What You Should Do After a Rideshare Car Accident

With more than 1.5 million crashes in 2020, sooner or later you could end up in a car accident. Montana and New Mexico are the states where accidents are most likely to happen, with New Jersey the safest. However, not everyone has access to a car, which is why rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are so popular.

24% of Americans aged 50+ have used a rideshare service, and in 2019 and 2020, there were 20 fatalities. That said, between 2017 and 2019, Lyft reported that 99% of all trips ended safely, so accidents are not that common.

Being in a car accident is scary, even if you’re just a passenger in an Uber. If you’re riding in a rideshare vehicle and get into an accident, or a rideshare driver hits you or your vehicle, Bill Allen, a car accident lawyer in North Central Florida, shares some important steps to take to protect yourself.

Stay Calm

Take a few deep breaths and try to remain calm. Once the car has come to a stop, check to see if you or any other passengers are injured. If there are serious injuries, call 911 immediately. If injuries are minor, getting medical attention can wait until after the police make a report.

Call the Police

Even if the accident seems minor, you’ll want to call the police and file an official report. The report is crucial for insurance claims and establishing fault later on. Give the police an accurate account of what happened. They’ll document details like the time, date, location, weather conditions, and damage to vehicles.

Gather Information

While waiting for the police to arrive, gather relevant information. Take photos of damage to the vehicles, the accident scene, street signs or signals, skid marks, and more. Get the names and contact information of the rideshare driver, witnesses, injured parties, and the driver of the other vehicle. Also, note the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved.

Contact the Rideshare Company

Let Uber, Lyft, or whichever service you used know that you were in an accident immediately. Tell them which driver was involved and offer details on time, location, and circumstances. They’ll want to follow up with the driver and inspect the vehicle. Ask for a copy of your ride receipt and driver’s insurance information.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you feel fine initially, get checked out by a doctor after the accident. Symptoms of injuries like whiplash or concussions sometimes take hours or days to emerge. A quick evaluation can identify any issues and provide documentation if you need to make an injury claim later. Remember, concussion can lead to a deadly TBI; 80k-90k people suffer from a TBI-related disability every year in the US.

Follow Up On Accident Reports

Obtain a copy of the police report within a few days of the accident. Review it for accuracy and follow up if any details are incorrect or missing. Get any witness contact info that wasn’t collected at the scene. Also, follow up with the rideshare company to get their official accident report when available.

Consult a Lawyer If Necessary

For accidents with injuries or significant vehicle damage, a car accident attorney can help. They can advise if you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit regarding injuries or losses. An attorney can also negotiate a favorable settlement and represent your interests.

Document Everything

Keep thorough records related to the accident, such as photos, reports, receipts, communications with rideshare companies and insurers, and notes on your injuries. This creates a helpful paper trail if your claim ends up in court.

Being in an accident as a rideshare passenger can be confusing and unsettling. Following these tips will help ensure you receive proper medical care, gather critical evidence, protect your rights, and get compensation if the accident was not your fault. Staying calm and being thorough after an accident is key.