I recently read an article describing the aftermath of an Uber accident in Fortune Magazine. It was 3 a.m. The writer was headed home, when her Uber driver crashed into another vehicle. In the article, she describes the accident and her interaction with Uber after the crash.
After the accident, the driver appeared to be in shock. The passenger had to tell him to pull over and report the crash. Although the Uber vehicle suffered only minor damage, the other car had large dents. The author determined that neither she nor the driver was injured.
Step 1: Check for injuries.
If you have a serious injury, call 911. Ask to be taken to the emergency room. If you have a minor injury, visit an urgent care or make a same-day appointment with your doctor. Symptoms of serious injuries are often masked by adrenaline immediately after the crash. It can take up to a week for symptoms to appear. So, you could have a hidden injury and not know it.
Since no one was injured, the passenger told the driver to stay at the scene. Then she left and went home.
That was her first mistake.
Step 2: Stay at the scene, and report the accident.
If you are in any kind of accident, you want to be sure that the accident is properly reported. It is best to stay at the scene until a police officer arrives to take an accident report.
Step 3: Gather information.
While you wait for the officer to come to the scene, gather information about the crash. Write down your driver’s name, contact number, and vehicle make and model. Ask your driver for their rideshare and personal auto insurance carrier.
Use your phone to take a picture of the license plate numbers and any damage to the vehicles. You should also take pictures of your injuries.
Exchange contact information with anyone else who is involved in the accident. You will need this information if you have to file an insurance claim.
Step 4: Get a copy of the police report.
Ask the officer at the scene how you to get a copy of the police report or call the police department’s non-emergency number for information.
Step 5: Report the accident to Uber.
This is the hard step. There is no Uber accident reporting website, and it is hard to find a direct number to Uber’s customer service or local office. So, how can you report your injury?
The author of the Fortune Magazine article gave her driver a four star rating and explained that the loss of a star was due to the accident. Uber later contacted her by phone to follow-up. This was effective, but giving the driver a four star rating was mistake #2.
Four stars indicates a satisfactory performance. A driver who causes an accident never deserves four stars. Even one star is generous when someone puts your life at risk.
If Uber doesn’t contact you, you may need to contact an attorney. Uber will return lawyer phone calls.
Step 6: Keep notes.
As soon as you are able to, write down everything you remember about the accident. Include where you were, what you were doing, what the driver was doing, what the weather was like… anything you can think of. This will help you to remember the details when you talk to your lawyer and the insurance company.
Step 7: Be careful when talking to the insurance company.
After the writer talked to Uber, she was contacted by a representative from Uber’s insurance company. She answered questions about the accident. She didn’t hear from them again.
The writer wasn’t insured and wasn’t expecting insurance compensation. If you are injured, the insurance company will want to pay you the minimum amount possible. They will look for reasons to deny or diminish your claim. Anything you say can be taken out of context. Any inconsistencies can be used to question your claim. It is best to refer the insurance agent to your attorney.
Step 8: Contact an Uber accident lawyer.
The attorney will determine who caused the auto accident and who is liable for your injuries. He or she will then put a value on your claim. As an Uber passenger, you should be covered by Uber’s insurance for up to one million dollars. But, Uber may try to refuse compensation if your driver is responsible for the crash. In this case, you may also be eligible for compensation from other sources, such as the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
The passenger from the news article received a full refund for her trip and a phone call from Uber’s insurance company. If you are injured, you want more than a $7 refund. You want accountability.