With so many ridesharing drivers like Lyft and Uber on the roads and highways of Washington
State, there are bound to be dozens, if not hundreds, of Uber or Lyft car crashes each year.
Being injured as a rideshare passenger can be a complicated matter. If you were hurt in such an accident, the best course of action you can take is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help. An injury lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and maximize the compensation you deserve.
How do Rideshare Services Differ from Taxi Cabs?
Rideshare services offer car transport services as an alternative to taxis, cabs, and limos.
While taxi users hail a car for hire on the street or call the company dispatcher to order a cab, rideshare customers must download a specific app to their smartphone to take advantage of the service. Rideshare drivers use the same app on their phones to communicate with customers.
Once the rideshare driver and customer connect (via the app), they work out all travel arrangements. This includes the location the driver will pick a customer up and where the driver will drop the customer off. The cost of these services will vary depending on:
- The location where the service is requested,
- The demand for rides, and
- The location where a customer wishes to go.
How Does Compensation Work in Rideshare Cases?
Rideshare service companies do provide their drivers with company sponsored insurance policies. Further, rideshare drivers typically have their own insurance policy. This means that if an Uber or Lyft car was in an accident, and either the passenger in the car or the driver of another car was injured in the collision, then the victim can file a claim with either:
- The company’s insurer, or
- The insurer of the person driving the rideshare car.
The answer of which one applies depends on when an accident occurs.
There are four main periods when a rideshare accident can take place:
- Period 0 – The time period when a rideshare driver hasn’t logged into their rideshare related app and isn’t looking for customers.
- Period 1 – The time when the driver is logged into their app but hasn’t located or found a customer to transport.
- Period 2 – The time frame when a driver has accepted a customer but hasn’t picked that person up yet.
- Period 3 – The time when a customer is in the rideshare car, from the moment of pick-up to drop-off.
Compensation During Period 0
When drivers aren’t logged into their rideshare app, they’re not technically commercial drivers. They are driving for their own personal use. This means if a person is injured in a collision caused by an Uber or Lyft driver during period 0, the party cannot file a claim under the Rideshare company’s policy. Rather, the driver files a claim under the at-fault driver’s personal insurance policy.
Compensation During Period 1
Once logged into their rideshare app, drivers are operating their vehicles for commercial purposes. If the driver injures another motorist during this time, the victim first files a claim with the at-fault driver’s policy and then with the rideshare company’s insurer.
Compensation During Periods 2 and 3
Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage in these time periods in the amount of $1 million. However, the coverage only kicks in after an injured person files a claim with the Uber/Lyft driver’s own insurance. These rules mean that if a rideshare driver injures a passenger or motorist, the victim first files a claim under the at-fault driver’s policy. If the driver doesn’t have insurance, or if the amount of a person’s damages are above the driver’s policy limits, the victim can file a claim with the rideshare company.
Rideshare accident cases can grow quite complex. It is critical that persons injured in these cases contact an experienced injury attorney for help. The lawyers at Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC have the skill and strength that makes all the differences in rideshare matters. The attorneys at our firm have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal assistance you deserve.