For all the convenience that rideshare companies offer us, they also come with their own share of headaches. Worse, they create a new kind of danger for everyone on the road.
According to a recent study by the University of Chicago and Rice University, the rise of ridesharing services has increased traffic fatalities by 2% to 3% every year since 2011, or abut 1,100 additional fatalities every single year. Worse, ridesharing companies introduce a new layer of complexity and liability into the equation.
If you were involved in a rideshare accident, the first step is to respond on the scene. Here’s what you should do immediately following a rideshare accident.
First and foremost, you need to attend to your own safety. Your health is your top priority—otherwise, you’re in no position to help anyone else or collect relevant information.
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, check yourself over for any injuries. If you can, check other passengers and the driver. You can administer basic care as needed, but don’t try to do serious medical care, and do not attempt to move someone who is seriously injured.
If you can do so safely, make sure the other driver is alright as well, along with any pedestrians if pedestrians were caught in the accident. However, you should not risk your own safety in the process—if you can’t safely leave the car or move the car, don’t get out.
The next step is to report the accident—to the authorities and to your insurance.
Even if the accident is minor, it’s a good idea to call the police. A police report is one of your best pieces of evidence to support your side of the story, and calling the police shows responsibility on your part.
As for insurance, while it’s never fun to call your insurance agent, you are legally obligated to report an accident so that your insurance company can investigate. This is especially important if you were the driver of another vehicle involved in a rideshare crash or if you were the rideshare driver. At that point, under no-fault insurance laws in Michigan, your insurance company can disburse payment.
When speaking with the police, be polite but direct. Avoid saying anything that may be construed as admitting fault, including apologizing for the accident—this will be used against you later.
Ideally, you should only speak to your insurance company through your attorney if at all possible. This won’t be possible in the immediate aftermath of an accident, but from that moment on, your attorney should handle your insurance company on your behalf.
In the meantime, you should collect as much evidence as possible. Don’t rely on police or your insurance company to handle it—if you want to tell your side of the story, you need evidence to support it.
Essential pieces of evidence include:
If in doubt, collect evidence just in case. The more evidence you have, the stronger your claim.
Last but not least, make sure to get legal help.
Unfortunately, rideshare accidents introduce a new layer of complexity to a typical car accident. The driver of the vehicle may be at fault, but you also have to consider the rideshare company’s liability. Either way, dealing with your own insurance company is a nightmare in its own right, and insurance companies frequently downplay accidents to minimize claim payouts.
An experienced attorney is your single best asset in a situation like this. They know how to navigate the legal ins and outs. They know how to make sure you don’t get backed into a corner. And most of all, they know what is and is not a good result for your case, and they will fight to ensure you get the best outcome.
An auto accident is already one of the most traumatic experiences someone can live through. The added complexity of a rideshare accident makes such incidents a nightmare, especially when families are trying to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives.
At Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, our team of experienced auto accident lawyers have fought for families like you for the last 25 years. We know the struggle that families face, and while every case is unique, our job remains the same: to deliver the best outcome for your case with compassion, diligence, and a solid understanding of the law.
If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, schedule your free consultation today.Share this Article