If you live in the state of Washington, chances are you have used a rideshare service at some point. This is a very popular option since it is convenient and affordable, allowing people to get around with ease.
If you were riding with a rideshare driver when they were involved in an accident, you will need to know what to do next. This is especially important if you have been injured since you could qualify for compensation.
At NBF Accident Law, we are dedicated to achieving the best possible results for victims of accidents to ensure they get the compensation they deserve. Keep reading to find out how witnesses impact a rideshare accident and the steps to take after the fact.
Rideshare Accidents in Washington
Auto accidents involving rideshare services are more complex than the standard vehicle accident. One reason for this is that the drivers have an independent contractor employment status, which can impact the protection they have and the responsibility of the company.
Because rideshare drivers are independent contractors, the company isn’t always liable in the case of an accident. Although, the driver does have the right to build a case against the company if they believe they were not at fault. Passengers also have the right to build a case against either the company directly or the driver themself.
Steps to Take After a Rideshare Accident
If you have been in a rideshare accident, this can feel like a very overwhelming process, especially right after the initial collision. Despite this, you need to follow certain steps to stay safe and thoroughly document the accident and your damages.
The very first thing you should do after a rideshare accident is call 911 to report the collision. The 911 responder can send over the police as well as medical care to have everyone involved checked out for injuries. Even if you do not believe that you are injured, you still need to do this to ensure you haven’t sustained any injuries. Receiving medical care will also help to create medical documentation.
Many auto injuries can go unnoticed but can still have serious implications, which is why you should always seek medical care. Things like concussions, internal damage, and spinal injuries may not seem serious at first but can be life-threatening if not treated.
Exchange Contact Information
If possible, after the accident, you should try to exchange information with everyone involved. Write down the rideshare driver’s information and see if you can find any witnesses, and write down their contact information as well.
The police will also get this information and will most likely take reports from bystanders who saw the accident. You can later give this contact information to your attorney as well so that they can reach out to get their own witness statements.
If you are not seriously injured, one step to take is to gather evidence at the scene of the collision. This is not necessary in every situation since other people will document the scene as well as the police. However, it is still a good idea if you are physically able to take photos of the scene of the accident, the vehicle, and any physical damage.
Report the Accident
Even though rideshare drivers are independent contractors, these rideshare companies still hold some responsibility for the well-being of passengers. Because of this, another step you want to take is reporting the accident to the rideshare service.
If the rideshare driver doesn’t have insurance to cover your damages, the rideshare company has an insurance policy that will kick in. You may also want to report the accident if you believe that the company was at fault in some way. For instance, the company may have knowingly hired someone with a poor driving record or someone who has shown signs of reckless driving in the past.
Hire an Attorney
The last step you should take after a rideshare accident is hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you. As a passenger, you want to protect your rights to ensure you get compensation for any damages as a result of the accident.
An attorney can help you pinpoint who is at fault and better document evidence to strengthen your lawsuit. This is especially important if you have sustained serious injuries after the accident and you have medical bills or lost wages you need to cover.
Rideshare Accident Insurance Coverage
Dealing with insurance coverage is difficult no matter the details of the auto accident, but it is especially difficult with rideshare accidents. In some cases, the driver’s insurance policy may kick in and provide coverage for damages you have sustained. But in most instances, the rideshare company has a liability insurance policy that helps to cover bodily injuries and property damage.
An auto accident attorney can help you understand what insurance coverage you apply for to get you the best settlement amount.
How Witnesses Can Impact the Outcome of a Rideshare
In any kind of auto accident, bystanders are incredibly important when it comes to documenting evidence. Witnesses can testify about the accident, providing clarity on who was at fault. They can also help to fill in the blanks if other types of evidence leave loose ends.
Need an Auto Accident Attorney? Hire NBF Accident Law Today
If you are the victim of a rideshare accident, you may not know what to do next or what your rights are. This can be a complex process since there are more nuances than you would find in a standard auto accident. You have to take into account the responsibility of the rideshare company and the rights of the driver and the passengers.
At NBF Accident Law, our auto accident attorneys are dedicated to listening better and fighting purposefully for victims of auto accidents. We understand the complexities of rideshare accidents and the factors that have an impact on the compensation you can receive.
For legal representation, contact us today to schedule a consultation at 206-923-8888.