Accidents happen, but when they happen with a Lyft driver, you want to make sure you do what you need to do to make sure you get compensated for it. The same is true for the Lyft driver, especially if the accident was not his fault.
In Lyft’s ideal world, accidents would not happen because auto insurance coverage is expensive and takes away from the company’s profits. Again, in Lyft’s ideal world, when an accident does happen, they want you to report it to them. After you report it, a Claims Customer Care member will contact you.
This step is something you may want to do, but probably not without the assistance of legal counsel. Like auto insurers, Lyft attorneys have the interests of the company as the priority and not you, regardless if you are a Lyft driver, a Lyft consumer, or another affected person altogether. If you talk to a claims representative through Lyft — just like speaking to an at-fault party’s auto insurance adjuster — what you say can be used against you. And they will use it. Because in California like elsewhere, if they can tie you to doing something that could be perceived as also being a factor in the accident, then they can use that to reduce your compensation. When you are recovering and when bills are piling up, that is not something you can risk.
So, what do you do to get compensated after a Lyft accident? Below are a few starting points to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Get Information
Information is always a good thing, especially in car accidents. You want to obtain any potential party to the accidents:
- Contact information
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance information
- License plate number.
If an injury prevents you from obtaining this information, then chances are the police obtained it when investigating and drafting their incident report. Get a copy of the police report at your earliest convenience.
2. Get Evidence
Evidence is always required in situations where you need to file a claim or lawsuit. You need evidence to prove your damages, meaning the evidence must identify what and who caused the accident and confirm that the accident was the direct cause of your injuries.
Examples of evidence include:
- Photographs. You want photos of the scene, including various angles of the vehicles and the road conditions.
- Witness Testimony. If there were any witnesses of the accident, you want their contact information and their statements.
- Video. Oftentimes vehicles are equipped with video today or nearby building have security videos. Be sure to identify any available video that can assist you.
- Medical Records. If you were injured, you will need you medical records, which can be used to identify the cause of the injury, diagnosis, treatment plans, and prognosis, among other things.
- Accident Reconstruction. In more serious cases, an expert may be required to reconstruct the accident to help identify key information.
3. Contact Insurance
If you were one of the drivers (and even if you were a passenger), you should contact your own auto insurance company to report the accident. You are usually required to provide your own insurance company a statement.
Like any insurance company, however, you want to be careful how you describe the event to ensure you do not state details in a way that can be misconstrued. Having an attorney with you even when you make a statement to your own insurance company is a good idea, but it may not always be realistic depending on the circumstances.
Never contact the at-fault party’s insurance or Uber on your own — always have an experienced attorney with you. An experienced attorney can identify when, for instance, the insurance adjuster or claim representative are using tactics to intimidate you and manipulate your responses.
4. Contact an experienced Lyft accident attorney.
Lyft accidents can get complex depending on the circumstances. If you are a passenger, you may have to deal with several insurance companies and Lyft in order to get compensation. If you are the Lyft driver or another motorist, the same is true, only you may have to defend yourself against liability or partial responsibility, which can lower your settlement offer or award. At Ledger Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys in California and Washington will review your case during a free initial consultation and outline your options for you. You can then make an informed decision about how to proceed in your Lyft auto accident case. Contact us today to get started.