Updated: Feb 7
As a rideshare passenger, it can be concerning to think about what would happen in the event of an accident involving your driver. However, it’s important to understand that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have insurance policies in place to provide coverage in the event of an accident. These policies typically provide coverage for passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians involved in an accident with a rideshare driver.
However, having your own personal insurance policies could help provide additional coverages. These coverages can include Personal Injury Protection, which is required by the state of Florida for every individual to have. Additionally, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, this can also assist if the at fault party does not have coverage.
If you have been involved in an accident as a rideshare passenger, it’s important to document the accident as much as possible and seek the advice of a personal injury attorney who has experience with rideshare accidents. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal and insurance issues involved in these cases, and can work to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
In the event of a rideshare accident, there are several steps you should take to ensure your safety and protect your rights. It is important to know what to do in case of an accident as rideshare services have become increasingly popular, and the number of accidents involving these vehicles and services has also increased. Here are some guidelines to follow in the event of a rideshare accident.
Things to note during and after a Rideshare Accident
Every rideshare vehicle has a driver which has their own personal insurance coverage. On top of this, the rideshare service you are driving with provides their drivers with additional coverages. After the accident, you can file a claim against the rideshare service if you believe your driver was driving negligently. (examples of this could be swerving in and out of traffic, driving at high speeds, the distance between them and the car in front of them, etc.) These claims are slightly more difficult than regular accident claims.
Steps to take After a Rideshare Accident
There are many steps you should take after an accident. Similar to a regular accident, there is information and things that you need to get while on the scene. This will make the process with your personal injury attorney go a lot smoother.
Step 1: Check for any injuries
After any accident, your safety and well-being are always the number one priority. Note any immediate injuries, but also understand that some injuries don't show up till days or sometimes even weeks later.
Step 2: Contact the Police
If the driver of your vehicle hasn’t done so already, call the police to file an accident report. The officer will get everyone’s story about what occurred. Make sure you get the officer’s name and an incident report number to request a copy once it’s released.
Step 3: Gather Evidence
Exchange contact info with everyone involved in the crash, this goes for witnesses as well. Take many videos and photographs of the scene, this includes vehicles, injuries, etc.
Step 4: Report it to the Rideshare App
Rideshare companies want you to report accidents, they have an online form usually that you can fill out. A representative may contact you for a statement. If you have questions, call an attorney that specializes in ride share accidents.
How does Rideshare passenger insurance work?
A rideshare driver falls in between commercial and personal vehicles. Therefore, the drivers of those cars are not considered employees but independent contractors. This gives the driver the freedom to use their own vehicles for daily tasks and then switch on the app to give someone a ride.
For some time now, most rideshare companies did not have coverage for drivers, that is not the case anymore though. The policy was believed to have changed in 2013 after a fatal accident resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit. Since then, the company requires its drivers to have their own personal coverages and the rideshare company’s additional commercial coverage.
So whose insurance covers the accident?
Just like any other accident, there has to be proof, there needs to be a significant amount of information for the rideshare company to go over. The insurance that covers the accident is dependent upon who was at fault. Which is why attaining a copy of the police report is so important.
If the rideshare driver was at fault…
If you were injured by a rideshare driver, the rideshare company can provide anywhere up to 1 million dollars in liability coverage. The rideshare companies also offer Uninsured Motorist (UM) in some states. The rideshare apps offer anywhere up to $50,000 in bodily injury per accident and $25,000 in property damage.
In this case, you can also go after the driver’s personal insurance sometimes. A lawyer can subpoena records and find out if the driver had the app on or off at the time of the accident. If the app was off, you solely can go through the driver’s personal insurance.
If another driver is at fault…
Just like any other accident, your claim would go through the at-fault party. If that driver is uninsured and at fault, some states require rideshare services to provide coverages.
How do I go about filing a lawsuit against the rideshare companies directly?
If you are in these situations, the best thing to do would be to call a rideshare accident attorney. These cases get extremely complex because you are dealing with drivers and independent contractors.
The reasons to go after the rideshare companies would be if your damages exceed the limits of your driver’s insurance policies, you were sexually assaulted by your driver, or you think the company was negligent in hiring them as a driver.
There is also the stipulation that rideshare apps may force arbitration for any case filed against them. This is in their terms of service when you download the app. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as any cases brought to small claims court, sexual assault/harassment, and intellectual property claims.
How much is a Rideshare accident lawsuit worth?
There are a lot of factors to consider in these situations to fully determine how much a case will be worth. This includes your past and future medical expenses, any lost income, and the severity of pain and suffering. The best way to determine what to do with your case is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Call us at Demesmin and Dover Law Firm and we will make sure you know what is occurring every step of the way.