Rideshare apps are tremendously popular across the US. Uber alone boasts 3.5 million drivers and over 120 million active users! With their ease of use and affordability, it’s no wonder that they’re so popular.
Getting into the car with a rideshare driver doesn’t always mean that you’re going to reach your destination safely, however. Unfortunately, many people find themselves injured or worse in a rideshare accident. If this has happened to you, you have every right to file a rideshare accident claim.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the claim filing process!
Don’t Discuss Your Injuries
It’s human nature for people to ask if you’re okay once you’ve been in an accident. Unfortunately, anything you say in the aftermath of the accident can be used as evidence against you in the rideshare accident case. On top of that, you don’t always know the extent of your injuries in the hours and even days immediately following the accident.
For this reason, the best answer you can give when someone asks if you’re okay is, “I don’t know.” If you don’t have any injuries that require emergency treatment, be sure to follow up with your doctor as soon as possible.
Collect Evidence Now
When it comes to any kind of personal injury case, evidence is key. The best time to start collecting evidence is as soon as the accident happens.
If you are able, take photographs of the scene and any injuries you see on yourself. Collect the information of anyone involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses, take down their contact information and any relevant information they may have.
Finally, as soon as you are able, write down your recollection of the accident. Accidents are traumatic events, and trauma impacts your ability to process and store information. Your recollection will be stronger the closer to the event you are.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have injuries that require emergency medical attention, call 9-1-1 so paramedics can treat you and transport you to the hospital. If you don’t, that doesn’t mean you’re not injured. Your next step should be going to an urgent care or emergency room to get evaluated by a physician.
Soft tissue injuries, like whiplash, take some time to develop. If you notice new aches and pains in the days following the accident, don’t be afraid to follow up for further evaluation. Be sure to keep thorough documentation of all of your medical visits, especially if you suffered a rideshare accident injury.
Contact an Attorney
You might be tempted to file a claim with the insurance company and move on with your life. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t have your best interests at heart, even if the driver is at fault. You want someone on your side who can fight for the compensation that you deserve.
Lawyers like this rideshare accident lawyer know the ins and outs of how insurance companies operate. They can help guide you through the claim filing process and make the best choices for your needs. Don’t wait on hiring an attorney, the sooner you retain one, the better they can help you.
Report the Accident
You have the option of reporting the accident to the rideshare company. Some people choose to do this in order to give them a head’s up that they’re going to make a claim in the near future. If you’re considering this, speak with your attorney because they may want to make the report on your behalf.
Who Is Liable?
Rideshare accidents are complicated in terms of liability. Ordinarily, when an employee of a company causes an accident, you can hold the company liable for their actions as long as they were acting within the scope of their duties as an employee. Rideshare companies, on the other hand, consider their drivers to be independent contractors.
Companies who work with independent contractors are generally not liable for their actions. There are some ways of getting around this, and some states have laws that designates rideshare drivers as employees. In those states, claimants can seek compensation from the rideshare company.
In short, liability is a complicated thing in rideshare cases. For this reason alone, you should absolutely hire an attorney.
Continue Necessary Treatment
While your rideshare accident case is in process, make sure to keep up with your medical treatments. This includes everything from orthopedic treatments to physical therapy. Document any continued treatment you need as a result of the accident.
If your injuries are more extensive and you become disabled in some form, be sure to stay on top of your evaluations and retain records of them as evidence.
Court or Settlement
Your attorney is the person who will ultimately file the claim on your behalf. This can go two different ways: you can settle the case with the insurance company or you can take it to court. Rideshare accident claims are a lengthy process, especially in states with busy courts, like California.
Expect to go through a deposition. This is when an attorney from the opposing party asks you questions about the accident and your injuries. You are under oath when you answer questions, so be sure to answer as honestly as possible.
Once the opposing party has enough information, they typically make a settlement offer. This may or may not be a high enough amount. Discuss the merits of the settlement offer with your attorney, and whether it’s worthwhile to turn down the offer and opt to go to court.
Are You Ready to File a Rideshare Accident Claim?
Getting into a rideshare accident is a scary thing, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options for recovery. If you’d like to file a rideshare accident claim, the best things you can do are to hire an attorney and start collecting evidence immediately. The sooner you act, the sooner you can recover and get back to living your life.
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