Ride Sharing Accidents – No Free Rides
Using a Taxi, Uber, or Lyft is very common in large populated cites where paying for a ride could be cheaper than owning a car or truck. The services of all three are convenient and less stressful than driving yourself through traffic, but what happens if the car giving you a ride gets into an accident?
- What happens if you are injured?
- Who takes the blame?
- Most importantly, who pays for your compensation?
The answers to these questions are vital for anyone who likes to travel, uses any of these services, or spends a lot of their time on the road.
Getting Hit By An Uber, Lyft, or Taxi Driver
There are two kinds of accidents when dealing with Taxis, Uber, and Lyft. Either a. your car is hit by one of these services or b. you’re a passenger in the car that gets into an accident.
Both types of accidents come down to proving who was at fault and recording damages and injuries. You handle an accident with a Taxi, Uber, and Lyft the same way you handle an accident with a regular car or truck, but expect to deal with legal obstacles. Contacting an attorney is highly suggested when dealing with an injury claim against Taxis, carpooling companies or existing car services.
If you are hit by a taxi cab, then it is a standard two-car accident case. In order to file a claim you must prove the taxi was at fault. Unlike with a civilian driver, a Taxi driver is dependent on their license and cab for their livelihood. They will likely fight liability more aggressively than an average driver will because their financial situation depends on it. You file a claim with the taxi’s insurer, just like in any other car accident.
If you are a passenger in a taxi that is involved in an accident then things change. You do not have to prove who is at fault because you are the victim regardless of which car caused the accident. This time when you file a claim with each of the drivers’ insurers. For example, if it was a two-car accident then you file a claim with each drivers’ insurance company.
Problems You May Face
Insurance companies will always try to avoid liability, because they do not want to pay out a settlement. There are two problems that will arise with a taxi cab accident claim. If you were injured as a passenger in a taxi during an accident, the insurance of the cars involved will be the ones providing your settlement. However, insurance companies will often play hardball with each other trying to prove whom was more at fault in order to pay less.
In accidents with more than one passenger, the insurance claim may not be enough to cover injuries/damages and will give you a choice of either taking a smaller settlement than you are entitled to, or hold the drivers accountable outside the insurance claim. We always recommend seeking immediate legal advice as soon as you are involved in an accident with a Taxi.
Ride Sharing Accidents (Uber & Lyft)
According to a Nolo article, anyone who drives for a ride sharing company (Uber or Lyft) is technically not an employee. They classify their drivers as independent contractors, or third-party providers. That means that when a driver is off duty they are covered by their own insurance. When they are on duty but are not carrying any passengers they are still covered by their own insurance, but with additional contingent liability coverage. It adds $100,000 and up to $25,000 for property damage if the driver’s insurance does not cover it.
It isn’t until a driver has a passenger in the car that the coverage changes to $1 million in liability and $1 million uninsured/underinsured policy.
Being a third-party provider means ride sharing companies can wash their hands of any liability from their drivers. When a 6 year old girl was hit by an Uber driver in San Francisco, the driver was in-between fares and Uber denied all liability. Ultimately, this may prohibit you from filing suit against Uber for their drivers’ actions. At this time Uber will only cover drivers who have the app activated but have not yet accepted a ride.
Injured As a Passenger
Once you are in the car you are automatically covered by their $1 million dollar policy. You are protected even if the ride sharing car is hit by an uninsured driver. However, you cannot sue a ride sharing’s insurance for more than the policy’s $1 million dollar amount – even if the driver was at fault. If the driver was being reckless, or unfit to drive, you cannot sue the ride sharing company. You can only go after the driver’s personal insurance policy. Ride sharing drivers are only required to have standard liability insurance.
Injured As a Bystander
The status of the service driver at the time of the accident will determine what insurance policy you will be covered under – either as a passenger or bystander. If the driver was on duty with a fare then you will be covered by the $1 million dollar policy, but if the driver was in between fares, or off-duty, then you will only be covered by whatever their insurance policy may be. Unless the driver is carrying a passenger, getting involved in an accident with one is just a regular insurance claim.
There are a lot of factors to consider if you are ever injured by a ride sharing driver, so speaking with an experienced attorney can immediately save you a lot of grief!
How To Protect Yourself After An Accident
If you are ever involved in an accident with one of these ride sharing services, or in any car or truck accident, the first thing you need to do is record data.
- Take photos, video if possible.
- Get insurance information of all parties involved.
- Obtain testimony from any nearby witnesses if possible.
- Call the police to the scene in order to fill out a police report of the accident.
If you are injured and cannot record data of the accident then we highly recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible.
Has This Happened To You?
If you or a loved one been injured in an accident and are suffering from the aftermath – Jeff is here 4 you! Davis Law Firm’s legal representatives are standing by 24/7 to listen to your case. We offer free consultations! Contact us today and let Davis Law Firm fight for what you deserve.