What should you do when you’re the victim in a rideshare accident? Who is responsible? Is the process different from other car accidents?
Most people don’t think about these questions until they’re directly impacted by the answers. (And by “the answers,” we mean “a rideshare accident.”) But Cohn & Swartzon, a personal injury firm in Southern California, has handled numerous cases involving rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft – and we can provide the knowledge you need to proceed.
Who is Responsible in a Rideshare Accident?
First, it’s worth noting that not all rideshare accidents are the same. Victims can range from passengers in the vehicle to pedestrians, cyclists, or even bystanders who are injured as a result of a rideshare driver’s negligence.
In California, when a driver acting as a rideshare employee is responsible for an accident, the rideshare company’s insurance is liable. Further, in 2015, California enacted a law requiring rideshare companies to maintain $1 million in liability coverage from the time a driver accepts a match until the passenger exits the vehicle.
What Steps Should You Take After a Rideshare Accident?
If you’re in a rideshare accident, there are a few steps that you can take to protect yourself and help your legal team pursue a claim if that becomes necessary.
One essential step is to call 911 from the scene and secure a report from the relevant law enforcement agency. That may be the local police department or California Highway Patrol depending on where the accident happened. The law enforcement agency may take a few days to prepare the official report, so make sure you leave the scene with the information you need to get the report when it’s complete.
Another important step is to take photos of the scene if you can. The images will be useful in establishing the severity of the accident, who was at fault, and other components of a future legal case.
Finally, it’s crucial for rideshare accident victims to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible after the accident. The ability to identify and verify medical costs related to recovery will be another major component of your claim.
What is a Common Mistake People Make in Rideshare Accident Cases?
If you’re in an Uber or Lyft accident, completing the steps above is a good start. But there’s one more mistake you’ll need to avoid – pursuing and managing an accident claim on your own.
The only way to truly ensure that your rideshare accident claim is handled correctly is by contacting an attorney. That’s especially true if you are dealing with serious injuries or other challenges as you try to reclaim the life that you had before the accident.
The liability coverage laws mentioned above mean that rideshare accident cases in California can get complicated. Without an attorney, you’re more likely to receive an insufficient settlement – in fact, sometimes the insurance companies will offer a settlement amount that doesn’t even cover medical costs.
How Will the Right Attorney Will Help Your Rideshare Claim?
The right legal partner will make sure that your case is filed correctly, protect your interests, and provide informed counsel to help you make the best possible choice for your future.
“Rideshare accidents and claims are substantially different from normal accidents for a few reasons. We may have to deal with multiple entities at once, and insurance levels vary depending on what the driver was doing at the time. Most folks aren’t aware of these factors, which is why an attorney with rideshare accident experience is so important.”
– Jason D. Cohn, Founding Principal, Cohn & Swartzon
Cohn & Swartzon typically take rideshare accident cases on a contingency basis, so clients only pay for legal services if they receive a settlement as the result of a successful claim or lawsuit.
Most importantly, partnering with experienced attorneys like Cohn & Swartzon makes it easier for you to focus on recovery confidently because you know that the right team is working to maximize your compensation.