Ridesharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft have gained immense popularity recently, providing a handy substitute for traditional taxis and public transit. Although these services offer a convenient means of transportation, accidents can still occur, including when using a rideshare. If you’ve experienced a rideshare accident, you may be curious whether the company is accountable for your injuries and damages. Exploring the factors that determine rideshare company liability and how to pursue a claim can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Deciphering Rideshare Accountability
The legal aspects of rideshare accidents can be intricate, as they often involve a blend of local, state, and federal regulations. In most cases, rideshare companies categorize their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, impacting accountability. This distinction can make it more challenging to hold the rideshare company directly accountable; however, there are still situations where they may be considered responsible.
Insurance Policies for Rideshare Companies
Both Uber and Lyft maintain insurance policies that cover accidents occurring during a rideshare journey. These policies generally consist of three levels of coverage, contingent on the phase of the trip when the accident took place:
- App deactivated: When the driver’s app is switched off, their personal auto insurance policy covers any accidents.
- App activated, but ride not yet accepted: If the driver is actively searching for a ride but hasn’t accepted one, the rideshare company offers limited liability coverage, typically up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 for an accident involving bodily injury, and $25,000 for damage to property.
- Ride confirmation and progression: Once the driver has confirmed a ride and is either en route to collect the passenger or has the passenger in their vehicle, the rideshare company offers a $1 million liability policy that covers injuries and damages.
Under What Circumstances Can the Rideshare Company Be Accountable?
Even though rideshare companies may not be directly accountable for accidents caused by their drivers, there are instances where the company itself could be held responsible. These may encompass:
- Negligent recruitment or insufficient background checks: If the rideshare company fails to assess a driver’s qualifications adequately and that driver is involved in an accident, the company may be held accountable for negligent recruitment.
- Insufficient training: If a rideshare company fails to provide appropriate training to its drivers, and this absence of training results in an accident, the company may be considered accountable.
- Issues with vehicle maintenance: If a rideshare vehicle is not well-maintained and that lack of maintenance contributes to an accident, the company may be held accountable for damages.
Initiating a Claim
If you’ve encountered a rideshare accident, start by reporting the accident to the rideshare company and your own insurance provider. It’s also essential to obtain medical attention promptly, regardless of the perceived severity of your injuries. Thoroughly document your injuries and any damages to your belongings, as this proof will be crucial if you choose to pursue a claim.
The subsequent step is to consult a competent attorney with experience with rideshare accident cases. They can help you comprehend your rights and the most appropriate course of action, whether that involves filing a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance, seeking a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, or holding the rideshare company directly accountable.
If you or someone close to you has experienced a rideshare accident and requires assistance navigating the intricate legal environment, consider contacting Lamar Law Office, LLC. With their history in this space, they can help you identify the most suitable course of action and ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Remember, your safety and well-being come first. You deserve your case to be taken seriously today.