If you are part of the ridesharing revolution, you are not alone. As of 2018, 75 million people have used the services of Uber and Lyft, with an average of 15 million rides being completed each day worldwide. However, as ridesharing services such as these become more common, that means there is a greater likelihood that at some point you will be involved in an accident while a passenger in these vehicles. When this happens, it will be important to know what to do and not do, since your words and actions may play a significant role in whether or not you are able to gain compensation for your injuries and other damages. Rather than let panic and confusion cost you what you deserve, here is important information regarding these unique accidents, including how a ridesharing accident lawyer in Los Angeles may be of assistance.
If you are involved in one of these accidents, immediately call 9-1-1 to make sure police and other rescue personnel arrive at the scene as soon as possible. This will be important not only to ensure everyone’s safety and have various injuries treated, but also to help you from a legal standpoint. When an accident of this nature happens, police will arrive at the scene and begin to make determinations as to who caused the accident. In doing so, they will complete an accident report, which you should make sure is provided to your Uber accident lawyer. If the report determines your driver was at fault, you may be able to seek additional compensation for your injuries.
Uber $1 Million Insurance Policy
When you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle and are involved in an auto crash, the company has a $1 million insurance policy that kicks in to compensate passengers. However, the vast majority of passengers are unaware of this, and it often costs them the chance to be compensated for their injuries and damages. Though the company has this policy, do not assume it is eager to pay for your damages. In fact, it may try to prove the accident was your fault by claiming you distracted your driver or acted in a careless manner. Because of this, always turn to attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers to assist you in these matters.
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
If you have a smartphone with you that has not been damaged in the accident, use it to your advantage by taking pictures and even videos of the accident scene. Start by taking pictures of the damage to your ridesharing vehicle, and also make sure you have pictures of any visible injuries you sustained. Along with this, be sure to have photos or videos of any property you had with you that was damaged, as well as nearby traffic lights and signs that may have been ignored. Finally, make note of any skid marks, road conditions, or anything else that you think may be important. In these situations it is far better to take too many photos than not enough, since once the accident scene is cleared away you will not get a second chance to get what may be a crucial picture.
Get Examined by a Doctor
Though you will have your injuries looked at by paramedics at the accident scene, it is extremely important you allow yourself to be examined by a doctor as quickly as possible after the accident. In most cases, it is best if you let yourself be taken to a hospital by ambulance from the accident scene. However, if you prefer, make sure you visit your family doctor or an ER within no more than 48 hours after the accident. Since some injuries do not show themselves for hours or days following an accident, always have your injuries documented in your medical records. If you procrastinate, the insurance company will attempt to show you were not seriously injured in the accident, or perhaps are faking injuries to gain compensation. If these situations develop, it will be vital you work with an experienced ridesharing personal injury attorney to ensure you gain full compensation for your damages.
Stay Calm and Use Discretion
When at the accident scene, always try to remain as calm as possible. By doing so, you will not make the mistake of saying or doing something that may later be used against you by an insurance company or a defendant’s attorney. Unfortunately, if you say something as simple and seemingly harmless as “I’m sorry” or “I’m fine,” you may have just set yourself up for being unable to collect compensation you need to pay for medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For example, if you say to police “I’m sorry” while being interviewed about the accident, they may assume you mean you did something while as a passenger to cause the accident. If this is included in their accident report, it may become increasingly difficult for your Uber accident lawyer to develop a case strategy in your favor.
Record Your Thoughts about the Accident
If you can, try to record any thoughts you may have about the accident while at the scene. For example, if your driver was acting in a bizarre manner or driving at a high rate of speed, make note of this and be sure to tell this to police at the scene. When these situations develop, it is vital you make sure that any and all details about the accident are noted. Even if you think something is not important, your attorney from West Coast Trial Lawyers may think otherwise. In many cases, it is the smallest of details that ultimately swings a case one way or another. Therefore, record your thoughts about the accident and let your Uber accident lawyer determine what may or may not be important to your case.
Say Very Little to Insurance Companies
Whenever you are involved in a ridesharing accident, you will almost certainly be contacted by an insurance company a few days later. When this happens, you will be best served by saying as little as possible. In these situations, the insurance company will not be on your side, but instead will be trying to find a way to keep from paying your claim. If they feel they cannot do this, their next step will be to offer you a settlement that is far below what you will need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Be Careful on Social Media
If you go on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram soon after your accident, be very careful regarding any comments or photos you post about the accident. In many cases, passengers in these situations may actually post comments or photos while still at the accident scene, which is almost always a recipe for disaster. By acting on impulse and emotions, they often set themselves up for losing their insurance claim or lawsuit. Because of this, it is best to avoid social media until your case is resolved.
If you have been a passenger in a ridesharing accident, you need expert legal counsel to help gain compensation for your injuries. Therefore, contact a ridesharing accident lawyer at West Coast Trial Lawyers for a consultation.