Rideshare apps have changed the way the world travels, both in short commutes within communities and while vacationing or traveling for business. A ride in a private vehicle to your destination is now only an app swipe away, with no worries about bus schedules or expensive cabs. But along with the rise of the rideshare business has come a 3% rise in overall traffic accidents in the United States. Not only do rideshare drivers frequently speed to maximize the amount of money they make per shift, but they’re sometimes distracted by their rideshare apps during the journey. Rideshare drivers also typically cruise the roads while awaiting their next booking, adding to overall traffic congestion.
Accidents are traumatic and painful. The aftermath of an accident quickly becomes even more distressing when it’s time to make a claim for damages. The complex insurance system used by rideshare drivers is challenging to navigate. What you do during the initial moments and early days after a rideshare accident can help streamline the process of recovering your damages.
Protecting Yourself After a Rideshare Accident
It’s difficult to think clearly if you’ve been hurt in an accident, but if you can safely use your cell phone, or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you, it can become an important tool for your eventual recovery. Use your phone for the following important steps:
- Call 911 to report the accident
- Use the in-app emergency feature to notify the rideshare company of your accident
- Take photos of the damaged vehicle, the accident scene, and any visible injuries
- Add the contact information of any other involved drivers and any eyewitnesses
- Record a brief statement about what you remember about the accident while it’s fresh in your mind
Either accept a ride to the hospital with emergency services or go to an ER as soon as you’re cleared to leave the accident scene. Ask for a detailed medical report of your injuries with your doctor’s treatment recommendations and your prognosis. Keep copies of all medical bills and accident-related expenses. Obtain a copy of the police report and contact an attorney before speaking to insurance company representatives.
Navigating the Rideshare Insurance System
After a rideshare accident, whether you were a passenger in the rideshare vehicle or driving a car that collided with a rideshare car, your attorney’s investigation must determine which insurance coverage was in place at the time the accident occurred. Rideshare companies protect themselves from direct liability by maintaining their status as app-only providers who serve to link independent contractors to passengers. However, they require drivers to carry special insurance with a tiered coverage plan. The amount of compensation available depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident, following the structure below:
- If the driver was using their vehicle for personal reasons, their private auto insurance coverage is in place
- If the driver’s app was turned on and they were on the job and awaiting a booking, their rideshare insurance provides up to $50,000 in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
- If the driver has a passenger booked, is on the way to a pick-up location, and throughout the journey with the passenger, the top-tier coverage takes effect with up to $1 million in personal injury and property damage coverage
Documenting the accident through your photos and records helps your attorney to prove liability and maximize the compensation you receive for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How Your Accident Attorney Helps After a Rideshare Accident
Determining liability after a rideshare accident and navigating the multi-tiered rideshare insurance coverage structure can be challenging. It’s important to conduct an investigation into all aspects of the accident to identify the liable party. Fault for the accident could lie with the rideshare driver, a third-party driver, a negligent road maintenance agency, or the manufacturer of a defective auto part. Proving liability requires demonstrating that the party at fault owed a duty of reasonable care to others on the road to prevent injury, that they breached their duty by acting negligently, that the negligent breach of care directly caused the injury, and that you’ve suffered significant damages from the injury.
At Gray & White Law, we are dedicated to helping you navigate the aftermath of a rideshare accident with confidence. We understand the challenges you face, and we’re here to fight for your rights and advocate for the compensation you deserve. Contact our Louisville rideshare accident attorney for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can assist you during this challenging time.