What Do You Need To Know About Ridesharing Accidents?
Rideshare apps revolutionized transportation in America. They allowed people to use their smartphones to hail a ride and pay for it later, making getting around much safer and less expensive. But while riding in a rideshare vehicle is convenient, it doesn't mean it's always safe. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than half of reported accidents involving ridesharing vehicles are caused by driver error. And those errors aren't just minor fender benders; some accidents involve serious injuries or even death.
If you've been involved in a ridesharing crash, here's what you need to know.You Can Let Things Work Themselves Out
The most common scenario involves a minor collision between cars. This type of accident usually ends without anyone being hurt, and the insurance companies handle everything. But sometimes, the situation gets worse. For example, you might hit something solid, such as a pole or tree. Or someone else's vehicle might strike yours. These types of crashes are often referred to as "high severity," because they can cause significant property damage or injury. When this happens, you'll likely need to file a claim with your insurer.Hire An Experienced Uber / Lyft Accident Attorney
You don't have to go through the hassle of dealing with insurance claims alone. Instead, you can hire a rideshare attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, who specializes in helping clients deal with these situations.The Cost of Rideshare Accidents
Ridesharing apps seek to reduce some causes of car accidents, including drunk driving. However, there are still risks. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than three-quarters of motorists have been involved in at least one crash. More than half of those crashes occurred because of distracted driving.
Further, encouraging people to use ride-sharing apps, could cut down traffic congestion. Ride-sharing apps introduce a new level of convenience, but they don’t eliminate the risk of being involved in an accident.
While ridesharing apps introduced a new level of comfort for many people and created alternate transportation options, it wasn’t all good news. App-based driving services like Uber and Lyft also led to an increase in traffic-related fatalities. Although the numbers include pedestrians, the reduction in vehicle-related deaths over the past 30 years is significant.Who Is Liable in an Uber Accident?
Uber and Lyft are popular transportation options for commuters and tourists alike. However, both companies offer different levels of insurance coverage, which can make determining who is ultimately responsible for a collision difficult.
In some instances, passengers can sue the driver directly for negligence. But in many states, drivers aren't required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance unless they're operating under a commercial vehicle permit. This means that even though drivers are technically employees of the ride-sharing platforms, they don't qualify for worker's compensation benefits.
While it's possible to file a claim against the passenger's own PIP policy, it's unlikely that the rider will receive full payment. Instead, riders often settle out of court for less money.
If you've been injured in a crash involving a rideshare vehicle, it's essential to obtain a copy of the police report, along with photos of the damage and witness statements. You'll want to keep copies of everything.
When it comes to proving who's liable in a car accident, there's never been a better time to collect as much evidence as possible.What Happens if Your Uber Driver Gets Into an Accident?
If you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle, it's likely that you'll never even know about third-party insurance unless you ask. However, if you do find out, there is no requirement that you pay anything. In fact, if you file a claim against the driver, you could end up paying less than what you'd normally pay for car insurance.
Uber says that over 90% of their drivers carry comprehensive auto insurance policies covering both themselves and passengers. This covers the cost of medical bills, lost wages, rental cars, and property damage.
The remaining 10% of drivers are covered under "third-party liability insurance." These policies typically cover damages caused by accidents involving the driver, such as bodily injury, property damage, and medical expenses.
Drivers marked as available or waiting has third-party liability coverage if their personal coverage doesn’t apply. For example, if the driver is offline or in another app, their personal insurance won't apply, and the third-party insurance kicks in.
For drivers en route or during the trip, Uber provides coverage because their personal insurance doesn't apply, and the driver's third-party insurance does.What Happens if You Get Hit by an Uber Driver?
Uber drivers are required to carry $1 million in liability insurance per person, per incident. This policy covers both passengers and drivers in case of accidents. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the driver is deemed negligent, he/she could have to pay out damages to the victim. In addition, passengers can sue the driver under state law, even if the driver carries adequate insurance. If the passenger is injured due to negligence, they may be able to collect compensation from the driver.
The amount of money you receive depends on how severe the injury is. A serious injury may entitle you to up to $50,000 while a minor injury may only give you $15,000. There are many factors that determine whether you qualify for financial assistance. These include the severity of the injury, the cost associated with treatment, and the length of time needed for recovery.
If you do decide to pursue legal action against the driver, make sure you hire an experienced attorney who specializes in representing victims of motor vehicle accidents. They know how to handle such cases effectively and efficiently.Tips for Choosing an Uber or Lyft Accident Attorney
Auto accidents are overwhelming for everyone. They're stressful, confusing, and often times expensive. And while it's important to take care of yourself physically and emotionally following an auto accident, there's no reason why you shouldn't seek legal representation. An experienced rideshare accident attorney can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and that your insurance provider covers all medical expenses. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.