Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have grown in popularity in the United States over the past few years. According to a survey done by PewResearch.org, just 3% of Americans are unfamiliar with ridesharing services, while 36% of Americans nowadays have used the service. This is a huge jump compared to a similar survey done in 2015 where only 15% of Americans used a ridesharing service.
It is understandable why such services are becoming more popular. They’re convenient, reasonably priced, and more safe compared to hailing taxis on the side of the road. In fact, a study published in the Southern Economic Journal in 2018 saw a decrease in fatal crashes of about 17 to 20 percent once Uber started operations in the area.
What happens if a car accident involves a rideshare?
That is not to say that accidents do not happen now that Uber and Lyft are around. The arrival of these ridesharing services actually complicates things. Whereas before, if you were injured by another driver, your course of action would be to seek compensation directly from the driver at-fault or through their insurance provider.
Who is liable to pay for damages?
Involving a vehicle being used for ridesharing services in an accident means that you cannot directly ask the driver at-fault or their personal insurance company. Instead, the injured party must seek compensation or discuss a settlement with the ridesharing company’s insurance provider. This is because most car insurance companies do not honor any claims that will arise out of using an insured vehicle as a rideshare.
Ridesharing companies are legally obligated to take responsibility for their driver’s actions when they get involved in a car accident. An injured passenger, pedestrian, or even a fellow motorist is advised to seek compensation from the rideshare company if their driver was at fault. Despite this straightforward explanation, navigating personal injury cases can still be tricky. Insurers still want to pay as little as possible for personal injury claims, so some cases may even be denied. In situations like these, affected parties usually look for sites like https://ckflaw.com/terre-haute-personal-injury-lawyer/ to increase their chances of getting a better settlement.
Are there any exceptions to this rule?
Ridesharing companies will only hold themselves liable for their drivers’ actions if and only if they were conducting ridesharing services. For example, if their driver injured a pedestrian while on the way to pick up a passenger, that pedestrian is allowed to seek compensation from the rideshare company. What that pedestrian can seek compensation for may vary, depending of course on the seriousness of the injury. There are after all many different things to consider whether one should seek personal injury compensation.
A rideshare company will not hold itself liable if the driver who is under their employ is not in fact using their app. So if they are not en route to a passenger or a destination, companies like Uber or Lyft will not be held responsible for any settlement or claims. This may be taken up directly with the driver. It has to be noted however that not a lot of insurance companies are willing to take on cars being used for these services, so filing a personal injury case is helpful in situations like these.
The existence of ridesharing services may have created more scenarios that complicate the realm of personal injury cases. Knowing more about how rideshares operate and getting the help of a lawyer can help make the situation less complicated.