With just a couple of clicks on your smartphone, a driver can pick you up in minutes. Over the past few years, ridesharing companies have experienced exponential growth around the world.
There were 45.2 million ridesharing users in 2017 and that number is expected to almost double by 2022.
The meteoric rise of rideshare companies stems from their cheaper fares and quick accessibility. Ridesharing is a service that arranges one-way transportation on short notice. The two biggest ridesharing companies are Uber and Lyft. However, as the use of ridesharing increases, so does the number of car accidents that involve ridesharing drivers.
Many drivers and passengers mistakenly believe that ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft will take care of their damages. Unfortunately, these ridesharing companies will not always be the ones protecting you. For this reason, it is imperative to know what to do and how to prepare yourself when you are involved in an accident with a ridesharing vehicle.
What to do After a Ridesharing Accident
Step 1: Make Sure You Are Okay
When involved in accident, maintain your safety. If possible, move your car to the side of the road and away from incoming traffic. Do not get out of your vehicle if you are stuck in the middle of the freeway or the road.
Step 2: Call 911
The police will ensure that you and your vehicle are not in a hazardous area. This is vital when your car is stuck in the middle of a freeway or street after an accident. Moreover, the police will help you document the evidence and get a report from both parties. Once the police document the evidence, make sure to request the contact information of the police officer that responded to the accident and get the report number. You should then follow up with the officer in a couple days and request a police report of the accident. The police report should be free and will provide very useful information. However, relying on the police is not enough!
Step 3: Document the accident
When involved in any accident, you want to make sure to gather as much evidence as possible. Start of by taking pictures of the accident, including both vehicles. Next, you want to write down names, email addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses. Follow this up by writing down the name of the ridesharing driver. If you are a ridesharing passenger, take screen shots of you ride and receipt on your phone.
Step 4: Seek Medical Attention
Whether you feel your injury is minor or significant, you should seek an immediate medical care. If you are experiencing significant pain you should promptly visit the emergency room. If the injuries are minor, you should schedule an appointment with your general physician. Nothing is more important than obtaining the proper medical treatment. The primary goal is to ensure that you will not suffer any long term health complications as a result of an accident. Additionally, the proper medical care will help build a foundation for a personal injury claim.
Step 5: Get help from an attorney
When involved in an accident, you should immediately seek help from an attorney. Avoiding delay is crucial, as your health is our number one priority. Delays may cause long-term health problems, negatively impact the value of your claim, result in lost evidence, and can result in a failure to bring forward a claim due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The sooner you consult with an attorney the sooner they can work on your claim.
Were You Passenger in a Ridesharing Accident?
The good news is that the ridesharing company will compensate you if have suffered any harm as a passenger with a ridesharing driver. The biggest challenge for passengers is proving the extent of the injuries and obtaining proper compensation for your injuries.
Although ridesharing companies do cover passenger injuries, they are not your best friends. The main goal for the ridesharing company is to deny as much liability as they can and push responsibility onto the ridesharing driver’s insurance company. This is why it is paramount to consult with an attorney who is experienced with ridesharing lawsuits.
Were You Hit by a Ridesharing Driver?
Accidents that involve ridesharing drivers and third parties require even more legal analysis. When determining liability, there is one key factor: the time frame of the accident.
The reason is that the ridesharing companies’ divides driver’s times into three “periods.”
Period 1: The ridesharing app is on, a trip has not been accepted, and there are no passengers in the car.
During this time frame, ridesharing companies are still not considered liable for its drivers’ accidents. Therefore, if you get in an accident during this period, the ridesharing company is NOT liable, and the accident will be treated the same as any other car accident. Given that it is treated as a regular accident, a driver must file a personal insurance claim for the accident. If the claim is denied, a ride sharing company must help fill in personal insurance gaps.
Period 2 & 3: When the driver accepts a ride and is en route to pick a passenger up or has already picked up the passenger.
Here, individuals involved in accidents are considered covered by the ridesharing company’s insurance. These companies have a policy of $1 million for liability coverage. The policy covers the ridesharing driver’s liability for car damage and any harm to your body.
The number of auto accidents involving ridesharing companies is increasing daily. Over the past couple years KHS has specialized in accidents involving ridesharing companies. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an auto accident, KHS is here to help and will fight for the compensation that you deserve.