Rideshare Accidents- Understanding The Liability

The recent years have seen a sudden boom in rideshare apps such as Lyft and Uber and commuters prefer them for the convenience and economy they offer. However, things can get complex if you get involved in a rideshare accident. The primary question for such mishaps relates to the liability. After all, that is what determines who will be responsible for compensating the victim. Liability in such accidents depends greatly on the circumstances of the crash. Here are some common scenarios that you need to understand to pinpoint the responsibility for the accident and decide how to treat the case. 


The rideshare driver is at fault

In the first instance, the accident happens due to the fault of your rideshare driver. If the driver has a commercial driver’s insurance, it would cover your injuries. The same will apply if their personal auto insurance has a specific provision for using the vehicle as a rideshare driver. However, rideshare drivers often don’t have these types of insurance coverage and their personal policies probably contain a clause for “business use exception”. This will not cover the damages from an accident that occurred while driving a rideshare passenger. But the good news is that operators such as Uber and Lyft have company liability policies. These policies provide a cover for all damages and injuries for their passengers to some extent. If this limit does not cover your damages, you can file a lawsuit against the driver. It is to be noted that drivers are regarded as independent contractors rather than employees of the rideshare service, which curbs the potential to hold the company liable. 


Another driver is at fault

The second instance is that of another driver is responsible for the crash, which has an equal probability. In this case, the damages can be recovered from that insurance plan of the guilty driver through a third-party claim. Alternatively, you can consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. Experts at Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP recommend verifying whether the liable driver is uninsured or underinsured right from the first stage. If this is the case, the underinsured driver policies of the ridesharing company may apply. 


Dealing with a rideshare accident

A rideshare accident can be as dangerous and shocking as a crash in your personal vehicle. In fact, you should follow the standard process that you would follow with a car mishap of any type. The idea is to get help and gather as much evidence as you can to help with your injury claim later. Here is all that you need to do. 

  • Contact 911 to get help immediately 
  • Record the details of the drivers and the vehicles, along with details such as their names, insurance policy details, car models and license plate numbers  
  • Remember to take a screenshot of the rideshare app, along with the ride receipt 
  • Speak with the eyewitnesses and gather their contact information as well 
  • Get immediate medical care if you are injured or even if you suspect delayed injuries 
  • Connect with an experienced personal injury attorney 

When it comes to recovering compensation for injuries caused by rideshare accidents, the smallest of details can make all the difference. It is best to have a legal expert handling your case and dealing with the technicalities. 

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