What You Need to Know about Ridesharing Accidents
Uber and Lyft, rideshare applications, have taken over some parts of South Carolina as a legitimate and easy alternative to taxis and other forms of transit. But did you know that there are significant complications when an accident occurs while using the app platform? Read on to learn more about ridesharing accidents and what you need to know to protect yourself and any potential claim that you may have.
Filing a lawsuit after a ridesharing accident can be a little complicated. For one thing, if you were to bring a suit against a rideshare driver, you would be suing them as an individual, not as an employee of the company or in their capacity as an employee of the company. This is because Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors; they do not technically “work for” the company. They supply their own cars and are responsible for their own insurance coverage. This makes Uber and Lyft less liable for accidents.
It may comfort you to know that drivers are required to carry insurance coverage. Drivers for both Uber and Lyft are required to carry $50,000 in coverage per injury, to a total of $100,000 per event on their personal insurance policies to cover passengers riding in the vehicle. Uber and Lyft have also both invested in additional insurance coverage.
When Exactly Did the Accident Take Place?
It matters what was happening at the time of the accident. There are three sort of “stages” of a rideshare driver’s operation of the vehicle. First, there is the period of time when the driver is active, has the app open, and is actively waiting for a passenger. Second, there is the period of time when the rideshare driver is on his or her way to pick up a passenger but doesn’t yet have one in the car. Third, there is the period of time during which the passenger has been picked up and is in the vehicle. This matters because the insurance coverage purchased by Uber and Lyft to supplement their drivers’ insurance policies kick in at various points in the rideshare process.
What to Do if an Accident Happens
If you are injured as a passenger in a rideshare, follow guidelines that apply to all auto accidents. Prioritize health and safety first; get to a safe place and contact law enforcement. Take photos of the accident site, damage to the vehicles, injuries, etc. Collect the contact information from those involved in the accident and from any witnesses that may be nearby. One extra thing you should do that is different from an average accident is to get your driver’s information and to take a screenshot of your app on your phone.
You Need a Good Attorney
There are many attorneys that may be interested in taking your case. However, you should find an attorney with specific experience with car accident claims to steer yours in the right direction. You can contact an experienced Columbia personal injury attorney at The Stanley Law Group. Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.