Know What To Do If You Were Injured In An Uber or Lyft
The ride-sharing phenomenon has exploded since Uber launched over a decade ago. Most people will now say “let’s get an Uber” rather than “let’s call a cab,” – showing just how much of an impact this has had on our culture. It has become a part of our lives, with over 40 million rides called each month across the USA. And with over 3 million Uber/Lyft drivers on the road every day, the risk of being in a ride-share accident is ever increasing.
And so, if you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft ride and you were in an accident, in either Colorado Springs or Las Vegas, then here is some advice we recommend you follow.
Please note that while this article mentions Uber and Lyft, this advice is not strictly for those services. More and more ride-share apps are appearing every year, and can be applied to those too.
Get a copy of the police report
Arguably the most important piece of evidence for your case, a police report is impartial and thorough. It will take accounts from both drivers, passengers, and (if possible) witnesses to the accident; detailing what happened, who was there, and the damage done.
Even though you were not a driver, you still have a claim, and the police report can become evidence on your behalf as well. Your account may be necessary for the claim for both drivers, too, as you are technically an impartial witness in the accident. You should be prepared to give your account of the situation to the police on the scene.
Get the ride share driver’s details
Your claim will be against the ride-share driver. You were a passenger in their vehicle while they were working, and so you will bring your claim against the driver themselves.
The driver’s information should be mentioned in your app, and you can always get information about your driver by calling Uber/Lyft customer services. However, you can save time if you get this information while on the scene.
Get their name, car registration, Uber/Lyft driver number/details, and insurance information from them while you’re at the scene of the accident.
Collect evidence at the scene
If possible, take photographs of the accident, including the point of impact between the two vehicles, any skid marks on the road, and any injuries you have sustained.
Write down information from any conversations that you had with the Uber driver. Immediately after the accident, a typical response is to check that other people are alright. In trying to make sure that you were okay, they may have admitted liability. “I can’t believe I’ve just done that” or “I’m so sorry.” If the driver said something like this, your attorney needs to know exactly what was said.
Seek medical attention
As we always discuss, it is always best to seek medical attention after an accident. Even if you feel fine after the accident, speak to your doctor just in case. You may only feel a slight ache in your arm, but please see your doctor to be safe.
The claim amount can cover the cost of your medical bills, so don’t allow personal finances to get in your way of ensuring that you are okay. An appointment with your doctor can uncover something much more serious that may need immediate help and is always the best action to take.
Making a claim
Ride-share drivers are required to carry specific insurance when on a job. This insurance is different from the insurance that they carry when they are not working. Whenever the Uber or Lyft app is turned on, and they have accepted a job, they will have their professional insurance activated.
Ride-share drivers are required to carry up to $1,000,000 of insurance in both Colorado and Nevada. This amount is to cover the cost of an insurance claim for both parties and any passengers involved.
As a passenger in the vehicle, you are entitled to full compensation in the crash. This is to recover all of your bills and loss of earnings resulting from the accident.
What were the circumstances?
We’ve all been there. You’ve sat in the back of a taxi and made a phone call. Maybe you put your headphones on or got engaged in a Twitter debate. You may have been distracted, but your testimony of the events that led up to the crash is still important. Try to remember as much as you possibly can.
For example, was the ride-share driver distracted by looking at the app? Maybe they were busy talking to you and kept on looking back at you? Were they driving erratically? Was there anything else of note that you think would be important in the claim? Try to take note of all of this because it could help in establishing fault.
One little tip is to try and remember if they had a dashcam. Uber and Lyft drivers will often keep these to protect themselves against abusive passengers, but they can also protect you. Perhaps the driver was claiming that you distracted them, and it was YOU that led to the cause of the accident? Well, a dashcam will have recorded the journey and can be your saving grace. As mentioned before, if the driver admitted it was their mistake, this will also be recorded and will make the claim much easier.
Compile information for your claim
Claiming against a ride-share driver is very similar to any other auto accident. The information that you require, as well as the process of working with an attorney to maximize your compensation, are very similar. Yes, there are slight differences (as you were not driving a vehicle), but nonetheless, it is a similar process. You can find information about the type of evidence that you need here.
If you are unsure about this, you can always get more information when speaking with your personal injury attorney. They will be able to provide you with a list of documents and evidence to produce to strengthen your claim.
Speak to an attorney
While it is easier to determine liability in these cases when you are a passenger in an Uber or a Lyft, filing a successful claim to recover all of your costs and receive compensation for your pain and suffering can be frustrating and challenging. Insurance companies are notorious for doing everything that they can to reduce payouts in any circumstance.
This is why you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Someone with the knowledge and ability to maximize your compensation while reducing any stress and aggravation that comes in these circumstances.
Kim Welch Law is a compassionate and dedicated personal injury law firm. We act on your behalf and always put our clients first. We do not force you to deal with your claim inside the standard 9-5 office hours, and we will always make sure that you know and understand the costs and nuances involved in a personal injury claim.
We offer a free, no obligation consultation to all of our clients, meaning that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by speaking with us.