Ridesharing has exploded in popularity, especially as things get back to normal gradually. Uber and Lyft are two leading service providers in the US. As of May 2022, Uber was the leading rideshare company with a 78% market share, while Lyft was the second most popular service provider with a share of 28%.
While convenience is unbeatable, rideshare accident accidents are becoming increasingly common. According to the latest data, ride-sharing was associated with a 2% to 3% increase in the number of car occupants and pedestrians killed in accidents between 2011 and 2016. As an auto accident attorney, we have witnessed an increase in lawsuits against Uber/Lyft.
But the question is, what should you do when your Uber/Lyft gets into an accident in Utah?
Here’s What You Should Do If Your Uber/Lyft Gets in an Accident
Getting into a car accident is not a pleasant experience. Even though you are not behind the wheel, traveling in an Uber/Lyft can still be risky. Whether it’s a fender bender or a major accident, knowing what to do after an accident can help you avoid costly mistakes down the line.
Here’s what you can and should do.
1. Get Medical Attention
First, you should check everyone involved in the accident is safe. But do this only if you can move or don’t appear to have significant injuries. Call 911 if you or anyone else is injured. This is the fastest way to get medical help.
2. Report the Accident
The next step would be to call the police. This is necessary to report the accident. The police will perform an accident report, which your auto accident attorney will find useful when filing a claim.
3. Exchange Information
You can exchange your insurance information. Also, don’t forget to ask for the names and contact information of everyone involved in the accident. Again, this is a crucial step. This information will help you build your case.
4. Document the Accident
Document the accident. Write down your side of the story and take photographs of the scene of the accident. Maintain your medical treatment records. Treat this as evidence. Your car accident attorney in Utah can use this information to build your case.
5. Don’t Entertain Early Settlement Offers
Accidents are physically and emotionally stressful. It’s not advisable to entertain early settlement offers in this mentally and physically distraught state. Remember, the insurance company is not your friend. They will most likely trick you into settling for far less than what you deserve. Besides, once you accept an offer, it’s almost impossible to get back out later. So, under no circumstances entertain any early settlement offers.
Another important thing to remember is never to speak without your lawyer present. You don’t need to talk to the police, Uber/Lyft representatives and lawyers, or insurance investigators without your auto accident attorney. Never forget to call your lawyer, explain the situation, and have them by your side when talking to anyone related to your claim.
When Should You File an Uber/Lyft Accident Claim
Most Utah car accident lawyers will tell you that car accident claims are complicated. And they are not wrong! Auto accident claims can be complicated because it is challenging to determine who is at fault and how much compensation you can get.
Of course, consulting an auto accident attorney can help you understand your legal options better. But here are a few circumstances under which you can file a personal injury claim.
1. Over Speeding
Rideshare drivers are required to observe speed limits and other traffic rules. However, it is not unlikely for an Uber or Lyft driver to step too hard on the accelerator. When that happens, you are more likely to get into a crash, a nasty one.
Should that happen, you can file a personal injury claim as soon as possible. Speeding is illegal, and rideshare drivers or cab drivers are required to transport you safely. They should not be speeding. So, this is an excellent ground for filing a claim.
2. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of highway crashes. In 2022, distracted driving played a role in 2,356 crashes, claiming seven lives in Utah. Any of the following actions can be considered distracted driving.
- Voice to text.
- Talking on the phone.
- Eating or drinking and driving.
- Engaging in a conversation with fellow passengers while driving.
Uber and Lyft don’t allow their drivers to get behind the wheel intoxicated – neither does the law in Utah. But sometimes, cab drivers may be intoxicated. If your driver smelled of alcohol or had a slurry speech, they could’ve been intoxicated. And their intoxication might’ve caused the accident.
Speak with an experienced auto accident attorney if that was the case. After hearing about your account and going through the evidence, your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit.
If you sustained injuries that resulted from the Uber/Lyft driver’s negligence, you might have grounds for a lawsuit. Some injuries can affect you for months or even years to come. You may also suffer temporary or permanent disabilities.
This may force you to change your occupation. For instance, if you are a cook and you lose your arm in an accident, you may not be able to go back to your old profession. In situations like these, a personal injury lawsuit can help.
Contact a skilled Salt Lake City car accident lawyer to explore your options. They can help you get much-needed financial help for you and your loved ones.
Consider the Statute of Limitations
Another important consideration is the statute of limitations. It may take a while to file the lawsuit if you have suffered severe injuries. But you can’t file a lawsuit after exceeding the statute of limitations.
According to the Utah Code 78B-2-307, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case in Utah is four years from the date of the accident. So, speak with an auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
When your Uber/Lyft gets into an accident, you may have grounds for filing a personal injury claim. But knowing what to do in this terrible situation can help you take the right action quickly. In this regard, these actionable insights will help you make an informed decision.
But every situation is different. Knowing if you have a case is not enough to get the compensation you deserve. You need to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney like Henriksen & Henriksen.