Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are great ways to access convenient transportation from almost anywhere, but they aren’t without flaws. These companies possess a layer of complexity because although they essentially function as taxi services, they classify their employees as independent contractors. While this doesn’t usually have any bearing on passengers or other motorists, complications arise in the case of a car accident involving a rideshare driver.
Suppose you sustain an injury in a car accident involving a rideshare driver, whether you’re a passenger or not. In that case, you deserve the same compensation you would receive in any other accident. However, how you pursue that compensation can become complicated, as the process can vary based on specific circumstances. If you’ve had involvement in an accident with a rideshare driver, here are the things you need to know before attempting to sue.
Understand Rideshare Insurance Policies
Before you file any lawsuit against a rideshare company, it’s important to understand the varying insurance policies based on the ride-sharing driver’s status at the time of the accident. These factors include whether the rideshare driver was “off the clock,” if the driver was on the clock but between fares, or if the driver was carrying a passenger.
If a driver is off the clock and hits you, then in most cases, their private car insurance policy is responsible for any damages. Instead of approaching the rideshare company, you can handle this situation like any other car accident because the driver was not actively representing the company.
If a driver is in between fares and gets into an accident, the driver is still responsible for covering any damages on their insurance. Still, the rideshare company may also cover a portion of the expenses.
Once a passenger has entered a vehicle, rideshare companies like Uber fully support the driver with the company’s insurance in the event of an accident. In Uber’s case, this means that there is up to one million dollars of liability and property coverage available to you should you pursue it.
What To Do If You’re A Passenger In A Rideshare Accident
If you’re a passenger who has sustained an injury in a rideshare accident, you will most likely be able to file an insurance claim with the rideshare company. The process of filing the claim and acquiring damages may vary between companies, but as mentioned before, Uber covers passengers with a policy of up to one million dollars. In many cases, a lawsuit won’t be necessary as the rideshare company will be willing to fulfill your insurance claim as the passenger is never at fault.
What To Do If You’re Not A Passenger In A Rideshare Accident
If you were involved in a rideshare accident, but you were either in another vehicle or a pedestrian, the exact parameters of how you may seek financial reparations will vary based on the working status of the driver as listed above.
Suppose the driver wasn’t available for fares or was in between fares. In that case, any insurance claims or lawsuits will likely be filed against the driver, as the rideshare company will likely deny liability for any claims. You may run into issues if a rideshare driver caused an accident while driving a passenger, and you were not a passenger, as although the company’s insurance policy should apply, they may fight against it.
In large cities like New York City and Philadelphia, car accident lawyers are the first line of defense for people seeking damages from rideshare companies. If you seek an attorney for an accident with a rideshare driver, they may file a claim against both the driver and the company to ensure all bases are covered. No matter the circumstances, you deserve financial compensation if you were not at fault for an accident and sustained injuries.
Veronica Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for Cousin Benny, a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia.