Accidents: at best, they are a terrible inconvenience for drivers. At worst, they are a driver’s worst nightmare. This is especially true if you are driving for a rideshare company like Uber. In the wake of an accident, your thoughts may be reeling with what you are going to do about the car, your job, and your passengers, along with all the normal fears that accompany this situation. Knowing how to deal with an accident as an Uber driver is essential so you will know how to answer these questions and be prepared if the time comes.
Immediately Following the Collision
The first moments following an accident are often chaotic, and in the wake of the shock, it can be difficult to think clearly about the next steps. Knowing what is expected ahead of time will help tremendously.
The first and most important step immediately following the accident is to check on the physical well-being of those involved. If you have passengers, check if they are injured, and then check if the other driver and passengers are injured. While you do not want to leave the scene for any reason, it’s a good idea to try to move the vehicles out of the way to avoid traffic if possible. If not, turn on your hazard lights and do your best to be wary of other vehicles. If you have the means available to block off the area such as using cones or flares, be sure to utilize them.
Notify Authorities and Collect Information
If there are injuries, you should contact the paramedics immediately. You should also notify the police. Leaving the scene of an accident when there is major damage such as an injury or death without contacting the police is illegal in New York, and you may be charged with a hit-and-run. Even if there weren’t any serious injuries, you should still notify the police to establish who was at fault. This will help the insurance claim process.
You should also exchange information with the other driver immediately following an accident. Important information to collect includes:
- Phone number
- Email address
- License plate number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Home address
- Insurance company
- Insurance policy number
Along with all this, you ought to take note of the information regarding your surroundings, including weather, witnesses, and the name of the officer on the scene. Take note of the exact circumstances of the accident such as where the cars turned, which way they were facing, how they collided, and the exact damage done. Take photos of all four sides of the car, even if the damage is not as apparent in every photo or there is no visible damage, and then a picture of the damage itself.
Contact Uber and Other Related Services
After this, you should immediately contact Uber to report your accident. This is usually done online through an accident report form or on the app under “help” then “trip issues and adjustments.” The form will ask you to share the four photos of all the sides of your car. From there, Uber will reach out to you for more information. If you are driving a rental car, you should also contact them immediately following the accident. If you are driving a Fast Track Mobility car, you can fill out an accident report on our website or app. We also provide tow services for our vehicles.
How you behave following a car accident can be used against you during insurance claims, so it’s important that you behave cautiously. Ask the other driver and passenger if they are okay, but keep in mind that most insurance companies recommend not saying phrases that would suggest you were at fault or promising to make reparations. Answer every question honestly, even if the answer is to say that you aren’t sure. Also, be careful if the other driver is hostile and wait for the police to arrive before engaging beyond initially asking if something is wrong.
After the Fact
In the days after the accident, as you continue healing from physical wounds or emotional trauma, this will be when you take care of more logistical matters such as insurance and repairs.
What To Know About Insurance
As an Uber and TLC driver, your insurance situation is somewhat complicated, since you may be covered by TLC, Uber, personal, and rideshare insurance simultaneously. Your insurance situation may be different depending on the circumstances of your accident.
If the accident occurred before you turned on the driver app or were offline, your primary insurance will cover it. If you are online but haven’t accepted a ride during the accident, Uber will cover you to a certain extent. If you have additional rideshare services, this insurance should kick in at this point. If you have an accident while you are on the way to pick-up or drop-off passengers, you will receive the full Uber coverage of one-million-dollar third-party liability coverage with a one thousand dollar deductible. Uber insurance typically covers repairs or replacement of your car, but it does not typically cover a rental car.
Repairs for Rental Cars
Naturally, if you are driving your own car, you will be responsible for taking your car into a shop for repairs even if Uber is paying for them. This is different for rental cars. Typically, if you are using a rental with Uber, there is an understanding in place to cover the cost of repairs. However, depending on the rental company, they may prefer to do their own repairs. You will have to check your specific rental company’s policy. At Fast Track Mobility, we cover all the repairs for our NYC Uber rental cars.
Dealing with a car accident can be challenging, and the same is true when dealing with car accidents as an Uber driver. However, the beauty of driving with a rideshare company is that you have someone on your side to walk you through these steps. And when you drive with Fast Track Mobility, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that we are in your corner.