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Uber and other rideshare companies offer an affordable way to get home after a night on the town. Having such an easy, safe alternative to drunk driving reduces the risk of injury or death due to a drunk driving crash, and also eliminates the chances of getting an expensive and stressful DUI. Drunk driving statistics in some areas even directly attribute the decrease in DUI crashes to rideshare companies.
While we always recommend Houstonians take a taxi or use an Uber instead of driving after drinking, we also know Uber accidents do happen. For this reason, it is important to know how to react if you get in a car accident in an Uber. Taking the right steps after an accident ensures you can recover the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and other accident-related expenses later.
No matter if you are in an Uber or Lyft or in your own personal car, your priorities are the same after a car accident. Your health must always come first, so if you have obvious injuries you need to dial 911 to get first responders to the scene as soon as possible.
If you opted out of emergency medical care and transport at the scene, it pays to visit your nearest emergency department or make an appointment with your doctor for an exam as soon as possible. Not only will this exam rule out any internal injuries, it also offers documentation of your condition if seemingly minor injuries worsen later on.
Use your cell phone or a digital camera to take pictures of the scene from every angle. Pay careful attention to skid marks and other signs on the road. Document the damage to each vehicle as well.
Grab a pen and paper or your phone to jot down some information about any involved parties. This should include:
If you have time, you may want to make a few notes about exactly what happened immediately before, during, and after the crash. These details fade faster than you realize, and your notes could hold a clue to proving fault in the accident.
Once your health is stable and you have the information you need about the crash, it is time to report it to Uber. Select “Help” from the menu, and select the correct trip. Then select “I was in an accident.” This forwards you to the appropriate area of the app to file your report.
Unless you live in a no-fault car insurance state, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for your medical treatment and other damages after a car accident. This is why drivers must carry a certain amount of liability coverage to drive a vehicle. If another driver ran a red light and hit your Uber, that driver’s liability insurance would cover your accident-related expenses.
If your Uber driver caused the accident, you would rely on his/her policy for coverage. Because your driver had a passenger (you) in the car at the time of the collision, Uber’s $1 million liability policy should cover your injuries.
When comparing Uber and Lyft, their insurance policies are nearly identical. While they vary somewhat from state to state based on local laws, most offer $1 million in liability coverage any time a paying passenger is in the vehicle. For example, imagine your Uber driver failed to yield to oncoming traffic and caused a crash. Uber provides
$1 million in liability coverage to split between you, other passengers, and anyone injured in the other vehicle.
Aside from these general rules, many of the insurance questions you have about a car accident in an Uber are probably still up in the air. Ridesharing services are still in their infancy, and local and state laws are not yet in place in all areas. The best way to understand the law in your area is to contact a local car accident attorney who is familiar with Uber and Lyft accidents. Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable professional is the best way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve after an accident.
Once you know who caused the crash, you can file an insurance claim to collect compensation for the injuries you suffered as a passenger in an Uber accident. You can contact the insurance company on your own, but we highly recommend letting an Uber accident lawyer handle your claim.
If you do choose to handle the claim on your own, it is paramount you understand how to calculate your damages. Do not sign an agreement or offer any recorded statements without first discussing your case with a lawyer. You could lose the right to collect just compensation for your injuries.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian have dedicated their careers to helping injured Houstonians recover the compensation they deserve. For help with your Uber accident claim, contact Hilda Sibrian today.