Injured in a Rideshare Car Accident? What You Need to Know
Rideshare companies, also known as transportation networking services, have become a popular option in metropolitan areas around the country. Several of these companies, including Uber and Lyft, originated in California and are flourishing in metropolitan areas across the country.
These rideshare companies offer several unique benefits to their customers. First, they are accessed though a smartphone app where the nearest available driver is dispatched to the passengers location using a GPS. Next, they offer discretion, unlike taxis that often appear like rolling advertisements. Lastly, they are usually less expensive than a taxicab ride, depending on the level of the ride.
Here’s what you need to know if you’ve been injured in a ridesharing accident.
Claims Against Rideshare Companies
Ride sharing is a young and unregulated industry which increases chances of the rideshare driver being underinsured. At least more likely to be uninsured compared to a taxicab or limousine company. Unlike a taxi where the driver is an employee and insured by the taxicab company, drivers of ride sharing services are more like independent contractors. Drivers are self-insured as permitted by the company. If an injury occurs due to the negligence of a rideshare driver, the drivers insurance may refuse to pay for your medical bills and lost wages. In fact, the drivers insurance may have a “driving for profit” clause as is present in many personal insurance policies. Even though the rideshare company permits drivers to operate with their own personal coverage, there may be no coverage for the passengers.
Despite the rideshare companies claim of carrying up to $1 million in supplemental coverage. Insurance companies in several states have warned that the “additional coverage” offered by rideshare companies may not cover your medical bills. Also, it will not cover a driver who is driving but off duty at the time.
In California a six-year-old girl was struck and killed by an Uber driver making a turn while distracted by the rideshare app, and trying to locate a passenger. The company argued that because the driver was not carrying a passenger at the time, he was not “working.” A lawsuit was filed claiming that the company was negligent in the driver’s use of the app while operating his vehicle. The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount of money according to NBCnews.com.
How an Attorney Can Help If You’ve Been Injured in a Rideshare Car Accident
As with any paid transportation company, operations such as Uber and Lyft have a duty of care to their passengers. This duty of care also extends to other drivers and pedestrians. Imagine you suffer an injury or lose a loved one, through the negligence or carelessness of the driver or company. They have violated that duty. Compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering should be given to you. If the rideshare company refuses to take responsibility, and provide you with adequate compensation, your best ally is an experienced public transportation lawyer.
A qualified personal injury attorney will file a lawsuit against the ride-share company. Additionally they will file a lawsuit against any other drivers that may have contributed to the accident. Let’s say the ride-share driver was not carrying a passenger at the time of the accident. But, if the driver was using the company app, the driver would be considered on duty. An experienced attorney would be able to make that determination.
Contact a Rideshare Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a ride-share accident, our team of car accident attorneys are here for you and ready to fight for your rights. Our award winning car accident attorneys have the experience to recover the maximum compensation for your California ride-share accident injuries.
Do not wait, as the time to file your case is limited.
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