Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft are increasingly popular these days. These services provide a very convenient way for people to get around town, and their availability has helped reduce the number of drunk drivers that are on the road. Despite the advantages of ridesharing, rideshare drivers do sometimes cause accidents. And when this happens, those who are injured because of someone else’s negligence deserve to be compensated for their medical costs, time missed from work, and other losses.
If the rideshare driver was “on the clock” and transporting a passenger at the time of the accident, then injury victims may be able to recover compensation through the rideshare company’s liability policy. Uber and Lyft both maintain $1 million liability policies for these circumstances. If the driver does not have their ridesharing app on at the time of the accident, then the injured party would need to seek compensation through the driver’s private auto policy, or their own insurance if the driver is underinsured.
Whether you are a rideshare passenger, another motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian, there are several steps you should take shortly after an accident in order to ensure your health and protect your legal rights:
If anyone is injured in the crash, you should call an ambulance to the scene right away. It is very important for those involved to get medical attention immediately, because some injury symptoms do not show up until some time has passed, and these can include life-threatening injuries such as internal bleeding.
To be on the safe side, get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible, even if you do not feel all that bad. This will ensure that any injuries you sustained are addressed, and it will help establish a causal relationship between the accident and your injuries in case you need to file a personal injury claim.
Call the Police
The police should be summoned to any accident involving injuries. They will help to secure the scene and keep the vehicles and individuals involved out of the flow of traffic. They will also examine the scene and interview witnesses in order to compile a report. The official police report will be an important piece of evidence in a legal claim.
Get the Rideshare Driver’s Information
Ask the rideshare driver for his/her name, contact, and insurance information, and be sure to take down their license plate number.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
If you are physically able, take pictures of the accident scene on your smartphone from various angles showing all of the damage to the vehicles as well as your injuries. Visual evidence will be a very helpful supplement to the official police report.
Obtain Statements from Witnesses
Although the police will be interviewing witnesses, it is a good idea for you to obtain statements from these witnesses as well while everything is fresh in their minds. Oftentimes, a witness will allow you to record an audio or video statement using your smartphone.
Report the Accident through the Rideshare App
If you are an Uber or Lyft passenger who was injured in the crash, you should be able to report the accident through their app on your phone. Do this as soon as it is convenient for you.
Do Not Discuss the Accident on Social Media
Never admit fault to anyone for the accident – this is an issue that is best left to the experts to sort out. In addition, it is best to say as little as possible to others about what happened. In particular, you should not say or post anything about the accident on your social media accounts as this could be uncovered and used against you by the other side. If you can, the best thing to do would be to take a break from social media for a while until your legal claim is settled.
Contact a Skilled and Knowledgeable Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Before talking to any insurance company, it is a good idea to review your case with an experienced auto accident attorney so you fully understand your legal rights and options. Even if you decide to handle your case on your own, a conversation with an attorney will at least give you the information you need to make the most informed decision and how you wish to proceed.
If your accident happened in Pittsburgh or anywhere in Pennsylvania, Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman is here to help. To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 412-567-1232 or toll-free at 866-466-5789 or send us an online message.