Obtaining representation after a ride-sharing accident can be an important first step for those injured in a crash.
There is no doubt that ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft are taking the world by storm. These new businesses are clearly disrupting the old school taxi scenario by utilizing technology and providing a quality service at a reasonable price.
Not only are ridesharing services quicker and cheaper but they are also much easier to use than trying to book a taxicab and wondering when they will arrive at your pickup location.
Driving for Uber is relatively easily done by simply being at least 21 years old, having driving experience, a valid United States driver’s license and have a four-door vehicle available to you. Uber will screen drivers as far as driver’s driving record and whether they have any criminal history.
Uber will even help drivers obtain a new vehicle through lease or purchase.
With all the ease of use of the ridesharing services, accidents do happen, and the more prevalent the ridesharing service, the more likely a serious accident will occur.
If you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle and your driver causes an accident while you are in transit to your destination, you like any other passenger may be entitled to bring a claim for the driver's negligence and your damages. Likewise, if you are in another vehicle and struck by an Uber or Lyft driver, you may also be entitled to bring a claim for injury to yourself.
In practice, one or more insurance policy may apply to cover your personal injury damages if you are involved in a crash with Uber driver. If the driver is not engaged in a ride, the applicable insurance policy probably will be his or her personal automobile insurance policy. If the crash occurred while the negligent Uber driver was transporting you or another passenger, the coverage would be most likely be the Uber commercial insurance policy.
There is a possibility that Uber will suspend a driver involved in a serious accident pending investigation of the crash. Suspension may cause problems for many drivers who rely upon the job to cover bills. It is also one reason why it is important for people involved in an accident with an Uber driver to document the crash at the scene if possible. Many drivers's are worried about the consequences of an accident and may avoid taking responsibility for an accident they caused.
Information to Obtain After an Uber Accident
-- Ever driver’s name, address, telephone number, and insurance information
-- Photos of the vehicles and scene (if you can do so safely)
-- All witnesses name and phone numbers.
The importance of documenting the crash cannot be overstated. The old saying that pictures are worth 1000 words is true in car accidents. Also, many people rely upon the investigating officer to obtain the name and address of independent witnesses when in practice that usually does not happen. In cities such as Houston, Texas, the crash report frequently will not include witnesses, and you can bet the officers memory will not help later on.
People seriously injured may be transported by ambulance and unable to obtain the information outlined above, asking the police to get that information or another person at the scene can be helpful in getting this incredibly valuable information.
As with other car accident claims, having an insurance company "accept responsibility" does not necessarily mean that they will be fair in their evaluation of your damages. It takes only a few minutes with an adjuster when you are discussing monetary compensation to determine whether you have been given the runaround or not.
One question we always advise for those tried to handle an accident claim on their own is to ask the adjuster "what amount is pain and suffering." Most adjusters will have a difficult time answering that question if they are attempting to lowball you.
In short, a ridesharing crash can involve many different insurance policies depending on the status of the driver and cause of the accident. The more serious the injury, the more likely it is that they will need assistance from a competent attorney for the claim.
Usually, the earlier a person retains an attorney, the better off they are in the process. Some feel that personal injury victims should research the attorney they are considering closely before signing any representation agreement. It is best to do a little homework up-front when selecting an attorney for your case.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.
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