What you need to know about rideshare accidents
Rideshare services have become a popular way for people to get around. The incredible convenience that these apps provide helped them grow in popularity quickly.
And because that growth was so quick, there were aspects of the business that weren’t completely thought out. One of those aspects was insurance coverage and how a driver’s personal policy might apply.
In the early days of rideshare accidents, it left some drivers and victims in sticky situations. That’s because the driver’s personal insurance policy did not apply since they were engaging in commercial activity.
Today, the rules and regulations for these organizations are very clear. Drivers have a responsibility to carry good coverage and so do the companies that employ their services. That way, whether you’re hit while the driver is off-duty or while the app is engaged with a passenger in their vehicle, you’re covered and so are they.
With so many rideshare drivers on the roads, make sure you know your rights if you have the misfortune to be involved in an accident. We break down various aspects of rideshare accidents and what you need to know.
Common rideshare accident causes
The nature of the rideshare driver’s job makes it more dangerous than a standard driver. They have to look at their phone screen to receive directions and gather details about their next customer.
Looking away from the road for even a second can be extremely dangerous. And then if the passenger isn’t exactly where they should be, the driver has to place a call to them. While the rideshare companies have done all they can to make these actions hands-free, they still present challenges for the drivers and distractions.
In some cases, these drivers must stop in the middle of a busy street to pick up a passenger. Even with flashers and clear signals, other drivers might be confused by this behavior.
All these behaviors can contribute to accidents causing injuries and great inconveniences for victims.
Insurance requirements for rideshare drivers and companies
If your rideshare driver is involved in an accident, you have a right to ask for their insurance information, and they must provide it. The same is true if you are another vehicle involved in an accident with a rideshare driver.
Rideshare companies also must disclose how to get in contact about insurance claims with their drivers. So if for any reason you’re involved in an accident with a rideshare driver and they drive off without providing contact information, you can contact the company directly for more information.
Rideshare drivers are required to have these auto insurance coverages in their personal policies:
- Uninsured motorist
- Underinsured motorist coverage
Whether you pursue damages from the driver or the rideshare company will depend on the circumstances of the accident. For example, accidents that take place while a driver has their app turned on but does not have a passenger and is not on the way to pick up a passenger would be a claim against that driver’s personal insurance policy.
However, when the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger, has a passenger in their car with the app engaged, or is dropping the passenger off, the rideshare company’s insurance policy would apply.
Some rideshare cases can get complicated. An example of this is when the driver reaches the passenger’s destination but the passenger asked the driver to drop them a few blocks away. While driving those few blocks, they are no longer on official business.
Activities like these put both the driver and passenger at risk in case of an accident. As a rideshare passenger, you should never ask for transportation outside of what you’ve requested through the app. This will help protect you from complicated situations like the one we just described.
Victim rights after a rideshare accident
After an accident, both the rideshare driver and the rideshare company will likely be looking out for their own interests. The goal is to minimize the impact on their finances. They won’t be looking out for the lives of the victims impacted.
Before interacting with the insurance companies involved, you have a right to seek counsel from a Virginia rideshare accident attorney. Seeking this counsel will help protect you from manipulation from the other parties involved. And, you’ll ensure you don’t say the wrong things and fall for traps these insurance companies set for victims.
In addition to seeking counsel from an attorney, you should also visit a doctor to assess any injuries. The doctor can provide important documentation on your injuries in case you need to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Gore & Kuperman is a team of experienced legal experts prepared to help you through a rideshare accident. We know how to pursue damages from these companies and their drivers. We won’t rest until your case is resolved.
Contact us for trusted legal counsel and a free case evaluation.