Who is Responsible for a Rideshare Accident?
While rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft provide a lot of convenience, they can also be risky. Rideshare drivers often get into accidents like other drivers, and the injuries can be devastating. It’s even more challenging for the victim to determine who is at fault for the accident.
Usually, the at-fault driver, who could be the rideshare driver or another driver, is liable for the damages. If their insurance is inadequate to cover the entire value of the damages, then Uber’s commercial policy takes effect. Unfortunately, recovering compensation from the companies is often complex, but a skilled personal injury attorney in Mesquite, TX, can help.
Understanding Rideshare Companies’ Accident Coverage
Rideshare accident cases are not like typical car or commercial vehicle accident cases. Most rideshare companies, including Uber and Lyft, don’t classify their drivers as employees but as independent contractors. So, the drivers are not held to the same liability standards as other commercial transportation entities.
If you were injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft car, filing a claim against the respective company may be impossible, as the company may dispute liability. The driver’s insurance company may also not cover the damages since most personal auto insurance providers don’t cover drivers for commercial purposes.
Furthermore, and which may complicate your claim, insurance companies often determine claim amounts depending on the step of the process the driver was in at the time of the accident:
- Driver offline and not accepting requests: If the driver is not logged into the rideshare application and an accident happens, it would mean they were off duty. An insurance claim would be against the driver’s personal insurance policy. That’s one reason you should always ensure your driver remains active during your ride.
- Driver online but has yet to accept a ride request: The driver is considered on duty if they get into an accident. The rideshare companies’ insurance comes into effect, but the level of liability must be higher than required of the driver. The coverage can be up to $50,000 per person for bodily injury and a maximum of $100,000 for total physical injuries.
- Driver online and accepted a request: If a driver gets into an accident and injures a passenger in another car or a pedestrian while on their way to pick up a passenger, Uber or Lyft’s insurance would be in effect, covering up to $1 million and uninsured or uninsured motorist coverage.
- Driver actively carrying a passenger: Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage is in effect from when a passenger gets into the car until they’re dropped off. A skilled rideshare accident attorney in Mesquite can help you file a compensation claim if you sustain injuries in a rideshare accident.
What Are Your Options After the Accident?
While rideshare companies go to great lengths to avoid taking liability for rideshare accidents to compensate victims for their injuries, you can still recover compensation. An experienced rideshare accident lawyer in Mesquite could advise you to first file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance provider and later with the rideshare company if your claim is denied.
Battling Insurance and Rideshare Insurance Companies
If you file a compensation claim against rideshare companies for injuries you sustain in a rideshare accident, be prepared to fight a tough legal battle. These companies have vast resources but also large teams of lawyers and insurance adjusters who will do whatever possible to minimize your payout or not pay altogether.
Challenging their policies could be complex, especially if you got injured due to the negligence of a rideshare driver who was off duty during the accident. Besides, the driver responsible could deny being accountable for the accident, making it a matter of your word against theirs.
How Can a Rideshare Accident Attorney Help Me?
Working with an experienced Mesquite rideshare attorney would enhance the chances of a favorable outcome in your claim. They can evaluate and investigate your claim, work out the insurance details, and compile all the relevant evidence to help you create a solid lawsuit, against Uber or Lyft, depending on the company you want to sue.
Determining Liability in Rideshare Accidents
Determining liability is crucial because rideshare companies may attempt to deny responsibility and that of their drivers to avoid paying large payouts. Your Mesquite personal injury attorney can investigate if the rideshare driver was actively transporting a passenger at the time of the accident and hold them accountable for their poor mistakes that led to the accident and injuries.
Additionally, holding drivers accountable prevents them from continuously putting their passengers at risk. If the companies are held liable for a driver’s negligence, they would be more vigilant when onboarding drivers. Addressing these accidents the legal way makes the services safer for future passengers by enforcing stricter regulations.
You May Be Entitled to More Compensation Than You Think
Despite the strict insurance policies by rideshare companies, you could still be entitled to compensation. An aggressive lawyer can fight for your rights and determine the damages you’re entitled to, such as the following:
- Medical expenses, medication, and equipment
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Physical Pain and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral costs for wrongful death
All these could add up to a lot more than you think. Avoid settling for the initial offer by the insurance company before your lawyer can determine what you deserve.
Defend Your Rights After a Rideshare Accident in Texas
When you request a ride on Uber or Lyft, you expect to reach your destination safely. Unfortunately, an accident could cut your trip short and leave you with devastating injuries. If this happens, a skilled rideshare accident attorney in Mesquite can help you hold the company liable for your injuries and damages.
Our law firm presents clients involved and injured in rideshare accidents. These cases can be complex, but we put our skills to work to help them win the compensation they deserve to help them rebuild their lives. If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident and don’t know which steps to take, call our Oberg Law Office at 972-682-9700 for a no-commitment initial consultation.