Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare apps offer a convenient way to get around Long Island or New York City. These apps are increasingly popular, but along with this popularity comes a greater number of rideshare-related crashes.
If you’ve been injured in an accident while using rideshare services, you may have options to seek compensation for damages, including reimbursement for medical bills.
However, there are a few steps that a New York City and Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk County) personal injury lawyer will tell you to follow to ensure that you don’t make mistakes that could jeopardize your claim.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt badly, it’s always important to call 911 for emergency medical evaluation and care. After the accident, you’re likely confused and upset and may not realize the extent of your injuries. The adrenaline from the traumatic event could mask physical symptoms.
Emergency medical responders are trained to accurately diagnose common accident-related injuries and to make sure you receive proper treatment. You’ll also have medical records documenting your injuries, which is essential to strengthening your case.
File an Accident Report
When you call 911 after an accident, the police will arrive and document the circumstances of the accident, including points of impact and, potentially, which driver is at fault. The rideshare driver may attempt to tell you not to contact the police, but it’s illegal not to report an accident in New York when someone is injured.
The police report is another piece of evidence for your claim. Make sure to give the officer your side of the story, but avoid talking to other parties. Let the police gather witness testimony for the report.
You will also need to report the accident to the rideshare company, which should be done with an attorney’s help, as anything you say to the company representative can be used against your case. The rideshare’s insurance company may attempt to deny your claim and can use your statements in the report in an attempt to deny or minimize your claim.
Work with Your Lawyer to Identify All Liable Parties
Establishing the parties responsible in a rideshare accident claim isn’t as straightforward as a “regular” car accident, i.e. one that does not involve a rideshare driver. Other potentially liable parties, and their respective insurance companies, include:
- The other party involved in the accident
- The rideshare driver
- The rideshare company
The driver and the rideshare company may be named as parties responsible for damages you incurred. Your lawyer will proceed against all responsible parties in your claim.
Know Your Rights as a Passenger
You may not realize it, but as a passenger in a rideshare service, there are certain things that you’re entitled to preserve your safety. The cars should be in good condition, safe, and relatively new.
All vehicles should have seatbelts. Drivers are responsible for following the traffic laws on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk County) and in New York City. They shouldn’t speed or engage in other risky behavior behind the wheel, such as texting and driving or driving under the influence.
Finally, drivers should respect your personal space and privacy. They shouldn’t touch you without your consent, make inappropriate comments, or otherwise harass you. If you’re in an unsafe rideshare situation, take steps to protect yourself and your rights.
Have you been injured in a rideshare accident?
If you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may have a case to seek damages from the rideshare company, the rideshare driver, the driver of another vehicle, and/or any other responsible party. Your settlement or eventual verdict can cover your medical expenses, plus make up for wages lost because you missed work due to the accident.
You may also get punitive damages from the rideshare company if your personal injury lawyer determines they were negligent in hiring your driver.
The Kohan Law Group, Nassau County personal injury lawyers, can help. Call us today for a consultation.