Guide to Filing a Rideshare Accident Claim in Missouri
Many people rely on the rideshare industry to provide safe transportation when driving isn’t an option, for example, while on vacation or after an event. Due to the popularity of rideshare apps, injuries and wrongful deaths can occur due to accidents caused by rideshare drivers. A 2019 study found that ridesharing services increased the number of fatal car accidents by 3%.
You can take steps to protect your well-being and legal rights to compensation if you get into an accident with a rideshare vehicle in Missouri. Working with an experienced rideshare attorney at Cofman Townsley can help you determine who may be liable for the accident, including the negligent driver and the rideshare company.
Check to see if everyone in your vehicle is safe and if they need medical attention. If you or anyone else sustains severe injuries, call 911 and ask for the police and paramedics. They can assess the damage at the scene and transport you to a local hospital for treatment.
Although you may not have visible injuries, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as sprains and contusions, may not appear for days or weeks after the accident due to shock and adrenaline masking the pain.
Your doctor will use imaging tests to diagnose your injury and develop a treatment plan. The records from your doctor help your attorney negotiate a settlement with the insurance company and serve as proof of damage to the court if you need to go to trial.
Upon arrival, the police will execute a thorough investigation of the accident. Responding officers will likely ask everyone for statements, take photographs, and interview witnesses who saw the accident. They will create a police report that may contain the following information:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Contact and insurance information of all parties involved in the accident
- Statements from all parties
- Notes of vehicle damage
- Lighting, weather, and roadway conditions
- Diagram of the incident
- Cause of the crash and who is at fault, based on the evidence they have at hand
- Traffic citations and other violations committed
The officer should tell you when to pick up the report from the police station or how to access it online. Having the accident report on hand can help you when you need to let the rideshare company know of the crash.
Ensure you have the names, contact information, insurance information, and license plate numbers of all drivers involved in the accidents. You can also ask for the rideshare driver’s contact details, insurance information, and vehicle license number to help you report the crash to the company.
Ask if the driver is an employee or contracted with the rideshare company. Note the information if they have any identification badges or numbers with the company.
Take photos as proof of the property damage to vehicles and any visible hazards at the accident scene. Also, photograph the skid marks on the road where your accident occurred. These marks indicate that the rideshare driver was speeding and trying to brake on time.
Include broken glass, vehicle parts, and debris scattered around the accident site in your photos. Take pictures of the exterior of the rideshare vehicle to show where it made contact with your car.
Rideshare services have specific processes for vehicle drivers to report crashes. For instance, you can contact Uber’s emergency hotline or complete an online incident report.
If the rideshare driver is active on the app, the rideshare company provides liability insurance. For example, Lyft maintains $1 million in third-party liability insurance for active drivers en route to pick up passengers. If the rideshare app is off, you may have to seek compensation from the driver’s personal auto insurance policy for your accident.
After a rideshare accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer to help you understand who to contact and where to file your claim. The lawyer can examine the police report to determine whether the rideshare driver was on or off duty and whether they caused the incident. They can also tell you if you need to file a claim with the rideshare’s third-party insurance company or the driver’s auto insurer.
If the auto insurance company refuses to settle your claim or denies it, your lawyer can take your case to court. Using your accident photos and medical records, they can link your injuries to the incident and negotiate for maximum compensation from the negligent party.
If you suffered injuries in a rideshare accident, an experienced attorney from Cofman Townsley can help you receive compensation for your injuries and lost wages. Our rideshare accident attorneys can help you determine whose insurance applies and how much you’re eligible for under their policy limits. Call our law office today to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our attorneys.