Car accidents are a fact of life, but it can become more complicated when you are an Uber or Lyft driver or a passenger using a rideshare service.
What to Do - Drivers
If you are the driver of an Uber or Lyft vehicle and you get into an accident with a passenger, you should first make sure that everyone is okay. Then, if anyone requires medical attention, call 911.
Call the police immediately so they can file an accident report and assess the scene. Florida law requires that any car accident which causes $500 or more damage or where anyone is hurt must be reported to the police. The police may determine who was at fault but do not offer any unsolicited information or admit to any wrongdoing. Once the police arrive, they will ask you whether you need an ambulance. Depending on your injuries, you may or you may choose to drive yourself. In Florida, you need to seek medical attention within 14 days or money you are entitled to due to the accident will be lost.
Take down your passengers' information (name, address, phone number) and the other drivers'. Take photos of their car, yours, and the accident scene. Be sure to get the license plates in the picture. Any evidence you can gather will help your case later. If you see nearby witnesses, ask for their statement and contact details.
Contact the rideshare company and report the accident. One factor that will make a difference is whether you were “on the app” at the time, meaning on the clock driving a passenger around. Provide them with all the details of the accident.
Contact a lawyer. You may need legal protection if the other driver or passenger files a claim against you. It is ok to contact your insurance company to report your claim. However, it is always best to speak with your attorney prior so that they can protect your interests. An attorney can help you navigate the process and aid in your recovery.
What to Do - Riders
One of the first things to do after an accident is to assess your physical condition. Do you need medical attention? If so, get help immediately. Call 911 if you can.
The second thing to do is contact the police. You will want a law enforcement officer to survey the scene and make a report. Again, it will become important later if you need to take legal action.
If you are physically able, take photos of the accident scene and notes about what happened. Take pictures of the road to show the weather conditions and surrounding areas. If you see witnesses nearby, speak to them and take down their contact information. Be sure to make a note of the date and time the accident occurred. These items could be called into evidence later.
In addition to photos and witnesses, take down the driver's name and contact details. Speak to the other driver and get their name, address, phone number, and insurance company information. Finally, take down the license plate information for all vehicles involved in the accident.
Report the accident to the rideshare company.
Contact your lawyer to seek legal representation. You may have hidden injuries that you are not aware of which will require treatment. You will want to be sure you are adequately represented in this matter.