If you are like most people today, you are saying no thanks to taxis and buses and instead relying on Uber to get you around your town or city. In an average day, more than 15 million Uber rides are completed worldwide, and that number is only expected to increase in the coming years. Despite being in business for only a decade, Uber has given rides to more than 75 million people across the world. However, whether you are driving your own vehicle or are an Uber passenger, there is always the chance you may be involved in an accident while on the road. If this occurs while you are an Uber passenger, you may be confused as to what you should do next. Rather than let this happen and lose out on a chance to gain compensation for various damages, here are the most important steps you should take if you are involved in an Uber accident as a passenger.
Stay Calm and Call 9-1-1
When an accident of this nature happens, it is vital you try to stay as calm as possible. If you can do so, this will let you evaluate your injuries and those of your driver or others involved in the accident. Also, it will allow you to call 9-1-1 and give crucial details about the accident, allowing the dispatcher to send police, fire, and rescue personnel to the scene as fast as possible.
Take Photos and/or Videos
Once you have evaluated your injuries, pull out your smartphone and start taking photos and videos of the accident scene. Start by documenting your injuries, then move on to such things as damage to vehicles, skid marks and nearby property damage, traffic signs and signals that may have been ignored, damage to any personal property you had with you at the time of the accident, and anything else you feel may be important. Remember that in these situations it is better to take more pictures than you need since you will only get one chance to do so at the original accident scene. Once you have this evidence, immediately turn it over to an experienced Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles who can analyze it and determine your next move.
Talk to Your Driver and Witnesses
When you are a passenger in a Uber accident, always get crucial contact information from your driver, since it is likely your ridesharing accident lawyer will want to speak with them at some point along the way. Therefore, always get your driver’s name, address, and phone number, along with their driver’s license number, license plate number, and make and model of their vehicle. In addition, also speak to anyone who witnessed the accident and get their contact information and accounts of what happened. Don’t hesitate when speaking to witnesses, since memories can fade quickly and stories can change from one day to the next. To protect yourself as much as possible in these situations, use your smartphone to make a video of your conversations with witnesses since this will make it very difficult for stories to be changed later on.
Uber Insurance Policy
If you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle when it is involved in an accident, the good news is that the company has a $1 million insurance policy that automatically kicks in to help compensate passengers. However, this does not mean Uber will be anxious to hand over a large check to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. In fact, the majority of Uber passengers are not even aware this insurance policy exists. As a result, they often get nothing in regards to compensation. To keep this from happening to you, always contact West Coast Trial Lawyers immediately following your accident. By doing so, you can speak to attorneys who handle these cases on a regular basis and can advise you on your options regarding insurance claims and lawsuits.
Say Very Little
When you are at the accident scene speaking to police, witnesses, or your driver, say as little as possible about the accident. For example, if you say something as innocent as “I’m sorry,” those you say this to may assume you are implying you did something that led to the accident. If this winds up in a police report, it may become very difficult for you to gain the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and other damages. In addition, if you are speaking to an insurance company representative and make similar remarks, you can be sure your words will be used against you in an attempt to deny your claim. Therefore, always use common sense, good judgment, and a good dose of discretion when speaking to anyone about the accident.
Get Treated for Your Injuries
Even if you believe you have only minor injuries from the accident, it is still best to have yourself evaluated by a doctor as quickly as possible after the accident. For passengers involved in these accidents, injuries such as brain injuries, back injuries, and whiplash are common. However, these injuries may not start to show symptoms for hours or days after the accident. To make sure you are properly evaluated for your injuries and can prove they were caused by the accident, always seek medical treatment no later than 48 hours after the accident. If possible, allow yourself to be transported by ambulance to a hospital from the accident scene, since this will get your injuries evaluated immediately after the accident.
Be Careful on Facebook and Twitter
If you are like most people, you rarely go a day without posting something on Facebook or Twitter. However, if you have been involved in a ridesharing accident, your Uber accident lawyer will recommend you keep a low profile on social media until your case is resolved. Time and time again, accident victims ignore these requests and post comments or photos related to their accident. When they do, they immediately put their case in peril, since comments or photos can often be used by insurance companies or a driver’s attorney to claim you were not truthful about the details of the accident or your injuries. In these situations, once these comments or photos are posted, your ridesharing accident lawyer will have a much more difficult time swaying a judge or jury in your favor.
Don’t Speak to Insurance Companies
If an insurance company contacts you, refer them to your attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers. If you don’t, you are making a mistake. Once an insurance company contacts you, its goal will be to either gather evidence to help deny your claim or offer you a financial settlement that will not begin to fully compensate you for your damages. Rather than make a mistake that can cost you the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and other damages, let your Uber accident lawyer handle all communications with insurance companies.
Since these cases can be complex and contain many ambiguities, don’t put your case in the hands of an attorney who does not handle these cases on a regular basis. Instead, schedule a consultation with a ridesharing accident lawyer at West Coast Trial Lawyers.