Most of us know what to do and how to handle ourselves if we’re involved in an accident. With six million car accidents occurring in the US each year, you’ve probably been in at least one accident already, whether it was a simple fender-bender or a serious collision.
However, what do you do if you’re the passenger in an Uber accident? What is the Uber accident policy?
What to Do If You’re in an Uber Accident
Uber has quickly become a staple of public transportation. In fact, there are nearly 1 million Uber drivers nationwide. They’re cheap, available 24/7, and can be found almost anywhere, including other countries.
As a driver, it provides simple part-time to full-time work for people looking for a secondary or primary income.
However, with all those Uber drivers out there and so many of us looking to take advantage of their services, it’s only a matter of time before you or someone you know is involved in an Uber accident.
Keep reading for an in-depth look at what you need to do as a passenger in an Uber accident.
1. Take a Moment to Calm Yourself
Immediately following the accident, slow down and regain your composure. Take a few minutes to breathe, get your bearings and look around. Reconcile what just happened.
You must stay calm, regardless of whatever emotions you’re feeling. You may be mad at your Uber driver for staring at their phone instead of the road, the other driver for cutting off your car and causing the accident, etc. However, anger and hysterics won’t help you or anyone else in this situation.
Keep your wits about you, it will make it much easy to file for insurance or even for a lawsuit in the future.
2. Check to See if Everyone’s Okay and Call 911
Next, you need to check your car and any others involved in the accident to see if anyone’s injured. What you find in your search will heavily influence the call you make to 911.
If everyone’s okay, you still need to call 911, even if it was a minor fender-bender. In many states, calling the police for any accident, big or small, is a legal obligation as well as a requirement for the Uber accident policy. However, one of the other drivers will have already taken care of this. If not, your phone works just as well as theirs do.
If there are minor or major injuries, make sure you make note of them for the 911 operator. For serious injuries, they may have advice or instructions for you to follow to insure their maximum safety or to minimize the trauma.
Depending on the circumstance of the accident (severity, location, traffic), people may not be safe to stay in either car, even if they’re severely injured. If you can’t move them but their staying in the car is dangerous, find a way to divert traffic or at least slow it down. As other cars to throw on their hazards, block traffic, etc.
3. Get Pictures of the Scene of the Accident
Once you’ve assessed the passengers and drivers for injuries (assuming you have none yourself), you need to gather evidence of the accident. This is a crucial step for a future case, whether your simply filing for insurance with as per the Uber accident policy, with your insurance, or with an attorney.
Gather as much of the following details and pictures as possible:
- Time and date of the accident
- Approximate speeds of both vehicles
- The direction both cars were heading
- The nature of the accident (t-bone, sideswipe, fender-bender, head-on, etc.)
- Pictures of the scene to include skid marks, damaged property, torn-up landscaping (multiple angles)
- Pictures of the wreckage to include the interior and exterior of both cars (multiple angles)
- Pictures of injuries to passengers and drivers
- Weather, visibility, road conditions
In this scenario, more is better. Even if it doesn’t seem 100% relevant, it’s better to have too much information than too little.
4. All Driver and Passenger Information
The Uber accident policy also requires full information on everyone involved in the accident, regardless of fault.
Start with your own vehicle. Get the driver’s name, Uber identification number, contact information, and personal insurance information (insurance company, policy number).
Then, write down the relevant information of all the passengers in the car, including yourself. Make sure you get names and phone numbers as a minimum.
Finally, for any other drivers involved, get their name, contact information, and appropriate insurance information (company name, policy number). If they have any passengers, get their contact information as well.
5. Jot Down What You Remember
We trust that you, like 77% of the rest of America, have a smartphone. While everything is still fresh, take a moment to write down your personal perception and experience pertaining to the accident. Use your smartphone’s notes app or something similar.
You can also email it or text it to yourself. Regardless, you need to have a fresh perspective of what happened on record so you can recall it later. Small detail and “facts” tend to get murky with time and emotion.
Write down what you were doing, what you saw, heard, etc. Details such as what your driver or the other driver was doing at the time of the accident (checking their phone, talking to passengers, looking the other way, etc.).
6. Get Witness Statements
Next, you need to get statements from other witnesses. This can include other people involved in the accident, but the Uber accident policy will likely defer to the official police report.
However, you should make an effort for your own records to get their testimonies and statements from eye-witnesses not involved in the accident if there are any. A third-party perspective can reveal a lot about what happened and who was at fault.
This information will be useful to the police when they get there, the insurance companies, and your attorney, should you need one.
7. Get Checked Out by a Doctor
Once the initial dust has settled and you’re away from the scene of the accident, it’s vital for you to get checked out by a doctor.
In weightlifting, there’s something called DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. For athletes, it’s the bane of their existence. However, this 24 to 48-hour delay in soreness also applies to victims of a car accident.
Often, car accident injuries, such as whiplash, aren’t immediately felt by those involved. Getting checked out by a doctor within 48 hours of being involved in a car accident could mean the difference of getting your injuries covered by an insurance entity or needing to pay for them out of pocket.
Additional, trauma doctors and nurses know what to look for concerned delayed, short-term, and long-term injuries. The last thing you want is to be a victim of a long-term injury that isn’t covered because you blew off going to a doctor.
8. Notify Your Insurance Company
Initially, you won’t know if the Uber accident policy will cover you or your medical bills. Immediately after the accident, you need to notify your insurance of the wreck. Insurance companies can be fickle about doling out coverages if you wait too long to file a claim.
Let them know about your case and provide them with all of the documentation, including the police report, your notes from the accident, the evidence you gathered, and everyone’s contact information (witnesses, drivers, passengers).
However, be sure to tell them that your driver was an Uber driver and that you have been or will be going to the doctor to get checked out. They will be able to communicate with Uber’s insurance and determine the next steps.
Keep your insurance updated on your results from seeing the doctor or anything else that comes up. Communication is key.
9. Familiarize Yourself with the Uber Accident Policy
Next, you need to familiarize yourself with how Uber handles accidents and what their insurance covers.
From the Uber app, you can notify them through their HELP button, leave feedback, or commenting on them about the accident. Typically, an insurance agent from their provider will contact you to get the details of the accident.
If you there weren’t any injuries, they’ll likely refund your bill. However, if you or other passengers were injured, the process will get more complex. While an Uber driver is escorting a passenger, there’s a one million dollar coverage, which extends to you as the passenger.
This Uber accident policy is essential, as the driver’s personal insurance won’t cover incidents that occur during commercial transactions. If your Uber driver was at fault, the Uber accident policy will cover you. If the other driver was at fault, their personal insurance will cover you.
The one exception to the Uber accident policy is if you, as the passenger, was somehow at fault for the accident.
10. Hire an Attorney
Sometimes, the circumstances of an accident are murky and multi-faceted. For example, if your Uber driver is claiming that you were somehow at fault for the accident, you may not get the full compensation.
He or she may claim that you were drunk, which may very well be why you called Uber rather than driving home intoxicated. However, if they’re proclaiming that you were being unruly or distracting, the Uber accident policy may not apply to you, or at least not all of it.
But if you’ve got significant hospital bills, a lot of mandatory time off work for recovery, or life-long injuries, a partial amount of coverage won’t be enough.
Special attorneys, such as those at this law firm, can help you fight to get the compensation you need or deserve.
Good Luck and Stay Safe
While Uber is a quickly growing legitimate company, the Uber accident policy isn’t perfect. Many states are implementing new legislation to protect Uber drivers and passengers, like yourself.
Just remember to use your best judgment to stay as safe and healthy as possible. And for more legal advice, be sure to check out the rest of our articles!