Did you know that there are about 6 million car accidents every year in the United States? People who drive for rideshare companies such as Lyft or Uber drive far more than the average person, so it stands to reason that they’re more likely to experience a car accident.
So what do you do if you end up in a rideshare accident? We’re here to talk about it so you can be prepared. Read on to learn more.
Make Sure Everyone Is Okay
If you’re in imminent danger or if it’s clear that all parties are okay, you can move right onto step two. Step one and step two are also interchangeable in most situations.
Regardless of what part you’ve played in the accident, it’s a good idea to look around to see if everyone else is fine. Only do this if it’s safe to do so. Don’t put yourself in the way of traffic.
Even if you were the passenger and you played no real part in the accident, do your part to ensure that everyone is safe (or that they get the attention they need).
You should always call the police in any car accident beyond a tiny fender bender. Call 911 if it’s an emergency. Even if no one is hurt and the damage is minor, this is how you start to create a paper trail.
If you’re the passenger, the rideshare driver should be the one to make the call. If they don’t or can’t for whatever reason, you can do it. The other driver (if applicable) is likely doing the same.
You’ll need to file a police report if you’re going to file a lawsuit. Even if you’re unsure as to whether or not a lawsuit is on the table, it’s best to be prepared.
Seek Medical Attention if Necessary
Some people say that you should visit the doctor right after a car accident even if you don’t think that you’ve experienced an injury. There’s some truth to that.
Some car accident injuries aren’t obvious at first. Whiplash, for example, can cause serious pain days after the accident. You may not feel pain from sprains or even minor fractures at first as well due to the adrenaline.
If you think there’s any chance of injury, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.
Make sure that you keep track of all of the documents from your visit to the doctor if you’ve experienced an injury. You’re going to need this information later if you pursue damages.
Take Photos of Everything
If you’re feeling okay, you should do this before seeking medical attention. Take photos of everything.
Take photos of every car involved in the crash. If there were any buildings or public objects damaged, take photos of those as well. Don’t disrupt anything, but take close-up photos of any scratches, dents, or other types of damage.
Take a photo of the road even if it doesn’t seem pertinent. This will show the driving conditions and may display any potential hazards that will be relevant if you choose to seek damages.
Never be afraid of taking too many photos. Put your phone’s camera to good use.
Gather Any Available Information
After you’re done taking photos, gather all other forms of information that you can.
Make sure that you have the name, license information, and insurance information of all drivers involved in the accident. Even if you were the passenger, this information can be helpful in the future.
Get insurance information from the rideshare company. All rideshare companies should have some insurance coverage for their drivers, but it may only kick in after the driver’s insurance kicks in unless the company itself is found somehow at fault. This varies depending on the case.
Get the make and model of all of the cars as well as all of the license plate numbers. If there were witnesses, see if you’re able to get their contact information as well.
It may benefit you to talk to local business owners (if applicable) about potential outdoor cameras that could have caught the accident. You want to gather as much evidence and information as possible, even if it doesn’t all seem relevant.
Report the Accident
Now it’s time to report the accident.
First, report the accident to your insurance company if you were one of the drivers. Whether you’re the rideshare driver or another driver impacted, and regardless of whether or not you were at fault, your insurance company needs to know.
If you were a passenger, contact the rideshare company as soon as possible to let them know that your driver was in an accident. You want to prepare all of your evidence so that you’re ready to submit it as proof.
Seek Legal Representation
Combating the expensive and highly-qualified attorneys that Uber and Lyft can afford is nearly impossible if you’re trying to do it alone. If you’re in a rideshare car crash, you’re going to need the help of a good car accident lawyer (like the team at Rockview Accident Lawyers).
Even if you’re not sure if you actually have a case, a consultation with a qualified lawyer is a good idea. Bring all of the evidence that you’ve collected so the lawyer can determine whether or not you have a viable case.
Next time you’re in a rideshare accident, use this guide so you know the proper steps to take. Your top priority is your safety, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take legal action. Contact a car accident attorney so you can get the compensation that you deserve.
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