Uber, Lyft, Juno and other ridesharing services have grown extremely popular in recent years. At this point in time, you or someone else you know regularly relies on these services to obtain a ride to a specific destination. Ridesharing services are very convenient and inexpensive, which makes them so hugely popular. Unfortunately, due to the large number of ridesharing drivers now taking to the roads to transport passengers from point A to point B on a daily basis, there are even more vehicles on the road than ever. As a result, many more car accidents are bound to happen. It’s important to understand the situation based on your particular circumstances with a ridesharing vehicle and how you can recover the compensation you are due if you are injured in such an accident.
Basic Steps to Take After a Car Accident
First and foremost, if you are involved in an accident involving an Uber, Lyft or other ridesharing vehicle or in any car accident, in general, there are certain basic steps you must take. They include the following:
• Make sure everyone is okay after the crash. If there are any injuries, it might be possible to administer basic first aid. However, if anyone is seriously injured, it’s important that they get immediate medical attention and get checked out by a doctor and other healthcare professionals at the hospital. At the same time, even if you or anyone else feel completely unharmed, adrenaline is running high after such a harrowing experience, which means you may not even realize that you are injured. The symptoms, including aches and pains, may not show up until hours or even days later. Additionally, there may be internal injuries that require immediate medical attention.
• Call 911 to summon police officers to the scene of the accident. The police should come to assess the situation and make a police accident report. If you later decide you want to file a personal injury claim, you can also use a copy of the police report in your case. A Lyft accident attorney can use it as part of the evidence to back up your claim for damages.
• Snap plenty of photos of the scene of the accident. Snap as many as possible and get shots of the vehicles, the damage they have sustained, the road, skid marks, road conditions and weather conditions. You can use a digital camera or your smartphone’s built-in camera.
• Gather up the names and contact information of everyone involved in the accident. Specifically, you should focus on information belonging to the other drivers, including their names, phone numbers, driver’s license and license plate numbers.
• Talk to people around the scene who were witnesses to the accident. Ask them to make a statement of what they saw and get their names and phone numbers. You may want to ask them to write down what they recall or record their statements.
• Contact your insurance company and inform someone that you were injured in an accident.
• Keep a journal and write down anything and everything you can think of pertaining to the accident. This can be helpful when you decide to speak with a uber accident lawyer about starting your own injury claim.
• Always stay calm. Panicking can only make the situation worse.
What Happens When a Ridesharing Vehicle Gets Into an Accident?
These days, ridesharing services are a big part of regular everyday life for many people. Lyft, Uber, Juno and other ridesharing services are so popular because it’s easy to request a ride. All you have to do is download the app of the ridesharing service of your choice to your smartphone, open the app and request a ride. You only have to wait for the vehicle to show up and don’t have to fight for a car to take you to your desired destination. This plus the cheaper price is what makes ridesharing services so much more convenient than traditional taxi cabs, which require you to stand on the street and gesture for a ride.
In a nutshell, ridesharing services have essentially been a game-changer in the transportation industry as a whole. As of the summer of 2018, there were more than 75 million users relying on ridesharing services. This means there are now millions of vehicles on the road providing the service. Considering this fact, it’s only natural that there would be so many more accidents involving ridesharing vehicles.
Situations Involving Ridesharing Accidents and Claims
If you use Lyft, Uber, Juno or any other ridesharing service, you are unfortunately at risk of being involved in an accident with one of those vehicle. Furthermore, even if you are merely a bystander — a pedestrian — you can become injured if you are the unfortunate victim of an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle. It’s important to know what your rights are and how you can claim compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. The various situations include the following:
• You are a passenger in the ridesharing vehicle: If you are a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle that suddenly gets into a crash, you can rely on the ridesharing company’s $1 million insurance policy, which covers injuries to passengers. It’s wise to take advantage of this coverage, but you should definitely speak with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
• You are a bystander and the driver didn’t have the app on: If you were injured in an accident with a ridesharing vehicle but the driver did not have the app on, you would have to rely on the driver’s personal auto insurance policy to cover your medical expenses and other damages. Unfortunately, the ridesharing company’s policy would not apply. If the driver’s policy is insufficient in effectively compensating you, you would have to use your own underinsured or uninsured policy as well.
• You are a bystander and the driver has the app on while waiting for a ride request: If the driver is riding around with the app on while waiting for a request for a ride and hits you, the ridesharing company’s insurance policy applies. Coverage includes $50,000 up to $100,000 max per person per injury and $25,000 per property damage.
• You are a bystander and the driver is traveling to pick up a passenger: If you are a bystander who is injured in an accident with a ridesharing driver who is on the way to pick up a passenger, the ridesharing company’s $1 million insurance policy applies. It’s easy to prove that the ridesharing company is liable for your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages due to the driver’s GPS. Regardless, it’s smart to speak with an attorney so your rights can be protected.
• You are a bystander and the driver is transporting a passenger to a destination: If you were injured in an accident as a bystander after a ridesharing vehicle crash and the driver was transporting a passenger, the $1 million insurance policy again kicks in. However, you should still retain an experienced lawyer to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Unfortunately, accidents involving ridesharing vehicles are not going away anytime soon. If you have suffered an injury using one of these vehicles or as a pedestrian, it’s important to speak with a Lyft accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers. When you contact West Coast Trial Lawyers, you can discuss your case with a skilled ridesharing accident attorney and can learn about your options.