In the modern world of on-demand travel which services like Uber and Lyft provide, having a grasp of what to do when involved in an accident is important and should always be considered. Accidents are undoubtedly stressful incidents, but knowing how to accurately report and document them can be integral not only for your health and safety, but also for any subsequent legal proceedings.
The Difficulty of Rideshare Accident Claims
Amidst convenient and cost-effective rideshare services, there’s a lesser-discussed issue: the rising number of rideshare accidents. Unfortunately, handling these types of accidents can be more difficult than dealing with a typical motor vehicle accident. Here’s why it’s a challenge:
Identifying Liability in Rideshare Accidents
One of the main obstacles in rideshare accident reporting is determining who is responsible for the collision. Often, the confusion lies in whether the fault lies on the rideshare driver, the company, or maybe another party. Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees, which complicates the matter. It can be challenging to establish liability, leaving the victim unsure of how to proceed with a claim or a lawsuit.
Insurance Coverage Concerns
Another challenge that comes with rideshare accidents is the often confusing and overlapping insurance policies. Both Uber and Lyft provide third-party insurance coverage for their drivers, which kicks in under certain circumstances. In most cases, these policies cover liability and damages, but only when the driver is actively using the rideshare app.
Conversely, if the rideshare app is not in use, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy may apply to the situation. However, some personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage for incidents that occur while driving for a rideshare company. Navigating this insurance coverage maze can be a challenge, but knowing the rules and working with an experienced attorney will significantly ease the process.
Difficulty Speaking To a Human Being From The Rideshare Company
One of the notable challenges you could face when reporting a rideshare accident is reaching out to customer service. Due to the sheer number of customers using these platforms daily, getting prompt attention from a real person via Uber or Lyft customer service may be taxing, if not impossible.
Your need for quick and effective communication following an accident can be met with generic automated responses and longer-than-desired response times. These delays might further complicate matters by delaying necessary steps such as evidence gathering required during your claim filing process.
What To Do After The Accident
If you’re involved in an Uber or Lyft accident – as either a passenger or another driver on the road – the following are some of the steps you should take to ensure that your reporting of the accident goes smoothly:
First and foremost, always call 911 after a rideshare accident. This ensures immediate medical attention if anyone is injured, while also notifying local law enforcement about the incident. A police report can be instrumental evidence later on when filing an insurance claim or even a lawsuit.
Once emergency services have been contacted and your physical well-being has been attended to, it’s important you start documenting the accident scene if possible. Use your smartphone camera to take detailed pictures of the vehicle damages, road conditions at that time, along with any visible injuries suffered by either party involved in this unfortunate event.
Get Information from the Rideshare Driver
Next, you need to obtain essential details from the rideshare driver. This includes their full name, contact number, insurance information and if possible, take a photo of their driver’s license with permission. It would even be helpful to note down any specific observations about the driver or events leading up to the accident which could add value when recalling this experience in future proceedings.
Contact A Washington D.C Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Finally, consider seeking legal advice following an Uber or Lyft accident. Hiring a lawyer in Washington D.C who focuses on rideshare accidents understands the intricate laws revolving around rideshare accidents can be particularly advantageous. They will ensure you’ve reported the incident correctly to law enforcement agencies as well as assist in effectively reporting it to the rideshare company.
Other Tips When You’re Involved in a Rideshare Accident
While it’s essential to know how to report and document a rideshare accident, having additional practical tips can further equip you in safeguarding your wellbeing in such unfortunate situations. Make sure you understand the following:
Don’t Admit Fault to Anyone Involved or the Insurance Company
In an accident, emotions can run rampant and confusion can quickly mount. However, never admit fault – even if you think it might be yours – to anyone at the scene of the event or later when speaking with your insurance provider. Your guilt may not be legally accurate, and such statements could potentially work against you in settlement negotiations.
Don’t Discuss The Case With Anyone But Your Attorney
Discussing your case details might seem harmless; it’s natural that you want to confide with close friends or even vent on social media about your accident. But be aware that anything you say can be used against you during a legal proceeding. Therefore, keep the specifics of your rideshare accident confidential and only exchange information with an attorney representing you.
Always Follow Up With Recommended Medical Treatment
Your health should always be a top priority following a rideshare accident. Even if you initially think your injuries are minor, it’s essential to follow through with any recommended medical treatment by the healthcare professionals examining you after the incident.
This covers scheduled follow-up appointments and prescribed medication or physical therapy if needed. This practice ensures optimal recovery while also substantiating potential injury claims associated with this event. Besides healing, this diligence can significantly support possible compensation pursuits later on by showing your attempt to mitigate damages.
In the unfortunate event of a rideshare accident, understanding how to report and document it efficiently is vital. For help after you are safe and have spoken with law enforcement, contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.