Studies have shown that while rideshare companies like Uber have led to a decrease in drunk driving accidents, it hasn’t led to an overall decrease in car accident injuries.
If you get injured as a passenger in an Uber accident, the steps you take in the aftermath will impact not only your physical recovery but your financial recovery, as well. Here are the most important steps to take if you were injured as a passenger in an Uber accident.
1. Report the Accident
You need to call 911 to report the accident and request emergency medical attention if needed. Even if the car accident does not appear that severe, you must report the Uber accident, and you will also need a police report to document the crash.
In addition, regardless of who may be at fault (the Lyft/Uber driver or another driver), all parties must remain at the scene of the accident, including yourself. If either party tries to persuade you not to report the accident, do not listen to them. Also, if anyone tries to leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive, they can be convicted of a hit-and-run.
Then, you must contact Uber to file an accident report with the company, as well. The driver is supposed to report the car crash, but it’s beneficial for victims to also report the crash.
2. Gather Evidence and Contact Information
Before leaving the scene of the accident, collect information from all involved parties, including your Uber driver and any other drivers who were in the accident. Record their name, phone number, insurance information, and license plate numbers. Each party’s insurance will be contacted so an official claim can be filed, and all of their information is needed in order to do this.
Similarly, if any witnesses were present, you need their names and phone numbers, as well. Witness statements are crucial in personal injury cases, because their accounts serve as an impartial third-party retelling.
Take photos of the accident, damage to the vehicles, any visible injuries you have, and surrounding features like street signs. This documentation will allow you to reconstruct the accident if you choose to file a claim.
3. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t believe that you need emergency medical attention, seek medical care right away.
Delayed medical care can result in worsening health outcomes, such as paralysis, traumatic brain trauma, and internal bleeding. Hidden injuries don’t always produce immediately noticeable symptoms but have the potential to become fatal or cause permanent disability.
As the plaintiff in a personal injury claim, you have the legal right to recover damages. However, it must be apparent that you made an effort to immediately treat your injuries. Failing to do so cannot only harm your well-being, but it can affect your case as well.
4. Contact an Uber Accident Lawyer
Before you start putting together your claim, contact an Uber accident lawyer. Discuss the circumstances of your case, including your injuries and any resulting financial strain you are facing, such as medical debt and a loss of income.
An experienced Uber accident attorney can advise you on the best steps to take and what missteps to avoid. If they believe that you have a case that could win a settlement, hire them to represent you and proceed with the claim.
Uber accident claims require legal expertise, an awareness of claims precedents in your state and county, and strong negotiation skills—especially if you are expecting compensation from the company, itself.
5. Determine Fault
In order to file an Uber accident claim, your case will need to prove the four elements of negligence to recover damages. This includes:
- Duty of care: the at-fault driver or drivers were obligated to make a reasonable effort to prevent an accident from happening
- Breach of duty of care: due to negligent action or inaction, the at-fault driver or drivers failed to meet that duty of care
- Damages: the accident that ensued caused you to suffer serious injuries and face significant financial strain
- Causation: you would not have the above damages if not for the at-fault driver’s negligence
With the help of your lawyer, you will need to determine which involved driver is at-fault to determine who you are filing the claim against. This could be the Uber driver or another driver.
6. Determine Liability
Uber accidents are particularly tricky to navigate because Uber’s insurance policy may come into play. Uber offers the following coverage:
- $50,000 of liability coverage per person
- $100,000 per accident
- $25,000 in property damage
- Up to $1 million of liability coverage
While you will always file your claim against the at-fault driver, you may not know from the beginning if Uber will be held liable. Under most circumstances, you will need to exhaust the at-fault driver’s coverage before Uber will consider paying the rest.
An experienced Uber accident lawyer is needed in order to fight for compensation from Uber, as the company’s insurance policy is very valuable.
7. Establish Damages
As you prepare your Uber accident claim, you will need to establish the financial compensation you are seeking from the defendant. This is referred to in the claims process as damages, of which there are two categories.
- current and future medical bills
- current and future loss of income due to a reduced capacity to work
- current and future loss of economic benefits
- property damage
- pain and suffering
- loss of consortium
- diminished quality of life
- emotional distress
8. File Your Uber Accident Claim
An Uber accident claim must be filed with the civil courts in the county where the accident occurred. A claim is an official document outlining the circumstances of your injuries and the damages suffered.
There is a limited amount of time to file an Uber accident claim. You will have two years from the date of the accident to legally file. Working with an experienced Uber accident lawyer will provide insight into these short timeframes and will review all important documentation for accuracy.
Contact Belmont Accident Lawyers After an Uber Accident
If you were injured in an Uber accident as a passenger, it’s time to consult a lawyer. Contact us at Belmont Accident Lawyers to schedule your case consultation today. If you have a case, we’ll work hard to secure the highest settlement on your behalf.