Over the past few years, ridesharing has become very popular throughout the United States, however, in some areas, these services like Uber and Lyft are not regulated as heavily as taxis. Because of this, car accidents involving rideshare drivers and passengers can become very complicated.
How Ridesharing Services Work
A rideshare driver, unlike a taxi or limo driver, is not employed by the company, and instead the service is a smartphone app that connects passengers to drivers who have vehicles they are willing to hire out for rides.
Although the driver uses their own vehicle, the passenger does not pay the driver for the ride. Instead, the passenger pays through the app and the driver is paid through Uber. Passengers do not even need to tip the driver as that is included in the price paid through the app. Lyft, however, offers two forms of payment. In some areas, they offer a donation form of payment while in others they offer a set charge. Both companies offer different levels of vehicles that the passenger can choose through the app.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Ridesharing accidents are not particularly special or unique. They are an auto accident like any other, commonly caused by:
- Distracted driving
- Reckless/aggressive driving
- Failing to maintain vehicle
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to obey traffic signals and signs
- Inexperienced or unqualified driving
Major Factor in Ridesharing Accidents | Distracted Driving
Distraction is an extremely common problem for ridesharing drivers. Far too often, ridesharing drivers are paying attention to their phones GPS programs while driving and may be focused on conversing with their passengers. These actions can take a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task at hand. Every time a ridesharing driver looks down at their phone or reaches over to take a different look at the route, they drastically increase the risk of an accident.
What if my Uber/Lyft driver crashes while I’m a passenger?
If you are in a crash while a passenger in your Uber/Lyft and do not sustain any injuries, you may not think you need legal advice. However, you could be asked to give your recount of what happened. An experienced rideshare accident lawyer can help you if you’re called for a statement.
If you are injured in an Uber/Lyft accident as a car passenger, because of your rideshare driver or another reckless driver, you are covered up to $1 million. In order to receive more than $1 million as a settlement, you would have to file a claim against the negligent driver or company. We can help if you have a rideshare claim.
What if an Uber/Lyft driver hit my car?
In the event that a rideshare driver hits your car, the accident may be treated as a regular car accident. If this occurs, you should check to make sure everyone in the accident is okay, seek medical attention, exchange personal information, and take notes and photos to submit to the insurance companies.
If the rideshare driver hits you while you are a pedestrian or are in another vehicle, the rideshare company would be liable if the driver was currently working and/or taking a passenger on a trip.The $1 million coverage policy applies in this situation.
In the event that the Uber driver who hit you was off duty, their personal insurance plan would come into play.
Car accidents can have long-term consequences, and if your rideshare driver causes an accident, you could be dealing with the injuries and consequences for a long time. Rideshare laws can be confusing since there are so many gray areas. Therefore, in order to receive the highest amount of compensation possible for your damages and losses, you need an experienced and knowledgeable rideshare accident lawyer on your side to fight for your rights.
Don’t hesitate to contact our team of lawyers at McEldrew Purtell today by filling out our form or calling (215) 545-8800. We are hard-working lawyers for hard-working people.