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What to Do After a Rideshare Accident in California

The rideshare industry has resulted in significant changes in transportation worldwide, including in California. Fewer passengers ride public transit and the total number of vehicles on the roadways has increased accordingly. In most cases, rideshare vehicles like Uber and Lyft provide convenient, safe, and comfortable journeys to a destination within a passenger’s home community or while traveling, but sometimes accidents happen. In fact, some studies suggest that rideshare drivers may be more likely to cause accidents due to driving fatigue, device distraction, or speeding. According to a University of Chicago study, there’s been a three percent overall rise in rideshare accidents since the rideshare industry boom.

Whether you’ve been injured in an accident while inside a rideshare vehicle, in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, or were hit by a rideshare vehicle in a pedestrian accident, it’s critical to know what to do to protect yourself physically and financially.

What to Do at the Scene of the Rideshare Accident

After a rideshare accident, you could be too seriously injured to do anything other than wait in place for help to arrive, but if you’re able to use your phone safely—or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you—you can protect your physical and financial well-being. Use your phone at the scene to do the following:

  • First, call 911 to report the accident and request emergency services
  • Use the in-app features on the rideshare app to report the accident
  • Use the phone’s camera to take photos of the damaged rideshare vehicle, any other damaged vehicle(s), and any visible injuries
  • Take photos of the accident scene, including anything relevant to the accident such as an intersection, signal light, or road hazard
  • Add the contact information of the rideshare driver, any other involved drivers, and eyewitnesses to the accident

Eyewitnesses are often the key to proving fault in a rideshare accident, but they sometimes disappear without leaving their names.

Always go directly to the hospital as soon as you are cleared to leave the scene of the accident, preferably in the ambulance, but otherwise, make arrangements for transportation to an emergency room directly from the accident scene. This not only provides urgent medical care for your injuries but also ensures documentation that your injuries occurred in the rideshare accident.

What to Do At the Hospital and In the Days Following Your Rideshare Accident

After a rideshare accident, it’s critical to go to a hospital and undergo treatment for any serious injuries. Ask for a complete medical evaluation to detect symptoms of less obvious injuries that might otherwise not show symptoms until later. Ask for a detailed medical report listing your injuries, the doctor’s treatment recommendation, and your prognosis for recovery.

After you have your medical report, save all medical bills and invoices, obtain a copy of the police report of your accident, and call a Van Nuys rideshare accident attorney to help you with your claim.

Why Are Rideshare Claims in California Different Than Typical Car Accident Claims?

Rideshare accident claims are complicated due to the structured system of rideshare insurance coverage. The compensation available depends on the stage of the rideshare during the accident, with the highest level of coverage in place when the rideshare driver has a passenger booked, during the pickup drive, and throughout the trip to the passenger’s destination. A lower amount of compensation is available when a rideshare driver has their app on and is driving around awaiting a booking.