In this day and age, you would be hard-pressed to find somebody who has never used a rideshare service before. In fact, statistics from the Pew Research Center show that the number of Americans who have used ridesharing apps has more than doubled since 2015. Furthermore, 61 percent of surveyed adults in 2018 said that they had heard of but never used a ridesharing service—in comparison to a measly 3 percent who said that they had never heard of them at all.
Love them or hate them, it is obvious that ridesharing is here to say. And it is not difficult to see why. After all, modern-day rideshare services offer so many advantages over traditional cab services. It really does not get any easier than calling a car at the touch of a button. In addition to this, rideshare vehicles generally tend to be cheaper, cleaner, and quicker than other vehicles for hire. Many drivers also prefer the flexibility of working for Uber or Lyft over a taxi cab service.
However, all these benefits have yet to make up for the confusion that can follow after a rideshare accident. Passengers and drivers alike may have to confront many tricky questions. For example, who is legally responsible for the accident? Is it the rideshare company? Is it the driver? Or is it the insurance company? And who will pay for any damages suffered? In this modern world, it is important to be prepared for all these questions and more. In this blog post, we will give you a brief overview of what to do after a rideshare accident.
After any kind of auto accident, you will want to (a) file an insurance claim and (b) begin determining who was at fault for the accident. You cannot and should not do one without the other. In order to collect compensation for your losses, you must be able to prove that the accident was a direct result of the other driver’s negligence or otherwise wrongful behaviors.
It is very common for rideshare drivers to also be distracted drivers. After all, they must pay attention to the GPS directions and the rideshare apps in order to get to where they need to be, when they need to be there. They may also need to accept or decline other upcoming fares. And of course, rideshare drivers are not immune to making common mistakes any other driver might. At the same time, it is also entirely possible that the rideshare driver was entirely innocent in their accident. It all depends on the specific situation—and it all starts by looking at how the crash started.
In the past, because rideshare drivers were (and still are) independent contractors rather than employees, it was very likely that the rideshare company would deny liability for any accidents that occurred while someone was utilizing their services. In other words, if the rideshare driver was determined at fault for a car accident, then the victim would likely file their automobile accident claim against the driver’s private insurance. The insurance provider would then deny those claims as well, claiming that the driver was not covered by commercial insurance. All in all, this left accident victims to bear any losses totally on their own.
Luckily, times have changed. Many cities and even states now have specific laws regarding insurance for rideshare companies, and both Uber and Lyft provide their drivers with limited insurance to cover accident victims. Still, resolving a claim may be difficult and complex.
Treat rideshare accidents the same as you would any other type of car accident. Make sure to call the police to the scene immediately, and begin exchanging information with all involved parties as you wait for the officers to arrive. You should also begin documenting evidence as soon as you can. This means taking photographs of any property damage or personal injury you have incurred, along with any other potentially relevant information (such as other physical evidence left on the side of the road). Talk to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, passersby, or even owners or patrons of local businesses to see if anyone would be willing to offer their witness testimony. Finally, once the police arrive, make sure to give them the most detailed account possible of your accident. Ask for the officer’s name and badge number, and do not forget to request a copy of the accident report later on.
Although Lyft and Uber offer many conveniences to make life easier in our modern-day world, dealing with rideshare accidents can be messy. This is especially true if you are involved in a sort of accident for which there is no precedent. If you have suffered as a result of a rideshare accident, do not wait to see whether or not your accident will be covered. A competent attorney who understands the ins-and-outs of personal injury law, insurance policies, rideshare policies, and more can help you collect the damages you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a rideshare accident and suffered personal injury as a result, it is in your best interest to seek out the help of a qualified attorney as soon as possible. No matter where you are located in the States, the attorneys at Injury Victim Law are here to help. We are a Colorado-based firm of nationwide personal injury lawyers working with a team of experts and investigators in order to get you the results you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.
At Injury Victim Law, we are dedicated to resolving your case as expediently as possible. We do not believe you should suffer for someone else’s mistakes. Personal injury can change your life forever. You are entitled to certain legal rights and damages. Waiting too long may hurt your chances of ever defending them. We employ all the tools at our disposal to resolve your case successfully.