Over the last several years, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular. You can use them when you’ve spent the night out on the town with your friends and don’t want to drive home drunk. You can quickly get a ride for an early morning trip to the airport. Yet what many passengers and other drivers don’t think about is what happens if you are in a ride-share accident.

While it may seem that using ride-shares would increase road safety with fewer drunk drivers behind the wheel, that correlation is in doubt. According to a study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, U.S. traffic deaths have increased by 2-3% since 2011, when ride-sharing services started to become popular. The study notes that with more drivers on the roads, that leads to more traffic congestion and more accidents. Also, ride-share drivers spend 40-60% of their time driving around waiting to riders to hail them, again increasing the chances of an accident.

Steps to take after an accident

If you end up in a ride-share accident, here are five essential steps to take:

  1. Call the police, file a police report and report the accident to your insurance company.
  2. Seek medical treatment at the scene or as soon as injury symptoms surface.
  3. If you have your cell phone, take pictures of the accident scene and vehicle damages.
  4. Gather contact information from the other driver and any accident witnesses.
  5. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you have a serious injury claim.

Making an injury claim in a ride-share accident can get complicated quickly. You may need to seek compensation from the other driver, your own insurance company or Uber or Lyft. How you are compensated for your injuries will depend on if the ride-share driver is at fault for the accident and if the ride-share driver was transporting passengers at the time.

Dealing with an injury claim after an accident can feel overwhelming. Often, insurance companies, even your own, will want to settle a claim quickly, for the least amount of money possible. That’s why working with a personal injury attorney is so important – so you get the compensation you need to fully recover.