What do you need to know about rideshare car accidents?
In Minnesota, Uber and Lyft have become more and more prominent in the recent years. People have stopped using taxis and switched to the online, easy access, ridesharing system. With both Uber and Lyft, independent contractors of the company will pick you up using their own cars and drive you to whatever destination you need. Both of these services are easy to use, allowing people to call rides right from their phone apps. However, getting in an accident while in an Uber or a Lyft, or getting into an accident with an Uber/Lyft driver can be more complicated than a regular car accident.
There are three different types of accidents that can involve ridesharing drivers. An accident that occurs with the driver when the app is offline, an accident that occurs when the app is online, but there is no passenger, and an accident that occurs when the app is online and there is a passenger in the vehicle.
When a driver has their app in “offline” mode, this means that they aren’t working. Any accident that they get into is the responsibility of their own insurance company. As such, it is treated like a normal car accident. If the app is online, but there is no passenger, Uber and Lyft will offer supplemental coverage if the coverage of the driver is not enough to pay their own damages or the damages of another person. When there’s a passenger, the supplemental insurance amount available increases to cover the extra person who may be injured at the fault of the ridesharing driver or a different driver.
Call 911 if Necessary
When you get into a car accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, the first thing that you want to do is make sure that everyone is okay. If anyone is unresponsive or seriously injured, call 911 so that they can receive medical treatment. If you need emergency medical treatment, someone should do this on your behalf. Serious injuries that may require treatment right away include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and serious damage to the internal organs.
File a Police Report
If you’re able to stick around at the scene of the accident, your first step should be to file a police report. Other drivers may try to talk you out of filing a police report. However, it’s a very crucial step if you’re planning on pursuing legal action. While some may encourage you not to file a police report, it can be a very helpful document, especially if witnesses stick around to speak with the investigating officer. A police report with a statement in your favor is incredibly strong evidence for your case.
Get Everyone’s Contact Information
You’ll then want to exchange insurance information with everyone who’s been involved in the car accident, including the Uber/Lyft driver and the driver of the other vehicle (if you’re the passenger in the ridesharing vehicle). Get everyone’s contact information as well as everyone’s insurance information.
You’ll then want to take as many pictures as you can. You’ll want to take pictures of any vehicles that were involved in the accidents, as well as up close pictures of any damage to any of the vehicles, including your own. You should also take pictures of the location where the accident occurred and pictures of any visible injuries that you have.
Talk to Witnesses
As previously stated, a witness statement in your favor on a police report can make all the difference. You should always speak with anyone who may have witnessed the accident occur. Get their contact information and encourage that they stick around to speak with the police. They may not want to speak to the police, but getting their contact information is still a good idea.
Receive Medical Attention
After gathering as much evidence as you can, you should receive medical treatment as soon as you leave the scene of the accident. You should receive medical care, even if you don’t present obvious injuries. An emergency room is the best place to go after a car accident, but your primary care may also work if they have the availability. However, an emergency room can more easily check over your entire body for injuries. When you receive treatment, make sure to let them know that it’s because of a car accident. Your doctor will then document the cause of your injuries on record.
Contact a Minnesota Car Accident Attorney
After receiving medical attention, you should speak to a ridesharing accident attorney. Speaking to an attorney before filing a claim with your own insurance is always a great idea, as the insurance company of the at-fault party may reach out to you and ask you to give them a statement in exchange for quick cash, which could damage or throw your lawsuit out altogether.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a ridesharing accident in Minnesota, please contact our experienced attorneys here at Sand Law. We’re ready to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your case. For more information, please contact us online by using our chat box option, or by calling us at 651-291-7263.