What Should I Do If I Got Hurt Driving For Uber?
Some jobs inherently come with some level of danger. Usually, these are those that prioritize safety in their protocols, guidelines, and policies. However, the chances of accidents happening can be significantly reduced if employees follow safety procedures.
One example of these jobs is that of a Lyft driver (or of any driver for that matter). If you’re a Lyft driver, you know that some accidents, emergencies, or some sort of assault on the road can happen due to some factors outside of your control. But, whether or not you got hurt because of your own or other people’s lapses in judgment, it’s important to know what to do.
The First Action to Take: Ensure Safety and Assess Injury
Usually, the cause of injury while driving is an accident or collision. In this case, you must always address the situation at hand first, regardless of how light or serious it is and whoever is at fault. For that, you want to follow these actions:
1. Check if you have sustained injuries
Scan yourself for injuries. Don’t force yourself if you can’t move. Stay where you are, contact emergency personnel if you can, and wait for their arrival.
2. Check your passengers’ status
If you’re able to check if your passengers are injured, do so. Call emergency personnel or ask bystanders for help.
3. Get everyone to safety
Again, do this only if you’re capable. Don’t add damage to your already compromised physical state. Find a safe spot and get everyone there. If you only sustained minor injuries and the car can still be driven, move it out of the road.
4. Call 911 and wait for help to arrive
Regardless of how serious the accident is, always call the police and wait for their arrival. If they don’t come and you’re strong enough to move, go to the local police station. After the police documented the accident and made their report, ask for its copy.
If you’re not able to move, let the emergency personnel or first responders take you to the hospital and treat your injuries before you contact the police for a copy of their report.
5. Exchange information
If there are other vehicles involved, you must exchange information with the other party such as your names and contact information, your insurance providers, plate numbers, driver’s license, and vehicle details (e.g. model, color).
Make sure that all the information you give and receive are accurate. It’s also important to get your story straight on the events leading to the accident.
If you got hurt because of an assault by your passenger or by other people holding you up in the middle of the road, do the following:
- Do whatever it takes to ensure your safety (and the safety of your passengers).
- As the incident is happening, try to stay calm and remember as much detail as you can about the assailant and the situation.
- As soon as the encounter has ended, get yourself (and your passengers) somewhere safe and note everything you remember.
- Depending on the situation, call 911 during, after, or even before the assault if you’re observant enough to assess situations before an assault happens.
- Have yourself treated for any injury.
- Be detailed when you talk to the authorities. After a police report is filed, ask for a copy.
Medical Payments coverage (called "MedPay") is insurance coverage that only pays the amount of medical bills for injuries sustained in accident, but only for people who are in the car with the Medical Payments coverage. It doesn't pay for things like pain and suffering, and some motor vehicle insurance polciies do not have any Medical Payments coverage.
The Next Action to Take: Document the Incident for Reports and Insurance Claims
Now that safety has been taken care of, it’s time to document your reports and claims to Lyft and your personal insurance provider. Do whatever you can of the following steps depending on what you’re physically capable of as soon as possible.
1. Do your documentation
To do this, you must:
- Note the names of the responding police officers, including their badge numbers.
- Secure a copy of the accident or police report.
- Take photos of your vehicles from all angles as much as possible, especially those highlighting damages and points of impact. Include the damages of the other vehicle involved in the accident.
- Write down the names of all people involved: your passengers and the driver and passengers of the other vehicle. Include their contact information and address.
- Also, talk to those who witnessed the accident. Ask for their name and contact details as well.
The more details you have and the more accurate they are, the smoother any reports and claims to Lyft and your insurance provider should go.
2. Notify Lyft
Do this as soon as possible. It’s okay if you haven’t secured all the documents yet as long as you’ve already requested them. You should also secure all taken photos and take note of all the necessary information about the parties involved and the responding personnel.
You can go to www.help.lyft.com, click Driving with Lyft, click on Report an Accident or Collision under Insurance and Accidents as a way of contacting their Claims Customer Care Team, and proceed as instructed. When calling 911, you can do it through the Safety Center in the Lyft app. Also, you may dial their critical response line.
If you got hurt by incidents or assault other than a collision, go to the website mentioned above and click Report a Safety Incident or Citation under Driver Safety. Click the Contact Safety Team Button and proceed as instructed.
3. Lyft Insurance
On top of your car’s insurance plan, Lyft also provides insurance, but it only applies if the incident happened while you’re on the clock (meaning, you’re available to give rides to passengers):
- When the incident and damage happened when you’ve already accepted a ride request until you’ve ended the ride in the app, the comprehensive coverage is $50,000 plus a deductible $2,500. A deductible is an amount you’ll pay as the policyholder before the insurance company shoulders the expenses.
- When the incident and damage happened when you’re in driver mode until you have accepted a ride request, the contingent liability coverage is $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for damaged property.
Lyft provides a $1,000,000 coverage to every driver as stated their commercial liability policy.
8. Notify your insurance company for the claims process
It’s best to do this while you’re at the site of the accident. Contact your agent and listen to what you need to provide for the claims process and how a claim process goes. Pay attention and take note of every detail. It’ll be helpful to ask your agent to discuss what’s to be expected during the process.
Safety Tips for Lyft Drivers
Your insurance claims may be rejected if an incident can be attributed to your non-compliance to any laws or regulations provided by a state or Lyft itself. Therefore, make sure you follow all the rules as much as possible. Some tips below are simply safety measures and can’t be used as bases to deny your claims. Nonetheless, they still should be followed.
- Clean your vehicle before you go into drive mode. As much as possible, don’t bring any of your belongings. As a Lyft driver, you should leave enough space for your passenger’s things.
- Never hold your phone and sends texts while driving. This is not only unsafe but can also negatively affect your rating. Buy a car mount and place it somewhere you can easily glance so you don’t lose your focus while driving.
- Always put both your hands on the wheel.
- Always fasten your seatbelts and encourage your passengers to do the same to minimize injuries in case an accident happens.
- Check the rearview and side mirrors.
- Bring your vehicle to regular maintenance checks to ensure it’s always in good condition.
- Have your VIN checked by NHTSA to see if your vehicle model is being recalled.
- Follow all traffic laws and always put your Lyft emblem somewhere visible.
- Don’t bring any friends or family along when in drive mode.
- Only pick up passengers using your approved vehicles.
- Save the contact details of emergency responders on your phone. These include police stations and hospitals within and around your driving area.
In case you encounter suspicious passengers, take note of the following:
- For ride issues, remember to prioritize your safety.
- In cases where passengers make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, you may contact Lyft. You also have the right to cancel the ride. If the passenger refuses, cancel it yourself.
- If you encounter Lyft jacking (meaning you picked up someone aside from the requesting passenger), you may politely ask the wrong passenger to step out of your vehicle and find another ride.
In any emergency or citation:
- When you get a citation or encounter any emergency, get yourself to safety first.
- Call 911.
- Call the Lyft Critical Response Team which is available all day and night to help you.
Keep the abovementioned safety tips in mind to avoid accidents or any unsafe situations in the first place. However, when unfortunate events happen, stay calm, and don’t lose your focus. Remember to ensure you and your passengers’ safety first and check for any injuries. Always have yourself treated and cared for before worrying about reporting to Lyft and your insurance provider.
If you've been hurt in an accident, please give me a call for a free consultation at 312-500-4500 . The call and the consultation are free.
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