Hailing a taxi used to be something of a crapshoot. Here in Hackensack, you never knew if one would be driving by when you needed it, and the wait time, if you called one of the local companies to have a car dispatched to your location, could be really long. Now, you can get an Uber or Lyft driver to show up at your door in a matter of minutes with just the push of a button.
When you jumped in a cab you had no idea what the ride was going to be like. Will they drive safely? Will the air conditioner or heater be on? Will the back seat be especially dirty? There was no way to know. With Uber and Lyft you can see your driver’s rating, and skip a driver you don’t want to ride with. You also know the ride has a good chance of being comfortable because the driver wants to earn a good rating from you.
However, it is important to remember that while these transparent rating systems may make you feel safer, there is still a risk you will be in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft. If you are involved in such an accident, there are three things you need to do.
1. Gather As Much Information As Possible
Uber and Lyft both have standard protocols for their drivers to follow if they are involved in an accident. They are supposed to report the accident to the police and work with the dispatcher to determine if an ambulance needs to be sent to the scene as well. Then, the driver is supposed to report the accident to the ride-hailing company and submit all the information about the accident the company requests.
As a passenger, it can be a relief to have the driver take control of the situation, but that does not mean that you should get too complacent. Don’t give information to the driver that they don’t really need. Instead, share your information with the police. Don’t tell the driver you feel fine. It is possible you have soft tissue injuries that are not visible or painful right away. Instead, seek medical attention so you can get a full and professional assessment of your injuries.
If you are up to the task, you should gather your own evidence. Take photos and videos of the accident scene on your cell phone. As soon as you get some private time away from the driver, type up or make a voice recording of your memories of just before and just after the accident. Was the driver messing with their phone? Did they run a red light? Did it seem like they were speeding?
All of this information will end up being evidence in your case.
2. Report the Accident & Rate the Driver
Just because you never made it to your destination doesn’t mean Uber or Lyft doesn’t want to know how your trip went. Use the in-app rating system to report your accident and rate the ride you took.
3. Contact An Experienced Attorney
Uber and Lyft both require their drivers to carry accident insurance. Both companies also have additional insurance policies covering themselves and their drivers. An attorney and claims adjuster working for one of these insurance companies is going to reach out to you after an accident with a settlement offer.
That offer is going to be a low-ball offer, and you may be in no condition to fight for additional compensation. The best course of action you can take is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you and advocate for you.
Levin & Malkin regularly represents Uber and Lyft accident victims in the Hackensack area. We work hard to ensure our clients get the money they need to fully compensate them for their injuries. If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident we are here to help. Please contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation.
Posted in: Ridesharing Accidents