If you catch a cab to work in the morning or use a ridesharing service like Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, or Hailo, you entrust your life to other drivers and the safety priorities of the companies they work for. While it probably isn’t the first thing on your mind when you call for a ride, it can quickly become the biggest thing on your mind when you get hurt in an accident. Who will take responsibility for what happened? Why was an unsafe driver allowed to work for the service? Who will pay your medical bills? Who will speak up for you and make sure you get the help you need?
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Chicago Taxi Accident or During an Uber or Lyft Ride
Whether you are a pedestrian, a passenger, or another driver sharing the road, you may have the right to hold the cab company or rideshare service financially responsible for your injuries after a wreck. However, you have to start taking steps to protect yourself and gather information from the beginning in order to be successful. Here are some important steps you should take if you have been involved in an accident:
- Get medical treatment. Your health is always the first priority. Going to the emergency room or immediately seeing a doctor helps you protect your health, gets the treatment you need, and nails down important documentation about your injuries.
- Arrange to get a copy of the police report. The police report contains a lot of crucial information that will become important as you move through the legal process and start to investigate what happened.
- Take pictures and write down important details. If you have been seriously hurt in an accident with a taxi or while you were using a rideshare, you will need evidence that supports your injury claim with the insurance company. Get names and addresses from everyone at the scene. Take pictures of everything. Write down everything you remember about what happened before, during, and after the accident. If you are unable to do these things at the scene, ask a friend or family member to help.
- Don’t sign anything or agree to give a recorded statement. Many serious injury cases come down to what evidence you have versus what evidence they have. If you sign away your rights, agree to something you don’t understand, or offer unnecessary information, it could ruin your chances of recovery.
- Talk to an experienced attorney about your legal rights. An attorney who has experience working with the victims of taxi accidents and going up against large transportation companies like Uber and Lyft can walk you through protecting your rights and taking the next steps. The sooner you get legal help, the better an attorney can help and prepare you for what’s yet to come.
The companies that provide rideshare and taxi service in Illinois have a duty to make sure their drivers and vehicles are safe to be on the road, and victims have a right to hold them responsible for unsafe choices that lead to accidents. However, it isn’t easy to hold these companies responsible. What you choose to do immediately after the accident can help you protect your family and give the best chance at recovery from a serious accident.
You May Hear From a Number of People Who Want to Talk About the Accident and Your Injury Claim
The victims of accidents with cabs and rideshare vehicles often start hearing from numerous people who want to follow up about an accident. This could include the driver, representatives from the cab or rideshare company, and the insurance companies for all parties involved. This can quickly become confusing and overwhelming, but it’s important to keep your bearings. Be aware that anything you do or say at this point could have an impact on your future claim, and all of these people have an active interest in limiting how much they must pay for your injuries.
No matter who ends up contacting you or how friendly they may seem, you need to protect yourself. It’s very easy to accidentally to wreck your potential claim for compensation or give in to pressure to give up your rights—especially if you don’t know what your rights really are.
The Good News for Victims of Taxi and Ridesharing Accidents
Although money can’t change what you’ve been through, it can help improve your quality of life and the wellbeing of your family as you adjust to a future with your injuries. You may have the legal right to hold the ridesharing or cab service responsible for your losses, and success in a personal injury case can give you the financial resources you need to move forward.
Thankfully, there are major differences in minimum insurance policy limits for cab companies that can be beneficial for victims hurt by negligence. Taxis have a minimum limit of $350,000, compared to only $20,000 for a personal vehicle—ultimately meaning that the victims could stand to recover more fully. Although rideshare services in Illinois are held to somewhat less rigorous screening and licensing procedure for drivers, the companies may also be held to minimum insurance policy limits that are similar to those for cab services. However, the final word is still uncertain, as laws change and legislation is considered at the state level. Some rideshare companies currently boast excess liability insurance of $1 million.
If you have been involved in an accident with a taxi or ridesharing vehicle, there is a lot you will need to learn about your rights and how to protect them. Get help now! You can start researching your case today by using the information on this website, requesting a free copy of The 8 Steps to Follow After Your Illinois Car Accident