A car accident can be an overwhelming experience for anyone, leaving victims injured and unsure of what steps need to be taken next. It is important for you to protect your well-being and legal rights by knowing ahead of time what actions to take in the days and weeks after an accident. It needs to be stated that, first and foremost, you should move to a safe and protected area near the accident site, so as to avoid being injured by other traffic on the road. Once you are in a safe location, call 9-1-1 to report the accident and request that police and medical personnel be dispatched to the scene. Once these two steps have been seen to, you can then take further steps to protect your legal needs and ensure your long-term medical recovery.
Read more from Uber accident lawyer Prosper Shaked about what steps to take to help your rideshare collision case in Florida.
Document Information Concerning Your Rideshare Crash
It is important to gather information about the drivers and vehicles involved in the accident, including the driver’s names and insurance information. If you were the passenger in an Uber or Lyft accident, be sure to take a screenshot on your smartphone of the ride information, in case you need to file a claim with the rideshare service.
Almost everyone today carries a mobile device that is capable of taking photos, as well as audio and video recordings. Use your smartphone to get photos or videos of the scene and the condition of the vehicles involved in the collision. You should also take down the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses who saw what happened.
Seek Medical Attention and Document Your Recovery
Even if you do not believe you need medical attention at the scene of the accident, it is still important to see a physician as soon as you can. You might have sustained injuries that are not immediately apparent or that can only be identified by a trained medical professional. For example, you may be unaware you are bleeding internally until a healthcare provider on the scene discovers that you have suspiciously low blood pressure. If you do not go to an emergency room or an urgent care facility right after the accident, you should still follow-up with your primary care provider as soon as possible. Only a qualified medical professional can determine if you have been injured and what the appropriate treatment might be.
Once you have received a treatment plan from your doctor or another medical professional, it is very important to follow through with it. Fill your prescriptions and take them as directed. Attend all appointments with your physical therapist or chiropractor. If you do not follow through with all the recommended treatments, your injuries could become worse. Not only that, insurance companies sometimes try to reduce settlement offers by claiming that the victim contributed to his or her own injuries by not seeking treatment promptly enough or failing to go through with the treatment. A defendant is not responsible for compensating any injuries that you exacerbate yourself.
Be Aware of Your Social Media Use
In today’s digital culture, it is common to document our entire lives on social media. Almost everyone has an account on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, TikTok, Twitter – or all of these platforms. A car accident can be a major life event, so it is natural to want to share this information with friends and family. However, it is very important not to post anything about the accident on any social media platform.
Insurance companies hire investigators to look into claimants. In the past, these investigators would follow injury victims to their homes and workplaces, hoping to record the claimant engaging in an activity that the claimed injuries shouldn’t allow him or her to do. While investigators still try to get this type of evidence, their jobs have become much easier since the onset of widespread social media use. Now, these investigators can simply comb through your social media accounts, looking for posts you made about the accident that differ from the account in your claim. They could also search for pictures taken in the time after the accident that portray you having fun or engaging in physical activities while you are claiming that your injuries are affecting your daily life. Even something as simple as a gym selfie could be used against you in a settlement dispute.
Because of these issues, it is highly advisable to limit or even suspend your social media use while your car accident case is pending.
Do Not Discuss Your Florida Rideshare Accident Case with the Insurance Company
It is absolutely critical that you understand who is on your side – and who is not. The insurance companies are interested in paying as little as possible to settle your claim and will try to use anything you say as an excuse to lessen the payout. Do not discuss the case with representatives of any insurance company investigating the collision (except your own).
There are many tactics that an insurance company will use in an attempt to pay you less than you deserve. The simplest method is making a lowball settlement offer early in the case, hoping that you will jump at the chance to settle the claim before you have thoroughly investigated your legal rights. An insurance company may try to inundate you with document requests to find further supportive evidence, or simply to overwhelm and aggravate you. A common example is an unreasonably broad request for medical records in an attempt to prove that you had a prior medical condition that contributed to your injuries.
In other cases, an insurance company might misrepresent your legal rights altogether. They might try to convince you that your case is weak, or that your pain and suffering is not a compensable loss under the law. Always remember that these are people whose legal interests are in opposition to yours. Do not take legal advice or requests from anyone who is not unquestionably on your side. This even includes such simple requests as providing a recorded statement about what happened in the accident. Often this is the first request any auto insurance company makes. You do not have to make this statement. You always have the right to decline making a statement without the presence of your personal injury attorney.
Retain an Uber or Lyft Accident Attorney as Soon as You Can After the Crash in Florida
The sooner you hire your own lawyer, the better the outcome you are likely to achieve for your case. A lawyer will immediately begin collecting and preserving critical evidence, as well as handling all communications with the insurance companies. Having a lawyer handling your claim will prevent you from inadvertently saying something that the insurance company later could use against you. An Uber and Lyft accident attorney can help you with rideshare driver negligence, wrongful death caused by self-driving Uber cars, and more.
Call a Miami Uber + Lyft Accident Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you have been injured in any type of car crash, it is important to protect your legal right to be compensated for your injuries. Attorney Prosper Shaked is an experienced car accident lawyer who is committed to helping victims recover compensation. Call (305) 694-2676 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.