What Should I Be Asking My Uber/Lyft Driver If I’m Involved In A Car Accident
Over the last few years, the popularity of ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft ride have skyrocketed. With the simple click of an app on our smartphone, we can order a ride to almost anywhere. But what happens if you are involved in a Michigan car accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft ride? What should you do? This article answers some of those questions.
Contact the Police
The first thing to do when involved in a Michigan car accident while riding an Uber or Lyft is to contact the police and make a police report. This is vitally important. Whether it’s because they are afraid of the consequences or simply don’t want to interfere with a night’s work, many Uber of Lyft drivers in Michigan don’t want to contact the police following a car crash. But do not let them persuade you. Contact the police. A police report is crucial information that all insurance companies need to process and pay claims. Not creating a police report can cause a frustrating delay in getting a claim paid as well as other negative consequences that can develop over time.
If the Uber driver is giving you a hard time about contacting the police, let them know that Michigan law obligates them to contact the authorities when a car accident occurs and they are breaking the law if they fail to do so.
Once the police arrive at the scene, make sure you give a statement. No matter who was at-fault for causing the car wreck, you are entitled to tell your side of the story. If you believe the Uber driver for the vehicle you were riding in caused the accident, tell the police the truth. If you don’t know how the accident occurred, then tell that to the responding officer. But make the police hears from you.
Get Witness Information
If there are witnesses to the car accident, get their names and telephone numbers. Try to have them stay around the accident scene until the police arrive so they have the opportunity to explain what they witnessed and so the police get their information. This will be very handy later on if a claim for personal injury is pursued.
Another important thing to communicate to the responding police officer is whether you are in pain or sustained injury from the car accident. This is important because insurance companies will often use the lack of any injury reported at the accident scene against a claimant later on. Therefore, it is important to explain in detail to the responding officer what is bothering you. More importantly, the responding officer can help facilitate transport to a hospital or local urgent care if necessary.
Further, when discussing the accident with the police, find out the insurance carriers for both the Uber driver and the other vehicle involved in the accident, if any. Currently in Michigan, Uber drivers are insured with a company called James River Insurance. Although most Uber drivers are operating their personal vehicles, normal personal auto insurance does not cover Uber drivers when they are “on the clock” and utilizing the Uber app to pick up rides. Make sure the Uber driver does in fact carry insurance with James River.
Another thing you should do is take photographs of the vehicles involved in the accident. You can do this with your smartphone. Documenting the severity of the car accident through vehicle damage is a very impactful way for insurance companies to appreciate the seriousness of the crash. If a tow truck is called to the scene, take down that information as well. You may need it later.
Uber and Lyft are gaining popularity with each passing year. Our law office represents Uber and Lyft passengers (and their drivers) throughout the state of Michigan. If you have any questions about a Michigan Uber car accident, please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) so we my answer your questions and assist you.