Ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft advertise that with a push of a button, you can be picked up within minutes and driven to your desired location. There’s hardly anything more convenient than that. But is this convenience worth the risks?
While ridesharing services can make travel a lot easier, there’s always a chance that you could be involved in an accident while riding with these companies. And this leaves many people to wonder what they would or should do in these cases. Let’s take a moment to discuss what you should know about ridesharing accidents. But first, what exactly is ridesharing?
What is Ridesharing?
Ridesharing is a service that matches customers with drivers that are nearby. This pool of drivers is accessed through the company’s app. The customer simply taps the request button and then the driver is given the address and name of the person who is being picked up. The customer is typically able to see the photo of the driver, the model of their vehicle, as well as a map showing how close the driver is to their location. Once the driver has arrived, the ride is confirmed and the customer is dropped off at their desired location.
Is Ridesharing Safe?
Whenever you accept a ride from services such as Lyft or Uber, you’re essentially agreeing to be driven in the vehicle of someone you don’t know. While this is considered to be one of the risks, ridesharing companies do claim to do background checks on all of their drivers. These companies also do motor vehicle history screenings. They want to ensure that their drivers have a safe driving history. However, accidents still occur.
Factors That Increase the Likelihood of a Car Accident
There are several factors that can increase the likelihood of a rideshare related accident. First, the navigation system may not be working properly. In many instances, the driver may not be familiar with your area. And this means that they’ll often rely on their GPS system. While this technology may come in handy in most cases, there are times in which it could lead to confusion. Many drivers will often focus on their phones instead of traffic. And this can easily lead to a collision.
The driver may be in a hurry. It’s no secret, the more passengers a rideshare driver picks up, the higher their income. Sure, this is a great way to motivate the driver and ensure that they’re always prompt, but this could also create unrealistic time constraints. Specifically, the driver may be more willing to take risks so that they can get to their next destination as quickly as possible. Their behavior could become somewhat reckless and erratic. And this often results in accidents.
The driver may be experiencing fatigue. Companies like Uber allow their drivers to work for as much as 12 hours before they’re required to take a break. If the driver works the full 12 hours, then they may be exhausted. In these instances, the driver’s judgment and reflexes may become impaired. So they’re not able to react as quickly if needed.
The driver may be intoxicated. Another type of impairment that can be even more dangerous than fatigue is intoxication. There’s always a chance that the driver may have been drinking before they picked up the passenger. And this can result in serious injuries or worse.
Ridesharing Companies and Liability Insurance
Whenever an accident takes place, it’s important to determine which driver is at fault. This is especially the case if you’re using rideshare services. This way, you’ll know who you should claim your damages from. However, you may not always get a clearcut answer. When it comes to insurance coverage and ridesharing, there’s often a lack of clarity.
In certain instances where there are serious damages, both in property and physical, the driver’s personal insurance may be able to cover the costs. However, if the individual’s insurance doesn’t cover it completely, then the ridesharing service may cover the rest with their policy. These companies currently carry $1 million in liability insurance.
If you’re interested in claiming insurance from companies like Uber and Lyft, then you may find it somewhat difficult. There are several layers to the claims process. In many instances, the success of your claim is largely dependant on the status of your driver. Specifically, the insurance company wants to know if the app was open at the time of the accident. Your damages will only be covered by the ridesharing company if the driver was logged in.
If they weren’t logged in at the time of the accident, then the driver’s personal insurance must cover your damages. There are rare occasions, however, in which the driver has commercial coverage. In this scenario, the ridesharing company’s insurance would cover whatever the driver’s insurance didn’t.
Filing Legal Claims in Ridesharing Accidents
If you want to ensure that your case goes as smoothly as possible, then you need to consider working with a Lyft or Uber accident lawyer who specializes in ridesharing accident cases. Why is this? Well, a ridesharing accident lawyer has experience in this field and understands the process.
You see, the negotiation stage can be tricky and extremely stressful. Large insurance companies and ridesharing companies such as Lyft and Uber have their own staff of lawyers. They will deny liability and work to make sure that your claim is denied. Even if your claim is approved, the opposing lawyers will try to ensure that you’re paid as little as possible.
The best thing about working with West Coast Trial Lawyers is that they have expertise. They can make sure that all your data has been compiled and summarized in the most efficient way. The documents personal injury attorney prepares can be used to determine who is responsible and how much you should claim. Their job is to ensure that you get the maximum compensation. Ultimately, an Uber accident lawyer saves time, money, and lots of frustration.
The good news is that most ridesharing drivers will comply with the law and the rules of the road. And this means that accidents can and will be avoided. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared in the case of an accident.
If you ever find yourself in a ridesharing accident, then make sure that you carefully document the situation. Get the information of all parties involved. Seek medical attention. And get in contact with West Coast Trial Lawyers so that they can let you know what steps you should take next.