Rideshare has grown in popularity as a cheaper and more convenient ride alternative to traditional taxicabs in many cities. As a relatively new industry, however, it can be difficult for those involved in rideshare accidents to know what to do and where to go for financial compensation. If you get into a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle in New Mexico, take the following steps to protect your rights.
Report the Crash to the Police
Always report a rideshare accident to the police. This is something that your Uber or Lyft driver should do, as it is the driver’s responsibility. If the driver does not call 911 from the scene of the accident, however, you can make the call yourself. It is a legal requirement to report a car accident in New Mexico if it results in injuries, deaths or at least $500 in property damage. It’s wise to report any rideshare accident to the police, however, so that you can obtain a police report.
When the police arrive, tell your side of the story and what you witnessed. Do not speculate about fault. Before you leave the scene, ask for your police report number so that you can obtain a copy later for insurance purposes. The police report can contain important information about the crash, such as the basic facts of the accident and the information of everyone involved.
Gather Information and Evidence
While you’re still at the scene of the crash, collect as much information and evidence as possible. The more details you have about the accident, the better it will be for the claims process later. Some of the facts that you should try to gather include:
- Photographs and video footage of the crash scene.
- The exact time and location of the accident.
- The names and information of all drivers and passengers involved.
- The names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses
- The Uber or Lyft driver’s car insurance information.
- A screenshot of the rideshare app’s ride screen.
- The police accident report number.
Write down or get pictures of anything that you believe is relevant to the accident. This may include a description of events while the memory is still fresh in your mind and photographs of a road hazard that contributed to your crash.
Notify Your Insurance Company
If you were a passenger in the Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident, you may not need to notify your own car insurance company. However, if you were a driver in another vehicle, let your car insurance company know about the collision right away. You do not have to give them all of the details immediately, but it is important to let them know that a crash took place as soon as possible.
Report the Accident to the Rideshare Company
Uber and Lyft both have processes for what to do if you get involved in an accident. Contact the rideshare company and explain that you were involved in a crash. They will send you the appropriate claims forms to fill out and return. Then, the rideshare company will notify its insurance provider.
Both Uber and Lyft offer up to $1 million in insurance coverage to injured passengers. A portion of the $1 million coverage may also be available if you were outside of the rideshare vehicle at the time of the accident. Do not admit fault when speaking to the insurance company claims adjuster to protect your eligibility for coverage.
Contact an Uber or Lyft Attorney
Before you accept the first settlement that is offered to cover your medical bills and property repairs, consult with a rideshare accident lawyer in Albuquerque. The rideshare company may be offering less than your case is worth. A lawyer will help you demand maximum financial compensation for your losses after a rideshare accident in New Mexico.