You’re no doubt already familiar with Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services. These apps allow you to hail a ride straight from your smartphone. While ridesharing is often touted as an option to reduce overcrowded highways, research shows that may be directly responsible for an uptick in car accidents. In fact, economists found that when ridesharing companies show up in a city, accidents involving a fatality increase by 2-4%, each year. If you were a passenger in a ridesharing accident, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified Ridesharing Accident Attorney who can answer your questions and help you determine your next steps.
While the concept of ridesharing is fairly new, The Carlson Law Firm has been representing clients in car crashes for more than 40 years. You want an attorney who understands the law and how it applies to your specific situation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Ridesharing Accident Attorney.
Do ridesharing services increase car accident fatalities?
Rather than reducing vehicles on the roadways, ridesharing companies actually increase the number of vehicles on the street. According to research, Uber and Lyft have resulted in more miles are being driven and the streets being used more. Naturally, this means that more accidents are going to happen. A study concluded that ridesharing increased traffic (including pedestrians) per year by 987 deaths—a 3% increase.
Luckily, for those who hail Uber or Lyft rides to commute to work, many states require ridesharing companies, or Transportation Network Companies (TNC), as they are now known, to provide insurance coverage for drivers and vehicles. For example, Uber provides insurance that meets or exceeds the requirements of state law in every state where TNCs are regulated. Keep in mind though, policies range from state to state.
Do Ridesharing companies have insurance?
Uber recently updated its auto insurance policy on March 1, 2020. What many people may not know is that Uber does carry insurance on behalf of its drivers while driving for Uber. Uber insures from the moment they tap “Go” on a trip while picking up a rider and until the trip ends. Uber’s insurance policy also protects riders.
With Uber, if a driver is offline, their personal auto insurance covers them if they’re involved in a crash. When they “go online” or set themselves as available to pick up riders, Uber maintains third-party liability coverage. Finally, when drivers pick up a rider, Uber maintains a $1 million third-party liability coverage.
Elements of Uber’s insurance policy includes:
- $1 million in primary coverage per accident when en route to pick a rider and on the trip. This coverage also extends to injured passengers.
- Limited injury coverage between trips.
- Collision insurance for damage to the driver’s car
- UberBLACK, UberSUV and UberTAXI rides are covered by commercial insurance policies.
Rideshare Driver Coverage
Typically, when you’re involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle, you have the right to sue the driver’s employer. However, Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services classify drivers as independent contractors or third-party service providers. In other words, they are considered self-employed. Essentially, this makes it much more difficult for victims in a ridesharing crash to sue Uber or Lyft. When a driver is not listed as an employee, the company cannot be liable. Generally speaking, companies are only liable for the actions of employees while said employees are carrying out duties for the company.
This business model ridesharing companies means that they are not liable for injuries caused by their contractor’s negligence. However, in Texas, victims of ridesharing crashes do have some recourse. Texas law requires a rideshare driver to carry special insurance to cover their rideshare driving.
While this business model protects ridesharing companies from being sued, it does not mean that don’t have to carry insurance on their drivers.
Who is Liable in a Ridesharing Crash?
Much like any other industry, when drivers are not on the clock, they’re covered by their own personal auto insurance. A rideshare crash is involved in a crash, whoever is at fault is liable. A Ridesharing Accident Attorney can help you determine who may be liable for your injuries.
The issues become whether or not the driver was on duty. If the driver was on duty at the time of the incident, Uber’s insurance would cover the crash up to $1 million. However, if the driver was off duty, the injured would be left to deal with the driver’s personal insurance coverage.
Other Uber Legal Issues
Along with auto insurance matters, there is also the concern lately about the action of Uber drivers in relation to passenger safety. After several rape and assault allegations, Uber began requiring its drivers to submit to background checks, as they were previously not required.
Can I file a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft?
Because of the business model of companies like Uber and Lyft, it is often difficult to file a lawsuit against them. However, when rideshare drivers conduct themselves in egregious ways, passengers or other motorists hurt by their actions may be able to hold Uber or Lyft accountable. For example, drivers who cause intentional harm or have backgrounds that ridesharing companies should have been aware of may be able to successfully sue a ridesharing company. A qualified Ridesharing Accident Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help you determine your next legal steps. In addition, we can help you determine who need to hold accountable.
Contact a Ridesharing Accident Lawyer today
If you or a loved one has been involved in an Uber or Lyft auto accident that has resulted in personal injuries, it is important to discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible. If you were the victim of an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the medical bills, pain, suffering and even future medical procedures. At The Carlson Law Firm, we can help you prove that the other person is at fault through a detailed look at the case. We have a team of skilled attorneys, nurses and private investigators ready to assist. Contact us as soon as possible for your free consultation.