Many people enjoy the convenience offered by Uber and other rideshare apps. Being able to hail a ride through the app and quickly get to where you want to go is a benefit of rideshare apps. While these apps help to combat drunk driving, Uber drivers are just as likely as anyone else to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. People who are involved in Uber accidents often feel confused and do not know what to do. Here are five key steps to take if you are involved in an Uber accident either as an Uber passenger or as a motorist in another involved vehicle.
1. Assess if You Are Injured.
After calling 911 to summon help, you should assess if you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured. Check for visible injuries and signs that might indicate internal injuries. If you have been injured, you need to seek medical attention promptly.
It’s important to note that certain types of injuries can have delayed symptoms that might not be noticeable for several hours or days following a car accident. You also might not notice that you have been injured because a car accident can cause your body’s fight-or-flight response to start and flood your body with adrenaline. Adrenaline can mask pain signals, so you might not initially realize that you are injured. The best approach to take after any accident, including when you are unsure that you have been injured, is to seek medical attention and get a prompt examination from a doctor.
Injuries can worsen if they are not promptly identified and treated. By seeing a doctor immediately following your accident, you can obtain a proper diagnosis and receive appropriate care for your injuries. This can facilitate your faster recovery, prevent your injuries from worsening, and help you to show that your injuries happened because of your accident and not an intervening event. Insurance companies, including Uber’s insurance and the driver’s insurance, will want to see evidence that your injuries were caused by your accident. If you wait to seek medical attention, it will be harder for you to prove your claim for damages and could limit your ability to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
2. Get the Name of the Uber Driver.
If you are the person who hailed the Uber ride, the Uber driver’s name will be listed in your app. However, the driver’s name will often be lost from the app once your ride ends. This makes it important to write the Uber driver’s name down for future use when filing your claim. If you were struck by the Uber driver and were riding in a different vehicle, ask for the driver’s name and write it down.
California law requires drivers who are involved in accidents to exchange information with each other, including their names, contact information, driver’s license information, and insurance information. However, it doesn’t require passengers to exchange information with the involved motorists. Even if you were a passenger in the Uber driver’s vehicle or the other vehicle, you should still make sure to get the name, driver’s license information, and insurance information of all involved drivers, including the Uber driver.
If you were riding in a different vehicle that was struck by an Uber driver, you should also check to see which phase the Uber driver was in at the time of your accident. Uber has insurance available that depends on the phase of driving. If the Uber driver did not have the app turned on at the time of your accident and was not transporting passengers, the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance will apply. If the driver had the app on and was waiting for a passenger to call for a ride, Uber provides liability coverage of $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage. If the Uber driver was on their way to pick up a passenger or was transporting a passenger at the time of your accident, Uber provides third-party liability coverage of $1,000,000.
3. Take Photographs of the Damage to All Involved Vehicles.
Photographs can provide key information about an accident and can help attorneys and insurance companies assess liability and the extent of the impact. If you can, take photos with your smartphone of the damage to each involved vehicle and their positions relative to each other if they haven’t been moved. You should also take pictures of other relevant details from the accident scene, including any tire skid marks, debris, weather and road conditions, nearby traffic lights, stop signs, intersections, and speed limit signs. Photograph the make, model, and license plate of each involved car.
All of this information can help accident reconstruction experts determine the speed, direction of travel, and other information to help your attorney assess the liability of each involved party. Take more photographs than you might think are necessary. You should also video the scene.
4. Take a Photo of the Driver’s Licenses and Insurance Cards of Every Driver.
When you ask the drivers for their information, use your smartphone to photograph their driver’s licenses and insurance cards. Make sure the photographs you take are clear so that the information can be easily read. Getting this information at the scene can make it much easier to file your claim and identify all of the potentially liable parties.
5. Seek the Advice of a Local Attorney With Expertise in Uber Passenger Injury Claims.
Uber accident claims are more complex than other types of motor vehicle collision claims. This makes it important for you to consult an attorney in the area in which your accident happened who is experienced with handling Uber claims. Even if you have your accident while visiting temporarily or while you are on vacation, it is more important to talk to an experienced local attorney in that area about your claim than an attorney in your home state. This is because every state has its own laws about these types of accidents, and a local attorney will be more knowledgeable about the laws that apply.
An experienced and knowledgeable local attorney will also be likelier to know the various members of the defense bar and the judges and court staff where your claim might be heard. This type of insight can help your attorney explain what you might expect to happen with your case and anticipate potential defenses that might be raised so that they can tailor your case’s presentation more effectively.
A local lawyer might also be familiar with the area where your accident happened and whether there is a history of collisions there, which might help them identify other potential sources of recovery beyond your Uber driver and the other motorist who was involved in the collision. For example, if there is a history of collisions at the location where your accident occurred because of poor road design or dangerous, uncorrected road conditions, the party responsible for designing the road or maintaining it might also share liability with the involved drivers.
Getting help from an attorney who understands Uber’s third-party liability insurance and how it might apply to your accident is also important. While Uber provides insurance with high policy limits for injured passengers, the company also tends to aggressively defend against claims. A good lawyer should be familiar with the tactics used by Uber and its insurance carrier and gather evidence to help combat potential defense arguments.
Angela Spearman is a journalist at EzineMark who enjoys writing about the latest trending technology and business news.