More and more people are using rideshare to get around since often times, it’s a cheaper and more convenient way to travel around than traditional taxis and drivers-for-hire. It is also better for the environment. As use increases however, accidents also increase. In fact, according to the New York Post, these types of vehicle crashes more than tripled between 2014 and 2016. Because these drivers are independent contractors rather than employees of the driving service, it is the individual driver, not the agency, that is responsible for the vehicle’s insurance coverage.
Some states, like Minnesota and California, have laws that dictate the minimum amount of insurance a rideshare driver must carry. In most areas of the country, however, including the DMV, a driver need only carry the minimum amount of liability coverage required of any driver by law. The company itself carries insurance to cover injuries to rideshare passengers. Unfortunately, these companies often take the position they are not liable if the driver is drunk or distracted at the time of the crash.
If you have car insurance, you can purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for just a few dollars a month. This is a good idea whether you use rideshare services frequently or not. This type of coverage provides insurance in the event your injuries exceed the limits of the driver’s policy and the rideshare company escapes responsibility to cover your injuries based on the driver’s conduct.
If You Are Involved a Rideshare Crash
After a crash, there are a few critical steps you should take.
- Call the police to report the accident
- If needed, request an ambulance or seek medical attention
- Get the name of the driver, as well as the name of their insurance carrier
- Get the name and contact information from anyone with you in the car as a fellow rideshare passenger
- Seek out any potential witnesses to the crash. Get their contact information.
- Touch base with the driver of the other car(s) to obtain contact information and insurance information
- If you do not require immediate medical attention, take a few pictures to document the scene and the damage to all vehicles
- Do not assume you know who is responsible for the accident. Liability is a legal determination that will be made at a later date by those who have access to all the evidence, including any security cameras or stoplight cameras, and other information which may not be readily available to you.
Once you have taken all the necessary steps, pause for a moment and take a deep breath. Getting into a car crash can be unnerving. Take a few moments to take stock of how you are feeling. Do your best to remain calm.
Consider Contacting an Attorney
Many people are reluctant to speak with a personal injury attorney after a car crash. They may think they cannot afford an attorney, or that their insurance company will cover their injuries. In many situations, having a car accident attorney is essential to getting the compensation you need for your injuries and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Stay Safe and Be Prepared
At Hilton & Somer, we want you to be safe. Unfortunately, sometimes a car crash is beyond your control. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car crash while riding in an Uber or Lyft, call Hilton & Somer, LLC at 703-782-8349 for a free consultation. We help people throughout Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland.