Uber/Lyft Lawsuits On the Rise: Be Prepared
While many people still use a taxi, bus, or another form of public transportation to get around a city, more people are turning to Uber or Lyft to get them from Point A to Point B. Growing exponentially in terms of popularity, these ridesharing services have been around for about a decade, and the numbers prove their popularity.
For example, as of June 2018, 75 million people have used Uber at least once, and the service completes 15 million rides around the world daily. However, since these vehicles are on the road so often, it is likely that at some point while you are a passenger, you will be involved in an Uber accident. To make sure you are prepared in case this happens, here are some tips to keep in mind, as well as why you should always contact a ridesharing accident lawyer to discuss the details of your accident.
Remain At The Scene
When these accidents occur, many Uber or Lyft passengers immediately call for another ride and proceed on to their destination. But in doing so, they greatly decrease their chances of having a successful lawsuit or claim against the company if they, in fact, are injured. By not remaining at the scene, they fail to gather key information from the drivers and witnesses, making it very difficult to prove their claims later on.
Even if you don't think you are seriously injured initially, always call 911 when an auto accident occurs. By doing so, police, fire, and medical personnel will be dispatched to the scene, allowing you to seek treatment for any injuries you may or may not be aware of at the time.
Along with this, the police will file an accident report, which your Uber accident lawyer can use to your advantage when seeking compensation on your behalf. In addition, if you are treated for any injuries at the scene or at a hospital, you will have medical documentation of the injuries sustained in the accident, which can also be useful to your Lyft accident lawyer.
Gather Contact Information
If at all possible, remain at the scene and gather as much contact information as possible from your driver, other drivers, and witnesses to the accident. Along with names, addresses, and phone numbers, also try to get driver's license information, license plate numbers, and especially insurance information.
This should include both the driver's personal insurance as well as Uber or Lyft insurance information since Uber has a $1 million insurance policy that kicks in when one of its drivers has an accident while carrying a passenger. Therefore, it is crucial you retain the services of a ridesharing accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Since you will likely have a smartphone with you, try to take pictures at the scene if you are able to do so. This should include pictures of damage to all vehicles, the surrounding location of the accident, traffic signals or signs, road conditions that may have played a part in the accident, and anything else you deem to be relevant. In many of these cases, it can be the slightest detail that may turn the case in your favor, so it is best to take too many pictures than not enough.
Don't Speak to Insurance Companies
After an accident, you will probably be contacted by a representative from Uber's insurance company, and perhaps one from the driver's personal insurance as well. If this happens, say as little as possible to these individuals. While they may sound as if they are on your side and only seeking to protect your best interests, nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, they are seeking information they can use against you to deny your claim, and will often try to trick you into saying things that could indicate you, in fact, caused the accident. Rather than make this costly mistake, hire an experienced Uber accident lawyer and refer all communication be directed to them regarding your accident.
Don't Let Uber or Lyft Handle Your Claim
If you are involved in an accident through Uber or Lyft, do not under any circumstances let the company itself handle your claim. If you do, you will in all likelihood have a settlement that is far, far less than you could receive if you retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable Lyft accident lawyer to handle your case.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, it is quite possible these companies may dispute you were even a passenger when the accident occurred. However, by working with a skilled attorney who understands the complexities associated with these cases, your legal rights will be protected every step of the way.
Hire an Experienced Ridesharing Accident Attorney
While you could hire any lawyer to handle your case, hiring one who has experience in handling ridesharing accidents can make all the difference. For example, an experienced attorney will be able to gather key evidence pertaining to your case, such as gaining access to the rideshare driver's smartphone to prove their app was turned on at the time of the accident, which will show they were, in fact, providing transportation with you as the passenger.
By having this vital information, Uber or Lyft will have little chance of making any relevant arguments against your claim, greatly increasing the chances your lawsuit will be successful.
Since these accidents can produce severe injuries, lead to you missing significant time from work, and create physical and emotional pain and suffering, it is imperative you rely on the services of a ridesharing accident lawyer who understands how to win these cases.
By doing so, you will give yourself the best chance to receive the full and fair compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Rather than risk losing out on the ability to be fully compensated for your injuries, put your trust in an attorney with a track record of success in these cases.