Car accidents are terrifying and unexpected events that are (unfortunately) very common. With the increased popularity of rideshare services in recent years, many people wonder what they should do if involved in an accident related to an Uber or Lyft vehicle.
If you’re involved in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle as a driver, rider, or pedestrian. You must know how to properly handle the situation for your safety and overall personal protection.
Before taking action, read these essential tips to protect yourself and others after a rideshare car accident.
1. Call for Medical Attention
After a car accident, you’re probably upset, distracted, and overwhelmed. That’s understandable, but don’t allow the chaos of the immediate aftermath to distract you from what’s really important: your health and safety. Before you do anything else, call 9-1-1 (or your local medical emergency number) and ask for immediate medical attention.
You may not notice a serious injury due to panic and adrenaline following a collision, so it’s crucial to have a trained professional perform an on-site exam as soon as possible.
2. Contact Law Enforcement
When you’ve been involved in an Uber or Lyft rideshare car accident, the most important task after seeking medical assistance is to call local law enforcement to the scene.
Until the officers arrive, avoid speaking to the other party if possible. If you must communicate with them before a law enforcement officer can mediate, do not apologize or admit fault for the incident. Only talk to the other party if they need help seeking medical attention or coordinate a safe location to pull off the road if traffic is blocked by one or more vehicles involved.
When law enforcement arrives, they will ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved before proceeding with anything else.
First, they will verify that each person has received any necessary medical attention. Then, if necessary and possible, they will assist you in moving the vehicles to a safe location and create an incident report.
3. Document the Incident Details
If you can do so safely, take photos of the scene before the vehicles are moved. Be sure to capture every angle, particularly of the car you were riding in or driving as well as any other vehicles involved in the accident.
Even if you are a pedestrian and have been hit by a rideshare vehicle, it’s essential to take photos to provide evidence in the event you’ve been injured, and so you can file an insurance claim.
You will also want to write down your personal account or create a voice recording on your phone describing how the accident occurred as soon as possible, so you don’t forget any necessary details. This helps law enforcement, your insurance company, and your attorney understands what happened so they can adequately assist you.
4. Collect Contact and Vehicle Insurance Information
Once a law enforcement officer arrives on the scene, they can assist you in exchanging information with the other party or parties involved in the accident.
The officer will be able to tell you what sort of information you need to provide. The information can protect you from anyone attempting to obtain sensitive information. That isn’t necessary for accident resolution but can give them access to highly personal accounts.
Suppose an officer is not available to assist within a reasonable amount of time. In that case, you can request over-the-phone assistance or contact your personal attorney’s office (if you have one).
Whatever the case, you should never provide the other party with your most personal information (such as your social security number or mother’s maiden name).
If you aren’t sure whether it’s safe to provide certain types of information to another party involved in a rideshare accident. It is best to wait for professional advice from your attorney or a local law enforcement officer.
5. Consult an Attorney
Once you’ve received medical attention and gone through the previous steps, you should contact an attorney to seek advice. Regardless of whether or not you have any immediately evident injuries or notice any other type of damage right away. Seeking the advice of an experienced attorney is the best way to protect yourself from unexpected expenses and lawsuits.
Your attorney will know which seemingly irrelevant details could be essential to winning a lawsuit against someone who has injured you or damaged your property. They can also help you in the event another party attempts to sue you.
You’ll want to provide your attorney with all of the information and documentation you have so they can do their best to advocate for you.
6. Take Care of Yourself
Finally, don’t forget to practice self-care in the aftermath of a rideshare car accident.
Do your best to relax in a way that works for you. Whether that means taking a yoga class, enjoying a nap, visiting a friend , or visting a licensed therapist to process the event.
Don’t wait to seek medical attention if you notice any pain popping up in the hours, days, or weeks after your accident. It’s common for minor discomforts to become severe, chronic health problems over time if you wait to have them treated.
Car accidents of any kind are not ideal and can cause immense stress, severe injuries, and significant property damage. And even minor incidents involving rideshare vehicles can feel overwhelming if you don’t know how to handle them.
Whether you’ve recently been in a rideshare accident or are simply curious about what to do if one should occur. So, keep these critical steps handy so you can be confident in handling the situation appropriately.