The ridesharing boom has indelibly reshaped the way people navigate their world. Whether it’s once a month after a big night out or every day for the commute to the office, the convenience of hailing a car from our smart devices has allowed us to navigate our communities in a whole new way. Large companies like Uber and Lyft have given tens of billions of rides since their incorporation. Uber alone is estimated to have chartered forty-five rides per second in 2020. With so many cars driving for ridesharing services it’s only natural to expect they’ll be subject to crashes. It’s just as natural to assume that a portion of these crashes will cause serious injury. A portion of those injuries from rideshare accidents will be suffered by passengers, who were in no way responsible for their injuries.
So if you are one of these unlucky passengers injured in a rideshare accident, what should your next step be? Who can be held liable for your lost wages, emotional damage, and pain and suffering? Today we’ll be unpacking this topic and providing the information you need to seek justice.
When people use the term “rideshare” they are generally referring to a mobile app of some kind. Most often this will take the shape of a transportation service that allows users to request and pay for rides through an app. Rideshares typically connect passengers with nearby drivers who use their own personal vehicles. Though in some cities, you can even find electric scooters or bicycles that you can rent through a rideshare app.
Ridesharing has also spawned a litany of tangentially related services and companies. Many of these focus on delivery of food or grocery items. Companies such as Doordash and Instacart experienced increased use and cultural relevance during the COVID-19 lockdowns. However, today’s blog will be focusing on more traditional ride-sharing services that transport passengers.
Like any other car accident your first step after a rideshare accident should be to seek any necessary medical treatment. Attend to any obvious injuries and ask a medical professional about any internal pain or discomfort you’re experiencing. Once this is done, contact law enforcement and obtain an accident report. This is not your obligation as the passenger of the vehicle. But the information provided by a police accident report may still prove invaluable. Names and contact information from persons involved in the accident, information about the vehicles involved, and statements from witnesses can all help when seeking a settlement.
If you have been the victim of a rideshare accident you should also report the accident to the ridesharing company. Both Uber and Lyft have codified procedures in place for reporting accidents. Once this report is made the victim may be contacted by company representatives seeking to hear their account of the accident. Your attorney may caution you against making any statements to corporate representatives, especially in case of serious injury.
When seeking damages in the wake of a rideshare accident you should be aware that both your and the rideshare driver’s insurance company will likely deny any claims made. A personal automobile insurance policy will not cover damages sustained while operating the insured vehicle for profit. The vehicle in question is insured for “personal use,” which does not include ridesharing.
However, with rising user and driver populations sure to result in more accidents and insurance claims, Uber and Lyft have begun to offer their driver’s liability insurance in the event of a denied claim from their insurance provider. This liability insurance may cover up to $1 million in damages. Though it is of the utmost importance to note that an initial insurance claim must be denied before the company can be held responsible. This liability insurance may be a boon to you whether you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident as a passenger or as another driver.
In times of exponential technological advancement such as these, it is not uncommon for the development of new conveniences to outpace the laws that regulate them. Rideshares (and the ensuing accidents) are only one such example. The injured party may find themselves lost in a legal gray area, unsure of where to find just restitution. In situations such as these the aid of a resourceful and experienced personal injury attorney can make all the difference. The attorneys at Malloy Law Offices, LLC are the personal injury specialists. Whether it’s at the negotiating table or in the courtroom Malloy attorneys will fight to secure the damages you’re entitled to. Don’t deal with the fallout from your rideshare accident alone. Contact us today for your free consultation.