Despite operating through national companies, rideshare vehicles are at just as much a risk of car accidents as other vehicles on San Diego’s roadways. Uber and Lyft cannot guarantee the safety of drivers or passengers. Unlike traditional taxicab companies, rideshares do not have to abide by strict standards or regulations. This potentially increases the risk of accidents due to poor hiring practices, inadequate background checks, and lack of vehicle maintenance. If you’ve sustained personal injuries in a recent San Diego rideshare crash, here’s what to do.
Take Care of Your Injuries
Put your own health and safety at the top of your priority list. Make sure your rideshare driver stops after a collision that results in injuries, death, or more than $1,000 of property damage. Your driver must legally stop and make sure everyone is free from injuries. Failure to stop is the same as a hit and run in California, and it could result in criminal charges against your rideshare driver. Check yourself for injuries before seeing if others are hurt. Do not assume someone else has called the police. Make the call to 911 yourself to report the accident, requesting an ambulance if necessary. Seek medical care for your injuries as soon as possible.
Report the Crash to the Rideshare Company
Rideshare apps acknowledge the risk of accidents and allow drivers and passengers to report crashes through customer service lines or directly through the app. Check the company’s website for directions on how to report what happened. Follow instructions, providing as much detail about the accident as possible. Do not trust your driver to report the accident on his or her own. It is possible your driver will keep it a secret for fear of losing his/her contract with the rideshare company. Report the crash yourself.
Communicate with Insurance Companies
New rideshare rules make it mandatory for companies to carry at least $1 million in insurance, to come into play in the event of accidents. After a crash, you will likely hear from Uber or Lyft’s insurance company shortly. The insurance claims adjuster may ask you questions and request that you give a recorded statement. Do not give a statement until you’ve spoken to an attorney. The insurance company could use what you say against you later.
Rideshare companies’ insurance policies will only cover damages in specific situations. The driver must have been on an active trip or on the way to pick up a rider. If you’re a driver and the company has denied your claim, you may need to speak to an attorney. You might be the victim of a bad faith insurance claim, or you may need to seek recovery through other outlets if you weren’t entirely at fault for the crash. You don’t have to deal with rideshare insurance companies alone. An attorney can handle communications for you.
Speak to a Lawyer
Rideshare accidents deal with very different laws compared to typical crashes in San Diego. It’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer if a rideshare collision resulted in serious personal injuries, property damage, or wrongful death. There may be more than one option available for your recovery as a driver or passenger. Contact our personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.