When Uber and Lyft came along as a convenient alternative to a taxi, there’s no doubt it revolutionized transportation. It offered more accessible options for riders, drivers and those looking for extra cash on the side.
Another intended benefit was keeping impaired drivers off the road. But a recent study has found that while rideshare services put more cars on the road, it also has meant more accidents, injuries and deaths involving drivers, passengers, bikers and pedestrians.
According to research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the arrival of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have been associated with an increase of approximately 3 percent in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and accidents.
Even with a rideshare accident that results in survivable injuries, the expenses can add up fast for the people involved. Medical bills. Lost wages. With a serious injury, you may be looking at thousands of dollars or more in damages. While you might assume that the at-fault driver is responsible for any damages, the liability isn’t always clear when it comes to a rideshare accident.
Who Pays for a Rideshare Accident in Louisiana?
Louisiana has an at-fault car insurance system, which means the at-fault party must pay for all expenses for all injury victims involved in a motor vehicle accident. In cases involving rideshare accidents, the at-fault party may be the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, another driver involved in the accident, or even the manufacturer of a defective vehicle.
What to Do if Your Uber or Lyft Driver Gets in a Car Accident
To ensure you are entitled to the appropriate compensation in the event of a rideshare accident, there are things you should do immediately. These include:
- Stay calm and protect yourself first and foremost. Don’t make any rash decisions.
- Seek medical care immediately if there’s any possibility of injury. Even if you don’t feel like anything is wrong, some symptoms don’t show up right away. Make sure you are evaluated by a doctor as delaying medical care could jeopardize your insurance claim.
- Contact the police or ensure that someone else does. The police need to come to the scene of any accident involving a rideshare vehicle so they can conduct an investigation and file an accident report that is used by insurance carriers.
- Notify the rideshare company of the accident through the app. You’ll need to do this as soon as possible.
- Contact your insurance carrier and let them know you were involved in a crash inside a rideshare vehicle. You’ll want to relay basic details about the accident.
Tips to Keep You Safe in a Rideshare Vehicle
Hopefully, you aren’t in a situation involving an accident with a rideshare vehicle, but anything can happen. Given the popularity of these services – and the inherent risks that are built into them – is there anything you can do to keep yourself safe? Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself and hopefully enjoy a smooth ride. Start with these top rideshare safety tips:
- Wait in a safe location: Find a safe place – and avoid your home – to wait for your driver where it’s well-lit and there are plenty of other people around.
- Check out your driver’s profile: Learn about your driver, such as how previous passengers have rated them, badges they’ve earned, how long they’ve been driving, the number of trips, etc. If any of the details bother you or make you uncomfortable, choose a different driver.
- Confirm your driver matches the description: The description should include identifying details such as name, photo, vehicle, license plate number. Don’t get into the vehicle if any of the details are missing or off.
- Sit in the back seat: This would allow you to easily exit the vehicle safely and may better protect you in case of an accident.
- Wear your seatbelt: Not only is it safer but not wearing one could affect your customer rating.
- Keep a friend or family member updated: Once you’re settled into your ride, text or call a friend or family member and share your trip details, such as where you’re going, how long the trip should take, and who you’re driving with.
- Don’t take a ride while intoxicated: While using a rideshare service is ALWAYS better than driving while intoxicated, entrusting your safety to a stranger while in a vulnerable state may not be wise. Don’t ride as the only passenger if at all possible. Or, instead, ask a sober driver you trust to give you a life when you’re impaired.
- Call out unsafe driving habits: If your driver is engaging in any unsafe behavior like speeding, tailgating, or running red lights, don’t hesitate to speak up or ask to be let out at the nearest safe location. Then, report them to their rideshare service to protect future passengers from facing the same danger.
Have You Been Injured in a Rideshare Car Accident? We Can Help.The laws surrounding rideshare accidents in Louisiana can be challenging to interpret. If you need help understanding any of this and wish to discuss the specifics of your case in a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact us today.