Ridesharing Accidents and Liability
Ridesharing refers to the use of mobile apps that organize drivers for transportation purposes. Sometimes called ride hailing or ride sourcing services, these apps connect drivers with passengers looking for a ride and have quickly become strong competition to traditional taxi businesses. If you are injured in an accident while using a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft, liability is much more complicated. In this case, it is best to speak to a qualified lawyer about compensation for your personal injuries.
Driver Competency and Safety
From the beginning of the ridesharing revolution, driver competency has been at the center of complaints against these companies. Although ridesharing companies screen their drivers and perform background checks for driving violations, impaired driving, and violent crime, they are generally not subject to the same kind of regulations and standards as traditional taxi companies. Additionally, some drivers are independent contractors, not employees, so when a driver has an accident that causes injuries, companies are quick to distance themselves from any responsibility.
Risks of Ridesharing
Passengers should be aware of the risks involved while using a ridesharing service. An accident caused by a negligent rideshare driver could result in injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
Unfortunately, there have been incidences of passengers being assaulted by drivers, leading ridesharing companies to introduce emergency help services within their apps. Users should know that other passengers have experienced:
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault and rape
Who Is Liable?
The laws governing ridesharing companies differ from state to state, and company policies are constantly changing. Even when a company’s policy accepts liability for car accidents that happen under specific conditions, they will often try to avoid paying compensation to injured accident victims. Currently, company policies differentiate between three levels of coverage depending on whether the driver was actively working at the time of the accident:
- If the driver’s app is off, the driver is personally liable under their own car insurance.
- If the app is on and the driver is waiting for customers but not driving, then liability under Uber and Lyft policies are limited to $25,000 for property damage and $50,000 for bodily injury liability per person, per accident; it is not to exceed $100,000. Sometimes, limits are higher when mandated by state law.
- If the app is on and the driver is already transporting a customer or en route to pick one up, then Uber and Lyft will provide insurance that covers $1 million in liabilities. They also have insurance that covers uninsured or underinsured motorists.
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
If you were injured in a ridesharing accident caused by the negligence of the driver, you may be eligible for compensation that covers your medical care, medications, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you could file a claim for wrongful death. However, determining liability for a ridesharing accident is complicated, and inevitably, the parties involved will try to shift responsibility to avoid paying. It is important to note that Virginia also has a statute of limitations for filing a claim. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. Working with a skilled personal injury lawyer can help ensure that your claim will be successful and that it will be filed in a timely manner.
Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyers Represent Riders Injured in Ridesharing Accidents
If you were injured while using a ridesharing service, you may be eligible to collect compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and for your pain and suffering. Ridesharing accidents can be complicated, so it is best to speak to an experienced lawyer about your options. Our knowledgeable Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers will guide you through the legal process of filing a claim and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we pride ourselves in helping all car accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we also proudly serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.