Law/Our blog/Ridesharing and Car Accidents

Ridesharing and Car Accidents

19/10/2020

Ridesharing services like Uberpool and Lyft are a pretty popular way to get around. According to surveys, the ridesharing industry will reportedly have a market value of over $220 by 2025. However, this increasing popularity is no surprise, as ridesharing services are convenient and cheap. 

However, while convenient, ridesharing services are not all sunshine and rainbows. Like any other driver, ridesharing drivers can also get into accidents, and when they do, it can be quite confusing for the victim. If you’ve recently been injured in a ridesharing accident, you’re in good company. This article discusses what you need to know about ridesharing accidents to know how to figure out the right approach. 

Why Ridesharing Accidents are Unique 

When one is involved in an ordinary road accident, the steps to take afterward are usually pretty straightforward. However, determining liability when you are involved in a ridesharing accident as the passenger can be a little complex because; 

Rideshare Drivers are Under Contract 

In their statements, leading rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft, boldly claim they are not taxi services, but platforms that help match people who need a ride with willing drivers.  In respect to that, these companies consider any driver who uses their apps are independent contractors instead of employees. What this means is that they cannot be held fully responsible for the Driver’s actions. 

Drivers Use Their Vehicles 

What makes ridesharing accidents even more complex is that the drivers use their vehicles to offer rides and not Uber’s or Lyft vehicles. Thanks to this, the Uber driver’s first line of defense when an accident does occur is their personal insurance cover. They could also use a special ridesharing insurance coverage, which, unfortunately, only 23% have purchased.

Who pays for the Crash if the Driver has No Personal or Ridesharing Insurance Cover?

Both Uber and Lyft offer insurance coverage for both passengers and drivers. However, the coverage level varies based on the Driver’s app activity in the event of the crash. Their policies are divided into periods as highlighted below;

Period 0: Offline 

If the Driver is a registered Uber or Lyft user, but in the event of the crash they were offline, the company offers no coverage. 

Period 1: Waiting Period 

If during the crash, the Driver had their app on and actively looking for a passenger, both Uber and Lyft offer a third party liability coverage. If the driver is at fault, the company covers all the damages and losses but will not cover the Driver. Uber usually offers $25,000 in property damage liability, $50,000 in injury, and $100,000 total liability per accident. 

Period 2: En-route

Period 2 is when the Driver has been matched with a passenger and is on their way to pick them up. If an accident happens during this time, both companies offer a million in total liability. They also provide contingent collision for the Driver’s vehicle. 

Period 3: Picked Passenger

Phase 3 begins after the Driver picks the passenger. During this period, the Driver gets $1million uninsured motorist liability, and if they had collision protection on their personal insurance policy, they’ll also get collision protection. The passenger receives $1million in total liability and $1 million motorist injury liability. 

Contact the Experts Today 

Being involved in an accident is stressful by itself. Add in having to navigate the complexities of a rideshare accident, and it can be easily overwhelming for you. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all alone. 

At RS Law Offices, our team of trusted rideshare attorneys has been helping those injured in such accidents pursue the compensation they deserve. We recognize how overwhelming it can be and the negative impact it can have on your life. Call us today and schedule an obligation free consultation. 

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