Nearly everyone has been in an accident at some point in their life. Colorado laws and insurance companies have fairly straightforward protocols in cases where each party privately owns their vehicle.
Unfortunately, things are not so cut and dried when it comes to ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. These companies have only been around for a little less than a decade. There just hasn’t been enough time for legislation to completely catch up to these newer driving situations, and, if you get into an accident with one or while in one of these ride sharing services, it can be tricky to find out who is responsible for paying for what. That’s why personal injury lawyers field so many questions about Uber drivers each year.
Get through an accident involving Uber or Lyft with these savvy strategies:
Seek Medical Attention
First thing’s first; take care of your injuries and anyone else who may be injured. Get to a safe area and call the paramedics if necessary. Your health is more important than your car or getting home on time.
Seeking medical attention has an added benefit; if you’re injured, it creates a paper trail that acts as proof when you file your claim with the insurance company.
Call the Police
Call the police as soon as possible after your accident—the second you get to safety. Collect and share insurance, driver’s license information, and any other legal information with all involved parties. Usually once the police arrive, they will help facilitate this.
Document everything that you possibly can; take pictures, write down what you remember step by step, and obtain any other evidence that you may need to make an insurance claim.
If you’re relatively unharmed, find any witnesses that may have been around and exchange contact information.
Share all of your gathered information with the police when they arrive and follow any advice they give you. It’s very likely they’ve encountered a similar situation and can point you in the right direction. Just remember that they’ll need to finish their own documentation and investigation first.
Find an Alternative Way Home
Don’t let your Uber driver take off. Get his contact information, Uber information, license plate and car make or model first. Keep everyone present until the dust is settled and the police say it’s okay to leave the scene.
Most importantly, find another way home. If possible, call a friend, family member, or taxi service instead. If all else fails, the police may provide you with transportation, but this is generally a last-ditch effort and not the norm.
Seek an Attorney
Uber accidents come with many legal gray areas. It’s extremely important that you contact a car accident attorney in Denver at 1-800-ATTORNEYas soon as possible. Your attorney will help you through this difficult process and advocate on your behalf with the insurance companies and Uber or Lyft.
If you were injured in the process, be sure to explain this to your attorney. Ask hospitals and clinics for copies of your health records and avoid speaking with any insurance representatives until you’ve spoken with your attorney! The importance of this tip cannot be understated. Do not confirm or deny anything that happened if they attempt to contact you; they can use information against you regardless of what you say.
Tell the insurance representative that your attorney will contact them shortly. If they continue to press you for information, reiterate that your attorney advised you to answer questions only after you meet.
It typically takes about a week for Uber to get in touch with you, but the company will reach out to you in an attempt to resolve any strife surrounding the accident. If you’re a passenger, they will most likely give you a refund, but getting them to cover insurance bills isn’t always as easy. Once you hire a personal injury attorney, they will handle all communication with Uber, Lyft or other ride-sharing company involved.
Remember: Uber’s job is primarily to protect drivers, not customers. If you feel that they’re pressing for too much information at any point, it’s okay to refuse to continue the conversation. Contact your personal injury lawyer in Denver immediately for further advice.