifications for your insurance policy and your health.
Car accidents can leave you in shock and confused. You may not even realize you are injured until some time has passed. Receiving immediate medical attention is vital to a fast recovery. Additionally, emergency responders provide documentation of your personal injuries and property damage that you and your rideshare accident attorney can use for a later claim.
Failing to call the authorities can give the courts reason to believe you were not injured or that your collision was less severe than it really was, making it harder for your motor vehicle accident attorney Newport Beach to win you compensation.
In addition to calling 911, it is important to document a crash with your own pictures or video. This will help you give the police a detailed description of what occurred and allow you to have your own evidence when making a claim to your insurance provider. Documenting the scene of the collision can feel strange but it is crucial in making sure you have all of your bases covered when arguing your case for coverage.
Items you should try to document are:
These basic pieces of evidence can make powerful statements later when making a claim with the insurance company.
In addition, your personal injury attorney Newport Beach will recommend you take photos and videos of any visible injuries you sustained in the collision. Showing your injuries helps when discussing damages later on in your claim.
Even if you don’t have visible injuries it is important to seek medical attention following a crash. You’re often in shock and may not feel pain from the impact for days. An assessment from a medical professional can catch injuries that you are unaware that you have.
A visit to the doctor’s office can also provide valuable evidence for the personal injury claims that you and your accident lawyers in Newport Beach will pursue. It also allows your doctor or the hospital to document your injuries for the insurance company.
If you feel any pain at the scene of the collision don’t be afraid to let the authorities know. They will often bring you to the hospital to get checked out via ambulance. While the idea of paying an ambulance bill may seem scary, your rideshare accident lawyers can include the cost of the ambulance ride in your accident claim.
If you choose not to take the ambulance at the scene, then take yourself to the nearest hospital, urgent care, or your primary care physician in the days following to check for any serious injuries. They will also document soft tissue injuries which can require chiropractic care, physical therapy, or massage for several weeks. Your insurance company is more likely to believe your injuries are legitimate when you have this professional documentation.
It may seem counterintuitive but contacting a lawyer before speaking with the insurance can greatly increase your chances of a smooth and successful claim. When you contact the insurance company, they will often ask you a series of questions that you may not be prepared to answer. Having experienced attorneys, that specialize in rideshare cases, on your side can help relieve some of the pressure put on by your insurance agent.
Time is often of the essence, so seeking legal consultation should happen as soon as possible to answer any questions you may have.. Having the right team on your side can make all the difference when dealing with insurance and medical treatment.
Within the Uber app, you can report your accident in a section called “Trip Issues,” which allows you to describe, in detail, what happened. You should then be contacted by an Uber team member who will reach out to discuss the collision by phone. This is why having an Uber accident attorney advise you is so valuable.
The Uber team will likely be taking notes and recording everything you say hoping that you say something that takes the liability off of their company. Try not to minimize your crash experience in any way. It is important to be honest but not modest. Uber may use the information against you later in your claim.
While under normal circumstances you would make a claim with your own insurance which might have MedPay coverage or rental coverage, making a claim with Uber and Lyft may have different qualifications and coverages that you may not be aware of. Speaking to a knowledgeable Uber or Lyft accident attorney is essential for understanding and exercising your rights.
If you drive for Uber or Lyft and have been involved in an accident, contact our experienced rideshare attorneys team at Accident Lawyers Firm today!
Insurance laws can be complex and downright confusing, but with the right team on your side, you can cut through the confusion and get back to what you do best. At Accident Lawyers Firm, we are here to help you heal. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.