Ridesharing has completely changed how many people get around, offering affordable options to non-drivers, those in busy cities, and those who are not in a position to drive safely. Although ridesharing has brought lots of improvements to daily life, it has also brought its fair share of risks. State legislators have worked quickly to keep up with the legal challenges of ridesharing services in an effort to keep riders safe from unsafe drivers.
If you have been hurt in a ridesharing accident, it can be difficult to figure out who’s at fault and what your next step should be. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area to explore your legal options now.
In any vehicle accident, the main task is determining liability. When you know who is at fault for the accident, you know who can be expected to pay for your damages. The same is true for ridesharing accidents. In these collisions, a number of parties can be at fault:
- The rideshare driver
- The driver of the other vehicle
- The manufacturer of the vehicle or one of its components
- A passenger—this only happens in extraordinarily rare circumstances, such as when a passenger reaches over and grabs the steering wheel from the driver
To figure out which party erred and caused the crash, you have to look at the evidence. Your attorney might look at what happened before the crash, photographs of the scene of the crash, and get testimony from you and other passengers. While some crashes are caused by mechanical errors or equipment failures, human error is the main cause in the majority of crashes.
Another helpful way to figure out liability is to look at the police report for the crash. The police will often give out citations for running a red light, failing to yield, speeding, or otherwise driving dangerously. In many cases, figuring out who broke the law can help you figure out who the liable party is.
From there, it gets a little more complicated. If the other driver is at fault, you have a straightforward claim process. You can work with an attorney to figure out fair compensation. They will then communicate with the other party’s insurance company to negotiate for a full and fair settlement.
If the rideshare driver is at fault, you may have to dig a little more to figure out who will pay for your damages. Their own personal insurance policy may pay some of your damages, but it’s more likely that most of your payout will come from their rideshare company’s insurance.
Uber and Lyft provide coverage in the amount of $1 million. However, depending on the state where your accident occurs, the company’s policy may not kick in until the driver’s personal insurance policy is maxed out. Even this is not clear-cut, because some personal insurance policies do not cover any damage caused when the driver is engaging in commercial activity.
Because there are so many factors at play in a ridesharing accident, it’s important to act quickly to assess your losses and fight for compensation.
Why You Need an Attorney After a Ridesharing Accident
This is why it’s crucial to hire an attorney as soon as possible after a ridesharing accident. With so many parties possibly at fault and so many insurance companies possibly owing you money, you need an attorney who can sort through all of the information and figure out what you’re really owed, who owes it to you, and who will pay it to you.
Even after you’ve figured out liability and you know which insurance policy or policies are expected to pay out, you still have more work to do. Your attorney will need to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Insurance companies are notorious for downplaying victims’ injuries, trying to shift blame to other parties, and offering settlements that are far too low. When you bring an attorney to the table, you can get straight to negotiations and avoid being manipulated by the insurance company.
Ready to seek compensation after a ridesharing accident? It’s time to talk to a personal injury attorney in your area. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer in your area today.