According to Uber’s 2019 U.S. Safety Report, 97 Uber-related crashes led to 107 individual fatalities.
The ridesharing apps, Uber and Lyft, have become a very popular way to get from place to place in the last decade or so. However, just like other vehicles, you can be in an accident while using a ridesharing vehicle. In some cases, the Uber or Lyft driver might be the at-fault party. In other cases, both the rideshare driver and passenger might be victims of another driver’s negligence.
Regardless of the specifics, if you were involved in a car accident involving a ridesharing vehicle, there may be legal avenues you can explore to pursue compensation. A ridesharing accident lawyer in Mount Pleasant may help you keep companies like Uber and Lyft accountable, even if they try to evade liability. They can fight for you to receive compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you or your loved one was injured in a ridesharing accident, one of our personal injury attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to help you with your case. Our team can give you candid legal advice, explore your legal options, and represent you in your pursuit of compensation.
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Ridesharing Companies Require Their Drivers to Have Their Own Insurance
Ridesharing app companies usually try to downplay their involvement whenever app users are injured during a trip with their contracted drivers. They limit their liability by hiring drivers as independent contractors and not employees.
An independent contractor exerts some independence over their work. For example, they may set their own hours and/or routes. The ridesharing company and driver have an agreement about the terms of the independent contractor/company relationship.
One of the conditions ridesharing companies set is that all their drivers must have personal car insurance policies that meet or exceed the established minimums set by the South Carolina Department of Insurance. However, these policies usually do not offer coverage if the driver is operating their vehicle for hire, such as ridesharing.
Because of this, Uber and Lyft offer liability coverage for their drivers, but with strict conditions for coverage. These conditions are:
Being engaged in active duty requires the driver to be logged onto the ridesharing app and actively taking on passenger rides. The company does not offer liability coverage if the driver was not logged in.
If the driver got into an accident while not logged onto the app, their personal policy would have to cover the damages. However, the driver’s personal insurer may decline to compensate for damages if it becomes known that the driver was actively working.
If an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident, your legal options may depend on whether they were on active duty. Both Uber and Lyft shield themselves from litigation by hiring their drivers as independent contractors. If the driver was ferrying you outside the app, you may have fewer options to pursue compensation.
If an Uber or Lyft driver was logged onto the ridesharing app but was not actively transporting a passenger, both companies offer liability coverage of up to $50,000 per person per accident, $100,000 total liability coverage, and $25,000 coverage for property damage.
Both Uber and Lyft provide up to $1,000,000 for liability coverage and property damage from the moment a rideshare driver accepts a ride request.
Understanding the intricacies of how insurance provisions might affect you after getting injured in a ridesharing accident can be difficult. A Mount Pleasant ridesharing accident attorney can help you better understand the law and insurance provisions relevant to your case. We can also help you file a claim after an Uber or Lyft car accident.
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What to Do After a Ridesharing Accident
If you were injured in a ridesharing accident, you might be wondering what you should do. The first step is to check if you got injured and call an ambulance to the accident scene if you or your driver got hurt. If you cannot move or make the call, ask someone else to call on your behalf.
After an accident, you might feel shaken up, confused, or even angry. This is a natural response. Take one minute to calm yourself before attempting to take any action. Even though you may not have been the driver involved in the accident, you, as a passenger, will still need to obtain both drivers’ licenses, insurance, and contact details in case you need to pursue compensation for damages later.
If there are eyewitnesses, ask for their contact details in case they are needed to testify regarding the events leading to the accident. If you have your cell phone or camera, try to take photos of the accident, vehicle damage, and your injuries. You can also record yourself stating the events of the accident.
Even if you do not think you got hurt, make a quick stop at a hospital just to be safe. Your injury symptoms may take time to manifest – even several days or weeks – and if you wait too long to seek medical attention, you might have a difficult time relating your injuries to the accident.
Finally, a personal injury attorney serving Mount Pleasant may help you at any stage after the accident. Our team may explain the legal options available to you. We can also represent you when meeting with the insurance company or at settlement meetings.
What Not to Do
Even if you are angry or frustrated after a crash, try to avoid antagonizing or quarreling with either driver. No good can come from exchanging words or blows at the accident site, as you are likely to aggravate your injuries. Remind yourself to remain calm and level-headed when speaking to the drivers to get their information.
Sometimes, insurance adjusters may reach out and ask for a recorded statement about the events leading to the accident and your injuries and damages. Try not to provide any recorded statements without getting legal representation first. Insurance adjusters do not work for your best interests. They may attempt to twist your words to get you to say things that serve their employer’s interests.
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Work With George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers on Your Case
Ridesharing accidents can be more complicated than other kinds of car accidents. There may be multiple parties at fault for the accident, and you may need to factor in which insurance policies might apply to your case, which may affect the legal avenues you have to pursue compensation.
If you or your loved one was injured in a ridesharing accident, you can hire one of our ridesharing accident lawyers in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Our team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may represent you in the litigation process. Call us or fill out our online contact form to speak with a team member in a free consultation.
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