Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are very convenient, especially for individuals who have had a few too many drinks to be able to drive, missed the last bus of the night or simply find themselves in need of a convenient ride. Most of the time, rideshare apps are completely safe, but Uber and Lyft drivers are not any different from other drivers on the road; sadly, accidents are bound to happen. If you were injured in a traffic collision involving a rideshare company, it is important to know your rights and fight for them.
Uber/Lyft Accidents: App Rules and Regulations
Uber lays out a short step-by-step guide for what to do after an accident on the app’s help page. Drivers are required to check that everyone is safe, notify the police or paramedics (if needed), then contact Uber. As for passengers, the help page simply asks them to report the accident in the app via the “Trip and Fare Review” tab. The app reassures its users that the company will contact them after an unspecified amount of time. Similarly, Lyft asks passengers involved in an accident to report it to the company’s Claims Customer Care team, which will assist the passenger with the rest of the process.
What Are My Rights as an Uber/Lyft Passenger?
While Uber and Lyft supply these short and straightforward help pages for passengers involved in accidents, these individuals may very well face barriers on their way to recovering compensation. Uber or Lyft may take too long to get back to them, or deny or delay the claim, all of which can be detrimental to recovering. It may mean injured passengers are stuck covering a bigger portion of their medical bills than they should, as well as facing lost wages due to missed work or having to live with life-changing injuries.
If you were the victim of negligence, you have a right to recover damages for any harm that has been caused to you. It is best to call a professional attorney immediately to ensure you do not get taken advantage of or lost among the millions of other passengers these rideshare companies deal with.
What to Do After an Uber/Lyft Accident — Passengers
Besides hiring an attorney, there are a few actions you can take after an accident:
- Ensure everyone’s safety, if possible: As with any accident, it is best to make sure you are not injured, and then check on the other parties involved to see if they were injured. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911 immediately,
- Document the accident: While the accident may be no fault of your own, it’s important to document it so you have all of the details you’ll need to file a claim. Take pictures of the vehicles involved and exchange information with your rideshare driver and the driver of the other vehicle. Do not forget to take a screenshot of the rideshare app for proof that the accident occurred while you were in the vehicle. Lastly, if the accident caused a lot of damage, call the police.
- Report the accident according to the rideshare app’s rules: Make sure to actually go through the appropriate app’s guidelines to report the accident. Do this as soon as possible, as delays on your end will only extend the entire process.
- See a medical professional concerning your injury: Not only are injuries likely to worsen the longer they go untreated but failing to see a doctor promptly may work against you. The rideshare company or their insurance lawyers may minimize your injury, using the gap between the accident and your doctor visit as “evidence.”
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident — Drivers
Whether you are a rideshare driver or not, when an accident happens, it is best to follow the above guidelines. In addition to exchanging information with the other driver, make sure to swap insurance information as well. Remember to refrain from admitting fault.
Furthermore, if you were driving for a rideshare company at the time of the accident, insurance coverage will hinge on whether you were driving a company vehicle or your personal one approved by said company. Either way, follow the guidelines outlined on your rideshare company’s app immediately after the accident to maximize your chances at a rightful insurance claim.
Is Hiring an Attorney Worth It?
Frankly, any injured party in a rideshare accident should hire an attorney. Facing a rideshare app’s expensive insurance lawyers can be quite daunting on your own, and they regularly approve insurance claims for far less than they truly should. It is best to hire a skilled attorney who has firsthand experience fighting against these low-ball insurance payouts. Injured parties have a legal right to compensation from the party genuinely responsible for the accident. Don’t let someone deny you this right.
Simeone & Miller, LLP Can Help
If you were injured in an Uber/Lyft accident in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C., our attorneys at Simeone & Miller, LLP can help you get back on your feet. We have won millions of dollars for our clients and ensure that they are consulted every step of the way. Our awards from prestigious organizations, such as the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and Super Lawyers, give us great pride, but hearing satisfied reviews from our clients and seeing them recover from the hardships they have undergone makes us even prouder. You don’t have to face fancy tech companies or their expensive insurance agencies alone. Let our lawyers at Simeone & Miller, LLP help you fight for your rights.
Contact Simeone & Miller, LLP online for a free initial consultation with a lawyer serving clients in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.