For many people, summertime means spending time out with family and friends. The thought of driving at the end of a fun night can be exhausting or even dangerous if alcohol is involved at your get-togethers. For these reasons, many cities see increases in Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services during the summer months, especially at night.
If you are planning on using a rideshare service for events this summer, then you should be aware of the risk of getting into a rideshare accident. You might be picked up by the most responsible Uber or Lyft driver, but there is always the risk of them being hit by a reckless or negligent driver. Rather than letting the risk of an Uber or Lyft accident deter you from having fun, you should know a couple of simple steps to plan ahead for the worst-case scenario of being in a crash while you are a rideshare passenger.
Save Your Driver’s Information
When most people take an Uber or Lyft, they check that the car and driver match the onscreen description, hop into the vehicle, and immediately forget any details about their driver. Usually, this natural absentmindedness would not be an issue. In the event of a rideshare accident, though, it can cause some complications.
You should try to save as much information about your rideshare driver as possible on your phone. Car make and model and license plate numbers are a must. A simple way to save this information is to take a screenshot of your phone once that information is displayed and you verify it in-person. The same quick step can be used to save their name, too.
After a crash, it can be surprisingly simple to overlook simple details in the chaos of the situation. You might assume that you would obviously collect your driver’s information. But many rideshare accident victims have to work with the rideshare company for details after-the-fact because they find they do not have enough identifying information saved to their phone already.
Details About Other Drivers & Passengers
Of course, knowing identifying information for your own driver is only part of what you need. To get a clearer picture of who is liable for your rideshare accident – and, therefore, who should be responsible for your damages – you need to get identifying information from everyone involved.
Immediately after the crash, you will probably only need to collect insurance information from each driver, not from every party. You will want to know the name and contact information of everyone, though. For instance, if there was another passenger you did not know in your Uber Pool ride, then you need to be able to identify and contact them later. You never know when you might wish you could talk to them for additional information. Or they could even be liable for the crash if they were intentionally trying to distract your driver.
Essentially, the more you know about everyone involved in your rideshare accident, the better. You will not regret taking a few extra minutes to get identifying information from people even if you are fairly certain you will not need it for your personal injury claim later.
Plan to See a Doctor Soon
After being in a car accident, you should always follow the best practice of seeing a healthcare professional as soon as possible for a check-up. The fact that your car accident involves a rideshare service doesn’t undo this necessary step.
You might only feel aches and sores after a crash but otherwise feel like you are fine. However, as your adrenaline wears off and injuries worsen, what seem like small sprains could rapidly worsen to more serious injuries hours or days later. For example, whiplash injuries usually begin as a soreness in the neck like many other aches. Except whiplash seems to not get better, instead worsening dramatically in the days following an accident.
With an early check-up and diagnosis, you can take a step towards the preservation of your own health, which is always a good thing. You will also be reducing the chances of your liability going up for your own accidents. If an insurance company hears that you refused to receive medical care shortly after a rideshare accident, then it will jump on that chance to say you worsened your own injuries inadvertently and negligently.
Speaking of insurance providers after rideshare accidents, Uber and Lyft each cover trips hosted by their rideshare drivers with massive insurance policies. Uber has specifically promised to make up to $1 million in coverage available for accidents caused by their drivers, which is enough to cover most accident claims. For many rideshare accident victims, the possibility to receive compensation is there, but it is only a matter of getting the rideshare company to provide it.
Be Wary of What You Tell Uber or Lyft
Along those same lines of thought, you will want to discuss your accident with Uber, Lyft, or whatever rideshare company was hosting your ride. Yet saying too much or the wrong thing can be detrimental to your chances of getting a maximized recovery amount. There is definitely a bit of an art to talking about a crash with a rideshare company.
For example, your rideshare driver crashes while taking you home after a night out with friends. When talking to the parent rideshare company about what happened, you mention you were intoxicated and “singing along to a song on the radio loudly” just before the crash. The crash investigator and/or insurance adjuster could try to misconstrue that statement to make it seem like you were unreasonably distracting to the driver, increasing your liability and reducing what damages you can demand.
In most cases, it is better to let a rideshare accident attorney act on your behalf when interacting with insurance and rideshare companies after a collision. Legal professionals know the loopholes that insurers try to exploit, like twisting your innocuous words into something damaging to your case. By saying basically the same thing but in a certain way, an accident attorney can present the truth in a way that maximizing your chances of a great recovery.
Rafi Law Group represents injured rideshare passengers throughout Phoenix and beyond. Call our rideshare accident lawyer at (623) 207-1555 to discuss your case. We are known as the local team with big law office power yet small law office approachability.