Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft continue to increase in popularity. With their competitive prices and convenience, they are rapidly replacing taxi cabs in South Florida.
However, Uber and Lyft drivers continue to get in accidents, and passengers can easily be injured. If your driver gets involved in a collision, remember to take the following steps to protect your right to compensation.
Attend to Anyone Injured
With luck, no one will suffer a life-threatening injury. However, fractures, sprains, and traumatic brain injuries are fairly common in car accidents and can quickly worsen if not treated promptly. If necessary, call emergency services to come to the scene of the accident.
Get Everyone’s Insurance Information
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that injured motorists initially contact their own insurer to tap personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to pay for medical care or replace lost wages. However, PIP benefits might not cover your injuries, so you can pursue additional compensation from the driver responsible for the crash.
In an Uber or Lyft accident, either your driver or another motorist might be responsible. Rather than try to determine fault at the scene of the accident, ask for the insurance information for each driver. You might need to make a claim with either one or both.
Call the Police
A police officer will come out and write up a police report about the accident. This report will contain important information, such as:
- The time, date, and location of the accident
- The identities of everyone involved in the crash
- The identification of any witnesses to the collision
Without a police report, it can be hard to establish whether an accident even occurred and who was involved, so definitely call the police if no one else at the scene has already done so.
Identify Who Was at Fault for the Accident
In public transportation accidents, one of two parties are usually to blame:
- The transportation company. This also includes the driver, since the employer will be automatically liable for any negligence committed by a taxi or bus driver.
- Another motorist on the road. For example, your cab could have been rammed by another vehicle, or someone could have cut off a bus, leading to a crash.
Fault matters, since the party at fault will need to pay injured victims like you compensation. It’s okay if you do not immediately know who is to blame for the accident. Your attorney can help you figure that out by performing an investigation and requesting documents from the parties involved.
Document a Breach of the Duty of Care
A transportation company—whether it be a taxi cab, bus, or train—owes passengers a duty of care. Trains, for example, are common carriers who owe their passengers the “highest degree of care” to keep them safe. When a common carrier breaches this duty, they are negligent and are at fault for your injuries.
There are many ways that a company can be negligent:
- An operator or driver fails to follow the rules of the road.
- An operator or driver is intoxicated, distracted, or drowsy while operating the motor vehicle.
- The transportation company did not adequately service its fleet, which breaks down and causes injuries.
- The transportation company did not perform adequate background checks and hired a dangerous driver.
Document the Accident
As you wait for the police to arrive, you can begin collecting important information:
- With your phone, take pictures of the damage on the vehicles (if you are able to move around).
- Take pictures of any debris in the road or anything you think might have contributed to the accident, such as a malfunctioning traffic light.
- Document what you think happened. You can write down who you think is responsible for the accident and how it unfolded.
This evidence will help the insurance companies determine who is at fault for your injuries. As a passenger in Lyft or Uber, you certainly are not responsible for the accident, so your memories might carry greater weight because you are an objective observer.
Speak with a Miami Uber Accident Attorney
Receiving compensation after an accident is rarely easy. Instead, some insurance companies play hardball and try to deny claims, or they drown you in paperwork so that you give up before receiving a fair settlement.
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our Miami Lyft accident attorneys are prepared to help you get the compensation you need, whether to pay for medical bills, replace lost wages, or compensate you for pain and suffering. Speak to one of our attorneys by calling 305-371-2692 or submit an online message. Our initial case evaluations are free.