During the pandemic, fewer people frequented ridesharing apps like Uber and Lift. Even services like Doordash that deliver food took a hit during the pandemic as more restaurants had to shut down. As the pandemic restrictions have become lighter and more people have been vaccinated, more and more people are feeling comfortable utilizing rideshare companies again.
With the return to normal operations, rideshare accidents have risen. It can be confusing for drivers and passengers alike when they get into an accident. It is often unknown who is at fault and if the company is held liable or if the driver is liable.
What To Do After An Accident
Vehicle accidents can be disorienting for all those involved. As instincts take over, there may be very important actions that may slip your mind when trying to collect yourself at the accident scene. If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, make sure to do the following:
Seek medical attention
Oftentimes after an accident, adrenaline may cover up any injuries or pain that your body may have experienced. It is important to get medical attention immediately, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. If you have experienced a serious injury, be sure to carefully follow any procedures or actions that your doctor recommends in order to heal optimally.
Alert the police
This step is important because a police report can drastically help your case, should the other party be at fault. It outlines the damages as well as the scene of the accident. If you are planning on pursuing legal action, a police report is great evidence to have.
Ask for the other person’s information
Be sure to take down the other person’s license number and insurance information. If your car has been damaged by the person or vice versa, you both will need to notify your insurance providers of the accident. The insurance provider of the person at fault will then have to handle additional costs such as repairs to the vehicle and a rental car if needed.
It is very important to document the scene of the accident as well as take photos of the damage that your vehicle has sustained. This is great evidence for those who want to pursue a lawsuit or are dealing with another driver who refuses to admit any form of liability.
Contact an attorney
It is recommended that if you are planning on pursuing a claim that you contact an attorney before contacting your insurance provider. This is because an attorney can help you navigate the conversation with your insurance provider so that you aren’t taken advantage of by them.
Contact your insurance provider
After speaking with your attorney, you can now speak to your insurance provider armed with the knowledge of your rights and responsibilities. This will help your case and ensure that you won’t get taken advantage of or misled by your insurance provider.
Following the above steps will help you feel confident in your claim and allow you to follow the correct procedures after your accident. If you plan on filing a claim, you will be in an optimal position to do so.
What To Do If You Are a Passenger
If you are using a ridesharing company like Uber or Lyft and are in the car while your driver gets into an accident you have to record information of your own. Similar to how a driver would behave, you will need to be examined by a medical professional to ensure that you haven’t sustained any injuries due to the accident. After that, it is important to take down your driver’s name and possibly details about their car such as their license plate, or take a screenshot of their rideshare profile for evidence.
As a passenger involved in a ridesharing car accident, you may be entitled to file a claim against your driver and the company that they work for if they were the cause of the accident. Typically, rideshare companies have a set financial accident limit that varies per state. If you would like to know how they can compensate you for your damages, you can contact the specific ridesharing service that you used and go from there.
Who is Liable?
If you’ve been in a vehicle accident while using a rideshare company, liability can become questionable. Technically, all drivers are independent contractors meaning that the company likely won’t be found liable if they end up in an accident. It’s important to understand the user agreement that you have to accept before using a ridesharing app. Many of these user agreements may limit the liability of the company and driver for any injuries sustained while a ride is in session.
While that has become a typical way for rideshare companies to avoid liability, some states are beginning to come forward and overlook those agreements. The state of Washington is one of those states that is holding ridesharing companies liable instead of the independent contractors for passenger injuries.
There are some situations where liability could fall solely upon the company. For example, if a Doordash driver was on their way to make a food delivery and got into an accident, they could technically make a claim against the company because they were on the job when the accident occurred. They could, after the accident, have injuries that occurred on the job as well as other damages such as not being able to work for a period of time and missing out on money, and not being able to deliver the order they were on their way to deliver. Of course, there are other damages that may be included in the list depending on the specific situation of the driver.
If you have been involved in a vehicle accident while using a ridesharing company like Uber or Lift, contact us at Dash Injury Law Firm. Our attorneys will fight to make sure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.