Accidents involving ridesharing vehicles can be complex depending on the accident’s circumstances. If you’re considering filing a claim after an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, a number of insurance considerations could determine who you file the claim against and the compensation limits of your claim.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a ridesharing vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Our North Charleston ridesharing accident lawyer can help you evaluate your case specifics and advise you regarding how to take action.
Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers at (843) 628-0100 to schedule a free case evaluation.
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Causes of Accidents with Ridesharing Vehicles in South Carolina
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report shows that an estimated 36,120 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019. The causes of ridesharing accidents are not unique to ridesharing apps. Many accidents may be caused by preventable driver errors including:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Disobeying traffic signs and rules
- Aggressive driving
However, there may be some factors unique to accidents caused by rideshare drivers, such as:
- Working for long hours – ridesharing companies may regulate the number of hours a driver can work in one shift, however, some drivers may violate these regulations
- Speeding – to increase the value of each trip, a driver may speed or show other signs of negligent driving
- Recklessness – for instance, driving on dangerous road conditions without proper caution
If your rideshare driver displayed these or other forms of negligence, you can give this information to your lawyer to help build your case.
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Liability for Car Accidents Involving Ridesharing Vehicles
With all accidents, South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible if a car accident occurs. However, in a rideshare accident, several factors may determine whether the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage or the rideshare company’s auto insurance coverage may apply.
You can be a victim of ridesharing accidents in four common ways:
- As a passenger when your rideshare driver is at-fault
- As a passenger when your rideshare driver is not at-fault
- As a driver in an accident caused by a rideshare driver
- As a driver or passenger in an accident with a rideshare driver caused by defective maintenance or a defective car part
As mentioned, these several car accident circumstances open up complex legal issues, and our personal injury lawyer serving North Charleston can guide you on how to proceed. Contact a North Charleston ridesharing accident lawyer from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers at (843) 628-0100 to schedule your free case evaluation appointment.
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Insurance Coverages When a Ridesharing Driver Is At-Fault
After a car accident involving a ridesharing app, the first step should be to determine what insurance coverages may apply for your accident. While you may be able to sue Uber or Lyft directly, it is more likely that you will have to seek other routes to pursue your losses. Drivers who operate through the Uber and Lyft service work as independent contractors, not as employees, which creates unique conditions for liability.
However, Uber and Lyft drivers should be protected by a number of insurance coverages that could be applicable, depending on the situation of your accident.
Uber and Lyft require the drivers they contract to carry their own personal insurance, which includes minimum personal injury and property damage liability coverage. The South Carolina Department of Insurance requires all drivers:
- $25,000 for each person’s bodily injuries and up to $50,000 for all victims
- $25,000 for property damage
- Uninsured motorist coverage amounting to the above limits
However, the driver’s personal insurance coverage will only apply in the event that the driver caused an accident while they were off-duty.
If the driver was actively on duty–if you were a passenger in an active ride or were driving during an accident with an active duty Lyft or Uber driver–it is likely that insurance coverage provided by Lyft or Uber will apply. Insurance coverage from Uber and Lyft will only apply if the driver was logged into the app at the time of the accident.
If the driver was logged into the app and was providing a ride, both Uber and Lyft’s insurance will apply with coverage up to the following limits:
- $1,000,000 liability coverage for a third party
- Uninsured motorist coverage
If the Uber or Lyft driver caused an accident when they are waiting for a ride but not actively shuttling a passenger, Uber and Lyft’s insurance can cover an accident up to the following limits:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury for each accident
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Ridesharing Driver Not At-Fault
If you were a passenger of a ridesharing driver who was not at fault for the accident, your lawyer can help you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Once you demonstrate the other driver’s negligence and fault for the accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses, depending on the specifics of the case.
If it is determined that the accident happened due to a defective product, we can help you bring a product liability suit against the product manufacturer. You may also be able to file a claim against the service shop or mechanic if poor quality parts or poor maintenance led to the crash.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you were injured as a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle or had a crash with a ridesharing vehicle, it can be important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. If you were able to collect the ridesharing vehicle driver’s details, including their insurance information, your lawyer can further investigate this information. When you contact a North Charleston ridesharing accident lawyer, we can guide you on the steps you can take to protect your rights.
Remember that in the state of South Carolina, you have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to South Carolina (S.C.) Ann. Code § 15-3-530.
Our personal injury lawyers serving North Charleston understand the complex circumstances and legal issues presented by ridesharing accident scenarios. Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers at (843) 628-0100 to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today.
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