There is no doubt that the rise of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft has made traveling a much easier proposition. Whether you use them as your designated driver, make use of them while on vacation, or use them for any of the many other reasons which have made them so popular, these convenient services are instrumental in today’s society. The technology used by these companies has been improving as time passes to make them as safe as possible for customers to use.
When you are hiring a professional driver to transport you to your destination, you believe you are in safe hands. As with anything, there are risks. Whether you are driving on the road yourself or using a rideshare service, even if the safest driving practices are employed, that does not mean that there is no risk of an accident occurring. There are over 6 million car accidents in the United States every year. Anyone who hits the road is at risk of being in a vehicular accident.
What do You do if You are Injured as a Passenger of a Rideshare Service?
When you are using rideshare and there is an accident which causes you injury, what do you do? Who is responsible for your damages? Where can you look to pursue compensation? In most situations, the company’s insurance should cover your damages. The majority of states require that these services carry a specific amount of commercial liability insurance specifically to cover accidents that result in injuries.
Even though there has been debate regarding whether rideshare workers are actual employees, the good news is that these companies have been known to provide insurance coverage for accidents when the drivers involved are on the clock.
What Happens if You are Hit by a Rideshare Driver if You are Not a Passenger?
While it is pretty clear-cut that passengers of a rideshare driver will have insurance coverage after an accident, it becomes a bit more complicated if you are a driver of another car or a pedestrian who has an accident with one of these drivers. Rideshare companies provide support to their drivers when they are working. However because these schedules are so flexible and a driver can go on or off-the-clock at any time, proving that the driver was on-the-clock at the time of the accident can be a sticking point.
Additionally, when a driver is actually considered working and when they are not is also debatable. Certainly, when there is a rider in the car, the driver is clearly working. But if a driver is on his or her way to pick up a rider, are they working during this time?
When you are ready to pursue a personal injury claim, the best way to figure out the right path forward is to consult an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer. These claims can be tricky because depending on the circumstances of the accident, you would be making your claim against either the rideshare company’s insurance or the private insurance policy of the driver.
Regardless of if the driver is considered “working” at the time of the accident, the way you proceed with a claim is to file against the liable insurance. That could be either the driver’s personal insurance provider or the rideshare company’s insurance provider. The majority of rideshare companies require that their drivers have insurance policies, so it is likely that they will have something for you to work with. When you are in an accident with a rideshare driver, it is important that you treat it like you would any other accident.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, the damages to the car, injuries, etc.
- Collect information from the driver including name and insurance
- Ask witnesses for their information and ask them if they would be willing to provide testimony of what they saw
- Seek medical treatment for any injuries
- Call the police to provide official documentation of the accident and potentially back your side of the story
- Write down the details of the accident as soon as you can while it is fresh in your head. Everything you can think of from the conditions of the weather, to what the driver looked like, the make and model of the car, the condition of the car, anything the driver said, etc.
- Never say anything to indicate that you assume any responsibility for the accident.
When you treat the accident like you would any other, you will have the documentation you need to help you in both situations if you are pursuing a claim from either insurance provider. This information is vitally important to the strength of your claim. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to try everything they can to minimize the payment they make to you or try to deny it outright.
Do not let the insurance company take advantage of you. When you experience injuries from an accident with a rideshare company, you must focus on healing. The stress of dealing with insurance companies who are going to engage in every tricky tactic to undercut you should not be on your shoulders. Scott R. Barney, Esq is a Hampton Roads automobile accident attorney who has extensive experience dealing with the most complex personal injury cases.
Finding Legal Representation in Virginia After a Car Accident
As a third-generation Virginia attorney, Scott R. Barney, Esq was born and raised in the state and has been practicing law in Virginia Beach for over a decade. You are not alone when you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault. I have the resources and knowledge to help you with your personal injury claim and I will fight on your behalf so that your legal rights are protected.
I can answer all of your questions and provide you the guidance you need throughout the entire personal injury claim process so you will understand what is happening every step of the way. You deserve to see a fair settlement when you have been victimized by a negligent party. Call my Virginia Beach serious injury law office to set up a free consultation at (757) 296-8343 today. I look forward to examining the details of your accident experience.