Rideshare drivers involved in a car accident may find it difficult to seek insurance coverage. Depending on the situation, rideshare organizations, like Uber, may be held liable for any accidental damage if the driver is proven to be at fault or negligent.
If the subject is injured in one such rideshare accident, as a rideshare passenger, another driver, or a pedestrian, the only way to protect your legal rights is to consult an attorney who handles familiar cases and adheres to company policies and current laws affecting liabilities. Learn more here.
Importance of Determining Liability in Rideshare Accidents
It is crucial to determine liability for injury and damages involved in rideshare accidents. As a majority of the population depends on Lyft and Uber every year, the number of accidents is rising. Uber claims that it makes over 3 million trips per day in America whereas Lyft estimates 1 million.
Some studies show that rideshare services contribute to fatal accidents. Likewise, rideshare services are credited to reducing incidences of drunk driving and car accident injuries and fatalities. Contrarily, some experts opine that rideshare drivers are more prone to accidents as they drive even when they are drowsy or groggy, and least alert for some of these reasons:
- Federal regulations do not expect rideshare drivers to undergo regular screening for medical problems that reduce alertness
- Rideshare drivers moonlight for Lyft and Uber after engaging a full day at work in another job
- Rideshare drivers also tend to pick up travelers in the middle of the night when sleepiness is at its peak, which makes them drowsy and driving impossible
In addition, rideshare drivers usually work for both Lyft and Uber. This helps them to sidestep the company-mandated hours of rest. For instance, Lyft requires drivers to take at least a six-hour break for every 12-hour drive. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent the same driver from switching to Uber during his mandated rest period.
Rideshare Accident & Truck Accident Liabilities Are Similar
Liability for injury and damages in a truck accident is similar to a rideshare accident. Rideshare companies can be held responsible, as the trucking company is one of the employees who caused an accident. However, some differences prevail. While truck drivers are full-time employees, rideshare drivers do not have that tag. Rather, the liability of a rideshare company depends on the status of the driver, which could be as:
- The rideshare app of the driver is turned off
- The driver has been waiting for the request to start the trip
- The driver is en route to pick up a passenger or has one
In any way, rideshare companies do not have any liabilities for damages caused in the accident by one of the drivers when the driver is seen offline. Under such circumstances, the liability shall be limited to the personal insurance coverage of the driver.
Rideshare drivers can select a personal car insurance policy with maximum coverage limits. Nevertheless, some drivers prefer to pay the minimum coverage amount only, which is barely enough to clear the hospitalization expenses and follow-up treatments of individuals.
A qualified and experienced lawyer can help in this process and guide the party as per the current laws.