Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services have seen a considerable uptick in the number of accidents involving these vehicles. Naturally, this is due to the fact that this means of transportation has increased dramatically in popularity over the past several years. Uber and Lyft are the two most popular ride-sharing services, and, for many people, have essentially replaced the use of traditional taxi cabs thanks to their convenience and considerably lower costs.
With ride-sharing services becoming even more popular than ever in a variety of cities throughout the United States, they have made their mark among many people as a reliable way to get from point A to point B. However, it’s important to note that Uber, Lyft and other services of their ilk include drivers who opt to use their own personal vehicles. As a result, the companies do not hire drivers or purchase their own cars for the services. Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors who are operating their own personal vehicles, which means it can be complicated if one of them gets into an accident on the road, whether it involves another passenger vehicle, pedestrian or simply the passenger in the ride-sharing vehicle itself.
Because of the nature of the way ride-sharing services operate, a person who is injured in an accident that involves one of their vehicles may wonder what steps they can take afterward. When a person has suffered an injury and damages, they have a legal right to pursue a personal injury claim. In addition, more and more of these lawsuits are appearing as a result of the ever-increasing usage of Uber and Lyft on roads throughout the country. It’s important to speak with a ride-sharing accident lawyer to get a better understanding of the laws, how these services operate and steps to take as an injured victim.
Steps to Take After Any Road Accident
There are certain steps you should always take after any type of accident on the road, including one involving an Uber or Lyft car. If you are physically well enough to do so, the following steps are crucial:
• Check on everyone involved in the accident to ensure that they are OK. Check yourself as well to make sure you don’t have any serious injuries. First and foremost, it’s of utmost importance to know that everyone in the accident is safe.
• Call 911 to summon emergency medical help and the police to the scene of the accident. Even if you and others involved in the accident feel completely fine, you should get checked out by a doctor. Many times, an injury can lie dormant for many hours or even days after an accident. You also want the police to come to the scene, so an accident report can be made.
• Use your smartphone or a digital camera to take as many pictures of the scene of the accident as possible. They will be important pieces of evidence if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim.
• Get the names and contact information of all parties involved in the accident. At the very least, you want their first and last names, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information.
• Talk to witnesses who saw the accident and take down their names and contact information as well.
• Call your insurance company to inform an agent that you have been in an accident. Always be honest about what occurred and avoid exaggerating. At the same time, you should give the most basic information.
• Write down your own personal account of the accident and what occurred immediately before and afterward. This is helpful because it allows you to have a detailed account of the events that can be used in the event that you file a personal injury claim.
• Remain as calm as possible. This may seem easier said than done, but it’s important to stay calm and avoid making things worse.
More detailed steps on what to do can be found westcoasttriallawyers.com
How Uber, Lyft and Other Ridesharing Services Work
Even if you have never used Uber, Lyft or any other ride-sharing services before, you probably have some familiarity with them and probably know someone who uses one of them. Generally speaking, to use ride-sharing services, you must download the company’s app to your smartphone to summon a ride. This is more convenient to many in comparison to hailing a traditional taxi cab. The vehicle comes specifically for you, which means you don’t have to compete with other people who may require a ride. Of course, just like any other vehicle on the road, a ride-sharing car can end up in a crash. However, the difference is that unlike with traditional taxis or passenger vehicles, dealing with insurance is not always easy. There are a few scenarios that can affect your claim if you are injured in an accident with a ride-sharing vehicle:
• Passengers: If you are a passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle, you should be able to recover compensation for injuries you suffer. Companies like Uber carry a $1 million insurance policy that takes effect when the driver gets into an accident with a passenger in their vehicle. An Uber accident lawyer can assist you in preparing your case.
• Bystanders: If you are a bystander who sustains an injury after an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, things can get more complex. If the driver does not have the ride-sharing app open at the time of the accident, the company’s insurance would not apply, but instead, you would have to go through the driver’s personal auto insurance policy. This may not be enough, however, which would require you to also use your own uninsured or underinsured coverage. If the app is on and the driver is awaiting a ride, Uber’s insurance is valid for up to $50,000 to $100,000 per person and $25,000 for property damages. If the driver was traveling to pick up a passenger, the $1 million company insurance policy applies. It’s easy to prove this due to the driver’s GPS system tracking their location. If the driver was driving a passenger, the $1 million policy also applies. Regardless, it’s always smart to have a Lyft accident lawyer on your side to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
At the end of the day, Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services are going to be around for the long haul. Due to their popularity, it’s only inevitable that more accidents will take place involving these vehicles. While you can never truly prepare for such a scary experience occurring, you can have the opportunity to recover damages by speaking with a skilled Uber accident lawyer or Lyft accident lawyer. If you are looking for a good personal injury law firm in Los Angeles. West Coast Trial Lawyers will fight for your rights and ensure that you have a strong case. You can speak with a ride-sharing accident lawyer and get the best advice on how to proceed by contacting West Coast Trial Lawyers today.