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Who Pays for Damages in a Rideshare Accident?

February 26, 2020

Consumers in need of safe transportation regularly count on Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services. However, rideshare passengers rarely consider what to do in the case of a car accident. Who pays for their medical bills if they get hurt? How do they recoup damages for personal items?

The answers to these and other questions can get a bit complicated for people who get hurt in Virginia due to state laws.

How Virginia Looks at Fault in an Auto Accident

Virginia follows the rule of contributory negligence when determining the at-fault driver. Under state law, if someone filing a personal injury lawsuit happens to be even one percent negligent, that person legally contributed to the accident. In other words, the person will get nothing from the courts in terms of damages.

To be sure, the rule of contributory negligence does not necessarily affect most rideshare passengers. Most passengers involved in rideshare crashes are innocent victims. Nonetheless, if a rideshare passenger did something that contributed to the crash, such as grabbing the wheel or distracting the driver, the passenger might be denied damages.

Which Auto Insurance Will Cover Passenger Bills and Damages?

Not all rideshare accidents end up in the court system, of course. Instead, they are settled by insurance providers. However, passengers hurt in crashes may not know which insurance company will cover their bills; the answer depends on the circumstances of the incident as well as the relationship between rideshare drivers and the apps they serve.

Rideshare drivers are not employees of the companies they drive for, so they must maintain their own car insurance. In Virginia, all drivers must hold updated insurance coverage in the amounts of $50,000 for bodily injury for each incident, $25,000 for bodily injury for each person who is hurt, and $20,000 for property damage. Rideshare drivers have an additional layer of protection too. Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft carry commercial coverage. This coverage initiates when the driver is engaged in work for the rideshare app and an accident occurs.

What happens if the rideshare driver did not cause the crash? If the other driver is deemed responsible, passengers may attempt to recover damages from that party’s insurance provider. If the negligent driver is underinsured or holds no insurance, the rideshare company’s insurance may still cover some or all damages. However, insurance providers will rarely offer this type of assistance upfront because their goal is to pay as little as possible per event.

How Can Victims Negotiate with Insurance Providers After a Rideshare Crash?

Being in any kind of car crash causes emotions to run high. Quite often, medical bills run high too. Rideshare passengers who experience significant trauma may not want to negotiate with insurance providers alone. Trained lawyers familiar with the needs of rideshare accident victims and their families can assist in getting fair settlements so their injured clients can focus on treatment.

Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Represent All Rideshare Accident Victims

Did you get into a car accident as a rideshare passenger? If so, it is essential to speak to one of our experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyers to obtain legal counsel. Car accidents can be stressful and costly. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will determine who is responsible for your accident and will help you get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering and other losses. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we also serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.

Areas We Serve

Our law firm proudly serves clients injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina on personal injury claims, including cases with traumatic brain injury, spinal and neck injury, wrongful death, and more serious injuries. As Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys with many years experience, our team of lawyers will be ready to fight for you. If you were injured on the job, our Virginia Beach Workers Compensation lawyers are ready to serve you.

Call 757-352-2237 or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation about your personal injury, workers compensation, or other attorney services. Our firm adopts a team approach to every case, so while one primary lawyer will be assigned to your case, you have the benefit of an experienced team of lawyers, all working on your side. We are located in Virginia Beach, VA, and serve clients who were injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina.

301 Bendix Road, Suite 460
Virginia Beach VA 23452
Ph: 757-352-2237 | Fax: 757-994-8910