Rideshare companies have expanded the transportation options for Richmond residents and visitors to our fair city. But problems can occur for rideshare passengers — namely, injuries from collisions.
What rights do injured Uber passengers have in such situations? Sometimes, it can be confusing. The following tips may help those who have suffered injuries in rideshare accidents.
Make a police report right away — even if you’re the only one who wants to do so
The other motorist involved and your own Uber driver may not want to file an accident report if they think the damage is minor. But it is always a good idea to notify the police if you are in a car crash — so insist on calling the police to the scene.
The number one reason you need to do this is that your injuries from the car accident may not show up until later. Other injuries may initially appear to be far less serious than they actually are. After a wreck, the shock causes adrenaline to flow throughout the bloodstream. That can mask pain and injuries in the short term.
Later, when you start feeling worse, without a corroborating police report tying your symptoms onset to the Uber accident, you could face an uphill battle getting your medical bills and other damages covered by the liable driver’s insurance policy.
Liability laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia are complex
Virginia is one of only four states, plus the District of Columbia, that follow the pure contributory negligence rule. This is the strictest type of liability, as it precludes injury victims who had as little as 1% fault for their own losses from recovering any compensation. That puts injury victims in a precarious position, since anything they say that can be twisted to make it seem like they’re partly at fault for their own harm may be used to invalidate their claim.
Can I settle my claim myself?
Rideshare liability laws are in flux and vary drastically from state to state. This is why it is best to work with a lawyer in the state where you were injured in an Uber, Lyft or other rideshare accident.