Many of us now utilize services such as Uber and Lyft on a regular basis. It can be the convenient choice to get around town quickly or the safe idea for a night out with friends. Do you know your rights and responsibilities should you become a passenger involved in an Uber or Lyft accident? You may be unsure of who is liable for your injuries and damages or what steps need to be followed when you purposely did not want the responsibility of driving. There are actions you can take to ensure that you receive compensation from the responsible party or parties.
8 Steps to Take As a Passenger
- Seek Medical Treatment. Individuals involved in accidents often forgo medical treatment if they do not see external signs of injury. However, you may not immediately recognize collision injuries due to shock, so consider seeing your doctor for a check-up. If you have been clearly injured, accept treatment from the paramedics at the scene, or seek treatment as quickly after the accident as possible. Prompt medical assistance may be best for your health and will be valuable proof in securing an insurance claim.
- Take Photographs and Videos. Use your smartphone or camera to document the scene, as well as any injuries or damages. If you are severely hurt, ask paramedics to take photos for you. Take as many photographs and videos as you can of the damage to any vehicles involved. The angle of impact and degree of damage are especially important. Documentation of both vehicles can be used for a clearer re-creation of the accident.Capture all relevant surroundings, such as landscape, street lights and signs, road defects, debris, and weather conditions. Utilize video to show angles that photos can’t capture.
- Collect Contact and Insurance Information. Record the name, phone number, and insurance provider for both your Rideshare driver and the other driver involved. This will help you submit your claim to the correct insurance agency. Uber and Lyft’s insurance will likely be used for accidents caused directly by their employees. If the driver flees, or if you are unable to record their information, you must submit a claim through uninsured motorist coverage.
- Record Witness Statements. Request that eyewitnesses and other passengers give you statements about what they saw happen as soon as possible before their memories of the accident fade. Record these testimonies on your smartphone, or write them down on paper. Multiple witness statements will resolve the case more efficiently and accurately.
- Take a Screenshot. Your phone should already have valuable details provided by the company you use. Safeguard for yourself the ride confirmation, receipt of purchase, driver details, and any time-stamped text messages or phone calls for the ride. You need to prove that you had already paid for the ride and were in the car at the time of the accident.
- File a Report with Uber or Lyft. Report the incident through your rideshare app. Submit all relevant information in an incident report to a company representative. Proof of an official report as well as any hard copy receipt will make your insurance claim or lawsuit much harder to dismiss.
- Request a Police Report. An accident that results in physical injuries will usually warrant a police investigation that documents all proof of the incident. This includes witnesses’ statements, diagrams of the scene, tickets, and surveillance footage from nearby buildings or traffic cameras. You can request a copy of the police report from the police station to use as additional evidence, and they are good leverage in pursuing settlements.
- Follow the Statute of Limitations. You may want to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party to seek damage compensation. In California, you only have 2 years from the date of the injury to file this lawsuit. Pay attention to these dates so that you do not miss the opportunity to pursue your rightful legal options.
Rideshare services are often a great way to save time and trouble. For many of us, they have become a way of life. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Even as a passenger, it’s important that you know and exercise your rights.