Although they’re hard to beat for convenience, rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft can put riders at risk of both injuries and out-of-pocket costs when they’re involved in crashes. That’s why all rideshare users should protect themselves as much as possible before, during, and immediately after rides.
Check Your Auto Insurance Policy
If you own a car and have valid auto insurance, check your policy to see what coverage you have if you’re involved in a rideshare crash. You may need to tap into your personal injury protection or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if you’re hurt in a crash and the other driver or even your own driver lacks insurance to pay for your bills.
If you don’t own a vehicle or don’t currently drive, look into purchasing non-owner car insurance. This coverage has options for coverage if you’re hurt in a crash through no fault of your own, and it may be a wise purchase if you frequently use rideshare apps to get around town.
Verify Your Ride and Driver When They Arrive
Both Uber and Lyft show riders who their drivers will be, what type of vehicle they’re driving, and their license plate numbers as soon as they accept their ride requests. Commit this information to memory or use your phone to reference it frequently, especially when your driver indicates that they’ve arrived. If anything is off—the vehicle isn’t the right make, model, or color, the driver doesn’t match their picture, or the license plate number doesn’t match—don’t get in the vehicle!
Enter and Exit the Vehicle at the Sidewalk or in a Parking Lot
One of the biggest risks that rideshare users face is entering and exiting their requested vehicles, at which point they could be struck by another moving vehicle. Rideshare drivers are supposed to pick up and drop off riders at or near sidewalks, curbs, and other areas away from roads. Don’t cross the street to get to your rideshare vehicle—instead, wait for the driver to come to you.
When exiting your rideshare vehicle, get out on the side closest to the sidewalk or shoulder. If that’s not possible, be extremely careful when exiting the vehicle, and look behind you to check that the coast is clear before opening your door.
Store Your Belongings Properly and Buckle Up
The first thing you should do in a rideshare vehicle is the same thing you should do in any vehicle—buckle your seatbelt. In addition, be sure to store personal belongings, especially large bags and luggage, in the trunk or cargo area of the vehicle, as these items can become airbag or shift during a crash. Keep smaller items, such as briefcases, laptop bags, or purses in your lap or at your feet.
Call 911 and Get Medical Attention After a Crash
If you’re involved in a crash, you should take all the steps you would take after any type accident. That means calling 911, reporting the accident, and getting medical attention. Don’t let the driver dissuade you from doing any of these steps, even if the accident seems minor. If you don’t report the crash and your injuries or soreness from the crash either fail to get better or become worse, you may be unable to pursue compensation.
Report the Accident to Your Insurer
If you have auto insurance, report the crash right away. This will ensure you’re eligible to collect compensation that protects you in the event of an accident you weren’t liable for. Most insurance providers require prompt notification—likely within 24 to 48 hours of the crash—so don’t delay!
Call an Experienced Oklahoma Auto Accident Lawyer
Rideshare crashes have an additional layer of complexity compared to other types of crashes. That’s because both Uber and Lyft have plenty of contractual language and clauses to protect themselves after accidents that injure passengers. But at Parrish DeVaughn, we operate with one goal in mind—getting our clients maximum compensation after crashes that weren’t their fault, whether they were driving their vehicles or riding in someone else’s.
If you or someone you love is injured in a rideshare vehicle, it’s important to get a legal advocate on your side as soon as possible. We’ll collect evidence that proves your driver or another motorist was at fault, and we’ll begin determining how much money you’re owed. Then, we’ll work hard to get you every penny. Contact our Oklahoma Uber and Lyft accident lawyers today for a free consultation.