Hopefully, you’ll never need this advice.
But let’s face it… car accidents aren’t exactly something you plan for.
If you’re a rideshare or delivery driver, and you’re involved in a crash, not only do you have to worry about personal injury to a possible passenger as well as yourself, you could lose your livelihood while repairs are being made. And those medical bills and repairs? They pile up fast, and the cost can be overwhelming.
It’s crucial that drivers be totally aware of the best way to handle accidents. That’s why we sat down with Bryant Greening of Legal Rideshare to hear what actual rideshare lawyers have to say about drivers protecting themselves from being exposed to additional losses after an accident. Here are some items our conversation covered:
- What rideshare and delivery drivers should do if they get in an accident
- The special needs of bike delivery workers
- Three ways rideshare and delivery drivers can protect themselves
- What rideshare lawyers can do for drivers
We also created a video of our conversation that you can watch below.
What rideshare and delivery drivers should do if they get in an accident
The first thing to remember: Remain calm. No, that isn’t always easy, so if you’re having trouble holding things together in the shock of the moment, take a couple of slow, deep breaths.
Stop the vehicle.
Assess the situation.
First, find out if anyone is injured. Assess your own physical condition, and then ask about any passengers you might have with you. Also, find out if there are injuries in the other vehicle(s), or if anyone needs medical attention.
You’ll need to report the accident and inform the dispatcher of any injuries.
Get to a safe location.
If you’re on a busy road or blocking traffic and are able to move the vehicle, move to the shoulder or take the nearest exit.
Exchange information with the other driver.
Get the license number of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. Also, record the other driver’s insurance information, registration, and driver’s license number. You can take photos of these documents and save them on your device.
Tell local law enforcement about the accident.
A written record of your accident will be crucial if you hope to be compensated by any insurance company. Sometimes they will come to the scene, but if no one is injured, they may ask that you and the other operator come to the nearest station to make a report there.
Before you leave the scene of the accident, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Take photos of the vehicle, focusing on any damage from the accident. Make note of the road conditions. Get everything you need to support your version of the facts, which is hopefully corroborated by one or more witnesses.
Ask witnesses to help you.
Don’t be shy about asking your riders to provide their names and phone numbers where they can be reached. These will be your best witnesses, and insurance companies will view them as objective observers because they aren’t biased; i.e., they don’t have any particular interest in who wins the case. Getting into a “he said, she said” situation with another driver solves nothing and isn’t likely to work in your favor.
Call the company for whom you’re driving.
If you’re on the app and with a passenger, the rideshare or delivery company will have insurance coverage on you, as one of their drivers, that can save your financial life. This blog post gives you the details of how the companies deal with insurance in the event of an accident. Even though you might be hesitant about reporting your mishap to your company, Greening advises that this is a step you don’t want to skip.
The special needs of bicycle and scooter delivery workers
We asked Greening what advice he could give us for bike and scooter riders who get into an accident.
He said the main difference is they’re far more likely to be injured while piloting a bike or scooter than they are while driving a car. Here’s the advice he has for these workers:
“If you’ve been hit, don’t be a hero. If you’re hurt, stop. Call the police, and call an ambulance. Make sure your health is priority #1.”
Insurance is still very much a factor for those delivering via bike and scooter, because delivery companies offer insurance. Furthermore, if you’re in an accident on two wheels rather than four, it’s pretty likely that a car caused the accident. Unfortunately, most automobile drivers don’t always notice smaller vehicles like bikes and scooters, which is why they’re likely to be at fault.
In this case, the driver’s auto insurance comes into play, and can cover the cost of treating your physical injuries, as well as lost wages and emotional stress.
ALWAYS take the steps you need to protect yourself from injury and the cost of paying for your recovery. Take the driver’s information, exactly as you would after in an accident while driving a vehicle.
Three ways rideshare and delivery drivers can protect themselves
- Get a Dashcam
Greening pointed out how insurance companies make people jump through hoops in order to receive the settlements they deserve. He said, essentially, that it isn’t possible to overemphasize the importance of gathering evidence, and the very best way to get it is with photographic evidence of what was happening at the time of the incident.
What happened? Which vehicle failed to yield, or who was speeding? When answering these kinds of questions, people will say all kinds of things, whether they’re misremembering or outright lying. But, as the old saying goes, cameras don’t lie. As we discussed in this blog post, there are many reasons to have a dashcam, and making sure you can prove the cause of an accident is a big one.
- Get rideshare/delivery coverage on your insurance policy
For a minimal cost per month, you can have your insurance company add an endorsement to your regular auto policy that covers you as a gig worker. Without this endorsement the insurance company may nullify your coverage if they discover you were using your vehicle for anything other than personal transportation. With the endorsement, you don’t have to worry about what might happen if your car is totaled, or if you happen to be at fault in an accident when you’re on your gig work shift.
- Protect your income
Insurance coverage is one thing, but full protection is another. You need to know you’re covered for the wages you could lose while waiting for post-collision repairs, and also in case you get hospitalized or are deactivated unfairly by your company.
And Gridwise can help with that! With our new Gridwise Protection program, you can receive 80 percent of your lost income for as little as $7 per month.
Find it in the Gridwise app, or follow this link to sign up.
What rideshare lawyers can do for drivers
Legal Rideshare is the first legal firm that’s solely dedicated to helping rideshare and delivery drivers.
As specialists in the gig economy, they have special insight into the nuances of the lives of their driver clients. In addition to developing an astounding and winning reputation from their work with accident and injury law, Greening says his firm has further aspirations.
Not only can these lawyers help you if you’re hurt while on the job, they are advocates for drivers’ rights too. In Chicago, they recently won a case that overturned a ban on drivers using their cars for advertising. The law that created the ban was deemed unconstitutional, because it deprived drivers of a way of making a living.
With this case already won, Greening says they’re looking for other cases that can make a difference in the lives of rideshare and delivery drivers. You can learn more about the folks at Legal Rideshare at their website, and follow them on Facebook for more real-life legal advice drivers can use.
More help for drivers—from Gridwise
We at Gridwise are also focused on helping drivers, on and off the road. Track your earnings and mileage; get info about the airport, events, and weather; and check out the Perks tab for quick links to our blog and the amazing Gridwise YouTube Channel. Plus, you get deals and discounts that make drivers smile all day long. All you have to do is download the app. What?? You haven’t done that yet? Well do it now!
You can also find us on Facebook, and get in on the Gridwise gas card giveaways. You never know when that next free tank might be coming your way.
And one more thing—leave a comment with any questions you might have about this or any other topic we’ve covered, or any you’d like us to look into. Meanwhile, always keep the #1 Assistant for Rideshare and Delivery drivers, Gridwise, close to you as you go about your gig driving.