It’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago, ridesharing services were only available in a handful of California cities. Since then, these services have exploded in popularity, and become one of the most popular forms of transportation in America.
As of 2018, 53-percent of Americans report using ridesharing services — a figure that’s only expected to grow in the coming years. Yet this rising popularity comes at a cost: a greater number of accidents. Making things more complicated is the fact that because ridesharing is still fairly new, the laws that govern ridesharing accidents are still evolving.
Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help provide clarity to the situation, and ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Ridesharing Accidents: What You Need to Know
Ridesharing accidents come in a few forms. You can be injured while riding as a customer; you could be injured after your vehicle collides with a ridesharing vehicle; or you could be a pedestrian injured by a ridesharing vehicle.
If you’re injured under one of these scenarios, you have legal options. Those options may differ, however, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.
For example, in California, it’s possible to sue either a driver or a ridesharing company if you’re a passenger injured due to the negligence of the ridesharing driver. Because many ridesharing companies classify drivers as independent contractors, however, they may choose to contest liability.
If you’re a ridesharing passenger injured by the driver of a second, non-ridesharing vehicle, you can choose to pursue a lawsuit or insurance claim against the second driver. Most ridesharing companies carry uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance policies to cover this scenario.
In the case of a pedestrian or bystander injury, the critical element is whether the ridesharing driver is working at the time of the accident. If the driver is not carrying a passenger, some states do not allow you to pursue a claim against the ridesharing company. In California, however, you may pursue a claim or a lawsuit if a passenger is present or if the driver is logged into a ridesharing app and waiting for a passenger pickup.
The Importance of the Right Ridesharing Attorney
Because ridesharing laws and litigation are both complex and continually evolving, it’s essential that you find a law firm that specializes in ridesharing cases.
By consulting with an attorney who has deep experience dealing with these matters, you can help ensure that you make informed decisions — and receive just and fair compensation for your injuries.