Ridesharing has become increasingly popular in the United States due to its convenience and affordable prices. In 2018, an estimated 36 percent of Americans used ridesharing, which was an increase from 15 percent in 2017. An additional reason ridesharing has skyrocketed is because it can reduce the risk of car accidents caused by drunk drivers and other unsafe motorists. However, rideshare drivers can still be involved in accidents caused by themselves or other drivers. If you were the victim of an automobile crash involving a rideshare driver, you may be eligible for compensation. To determine if you have enough evidence to build a case, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney.
Do Ridesharing Services Carry Insurance?
Public transportation services, including taxis and limousines, must carry insurance. Since ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are considered public transportation services, they too must have insurance. The difference between ridesharing providers and other forms of public transportation is that rideshare drivers use their own vehicles as opposed to one owned by the company. Rideshare drivers are not considered employees of the parent company; instead, they are treated as independent contractors.
In Wisconsin, auto insurance is required for all vehicles, which means that all rideshare drivers should have insurance. Rideshare companies, including Uber and Lyft, also carry insurance coverage for their drivers, but there are limitations to these policies.
When Are Rideshare Car Accident Victims Covered by Insurance?
The answer to this question depends on whether the rideshare driver was carrying passengers at the time of the accident. According to Uber’s policies, for example, the company’s insurance will only be in effect when there is a passenger in the car. In other words, if you are hit by an Uber driver who is not carrying a passenger or using their app, only the driver’s personal car insurance policy will be in effect.
Accidents involving ridesharing may become more complicated if there were no passengers on board, but the driver was en route to pick someone up. In these cases, an insurance company may attempt to deny a claim on the grounds that the driver did not have passengers at the time of the collision.
What Victims Need to Do After a Car Accident With a Rideshare Driver
Car accident victims may be entitled to compensation if the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the rideshare driver. After an accident, victims should:
- Call 911
- Take photographs of the accident scene, including the victim’s own car and the rideshare driver’s car
- Seek legal counsel. An attorney can ensure that available witnesses are interviewed and take their statements.
Victims should also report any injuries (even minor bruises or lacerations) and receive prompt medical attention. After a medical visit, it is important to retain all records and bills associated with the crash. In the event of delayed symptoms, a log should be kept of any ongoing injuries and treatment that is required.
Contact an Appleton Car Accident Lawyer
Ridesharing accidents can be very complex, since multiple insurance agencies may be involved. As in all other car accidents, there is a statute of limitations for filing a claim, so you should obtain legal counsel. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we can speak to insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate a settlement that will meet your needs, or we can assist in pursuing a claim that will allow you to recover compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call our Green Bay personal injury attorneys today at 920-739-7366.