As car accident attorneys serving the greater Las Vegas area, we’ve seen our share of damages from accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers. Generally, these are careful and conscientious drivers, but because of the sheer amount of time they spend on the road, these drivers cause and are victims of car wrecks.
Consider these scenarios:
What should Madeleine do?
While driving in an unfamiliar part of town, Madeleine, age 35, signaled and executed a right turn at an intersection. An Uber driver also attempted to make the same right-hand turn at the same time from an inside lane, hitting the side of Madeleine’s car, knocking off the side view mirror, and jolting her neck. Both drivers pull over. The Uber driver said her passenger was in a hurry and told Madeleine to contact Uber directly for insurance claims. The driver says there’s no need to involve the police because Uber will take care of everything. What should Madeleine do?
What should Larry do?
Larry, age 61, used the Lyft app to call for a ride from his home in Summerlin to the Las Vegas airport. Larry and the driver were violently rear-ended en route in a hit-and-run accident. Both the driver and Larry were taken to the local hospital by ambulance for their injuries. As the passenger in a Lyft vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident, what’s the next step for Larry to receive compensation for his injuries?
Car accidents, even small ones, can generate massive amounts of stress. Injuries that seem minor at first sometimes turn out to be more serious than initially thought. More serious car accidents cause medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, even disability and death. If you are involved in a car accident while using one of the popular ridesharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, here are three simple tips for achieving the best outcome:
1. Document the accident scene and collect all contact information.
In your initial response, a car wreck involving Uber or Lyft should be no different than if you were in a private vehicle. If you are medically able, call the police and document the police officer’s name and the case number he or she assigns to you. Write down the names, full contact information, and insurance details of everyone involved, including any rideshare drivers. Take pictures of the scene from multiple angles. If there are bystanders, ask if they would be willing to give you their contact details as potential witnesses.
If, like Larry, you are too injured to take photos or exchange contact information, or even if you are too shocked or stressed at the moment to do it, then collect as much information as you can soon afterward. Send a friend or family member to take photos of the setting, the injuries, and the vehicles. Contact the police station and document the responsible officer’s name and your case number. Save texts and receipts. Use bullet points to create a written timeline of events before, during, and after the accident.
2. Contact a personal injury lawyer.
Rideshare companies are large, multinational companies, sprawling geographic areas that dwarf the greater Las Vegas area in size and economic power. Yes, rideshare companies have insurance; yes, your specific case is barely a blip on the radar of such large companies.
If the auto accident happened while the rideshare driver was on the clock (rideshare app running), then the rideshare company insurance will cover your personal injuries. The rideshare company’s insurance will compensate you for injuries in the event that the other driver is at fault if the other driver is non- or under-insured.
If the rideshare driver did not have the app running and was not working at the time of the accident, then the driver’s private insurance will be liable for claims. Because it becomes a question of whether the rideshare insurance or the driver’s private insurance is liable, a situation often results in which each insurance company claims that the other should be picking up the bill. Each insurance company has a vested interest in interpreting the information so that they are not held responsible.
It can be overwhelming to get muddled up in competing claims between insurance companies, especially big, multinational insurance companies. You can save yourself stress and improve the outcome of your case by consulting a qualified personal injury attorney near you. Your car wreck attorney will communicate with the insurance agencies on your behalf. They won’t allow a big insurance company to take advantage of your inexperience with the necessary paperwork and protocols.
3. Ask your attorney about her/his experience dealing with rideshare accidents.
Rideshare car accidents involve a relatively new area of car accident law. As you know from news headlines, rideshare companies’ legal status has been modified and questioned in different geographic locations and in specific circumstances. It can be complicated. You need a lawyer who’s already up to speed on the complexities involved with this specific type of car accident. Although any auto accident injury lawyer is capable of becoming educated about rideshare accidents, it’s worth finding a firm such as Tingey Injury Law Firm with the experience required to execute your case according to the latest legislation. Their experience and know-how can help expedite your case and maximize your compensation.