By Bretton Love
Are rideshare services a safer choice for travelers? Are you safer with such services than travelers who use buses, trains, and other means of transport? You probably want to believe that you’re immune to accidents when using these services, but ‘safety’ is a relative term.
Sure, the substantial growth of the ridesharing industry means new professional and financial opportunities for most people. Also, it means an increase in other issues not previously considered in terms of road transportation. Prior to the advent and growth of ridesharing economy, if you require a ride, you could get a taxi or any other paid form of transportation. Sometimes, you could request a family member or a friend to drive you. Today, rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber have blurred these lines.
These services are convenient but risky. If you get injured as a passenger in an accident involving Lyft or Uber-affiliated vehicle, you will need to get compensated for your injuries and other damages. This is said than done. Remember, financial responsibility could be linked to the at-fault driver’s insurance service provider – whether it’s the Uber or Lyft’s driver or the other driver involved in the crash. The financial responsibility could also befall the Lyft or Uber’s own vehicle insurance coverage.
If you are a passenger in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber-affiliated vehicle
Generally, rideshare crashes are scary and are likely to raise many questions. Who’s responsible for the accident? Whose insurance service provider should pay your medical expenses if you’re a passenger? What happens if you will never be able to work again? Before you hop into an Uber or Lyft-affiliated car, here are a few things you should know.
- These vehicle crashes are rarely the passenger’s fault.
- Some drivers may not want to report the crash to the rideshare company. This is because drivers who cause accidents are likely to get suspended. That means loss of your income.
- You should call the police immediately. The officers can facilitate easy exchange of drivers’ details, analyze the accident scene, and create an accurate police report.
- If you’re still conscious and can use your smartphone, report the crash to the ridesharing company immediately.
- Document the accident scene as much as you can. Use your phone to take photographs and videos of the damage to vehicles and the entire crash scene.
Both Lyft and Uber have a way for passengers to report crashes via their apps and websites. Keep in mind that all rideshare companies are for-profit-organizations and won’t necessarily act in your best interest. Therefore, you should consult with an experienced Uber or Lyft accident lawyer in Los Angeles to know what’s best for you.
Whose insurance coverage applies?
The Lyft or Uber driver’s vehicle insurance coverage is likely to apply in payment of medical bills and compensation for the passenger. In some cases, the driver may have a personal vehicle insurance policy with some kind of special provision regarding being covered while using the vehicle for ridesharing reasons. If such a driver is involved in an accident, this insurance coverage might apply to the passenger’s injuries.
However, if the rideshare driver doesn’t have a commercial insurance cover or any form of personal insurance policy with some form commercial aspect, the ridesharing company’s insurance cover will apply. Lyft and Uber have a third party liability cover that pays a maximum of $1 million for property damage and personal injuries.
This policy will only kick in after all the driver’s insurance policies have been exhausted. As a passenger, you are covered under this third party insurance policy if the rideshare driver was at fault for the crash that directly caused your injuries.
Lawsuits involving Lyft and Uber-affiliated vehicle crashes become more complicated when the ridesharing driver wasn’t to blame for the accident, and the other driver didn’t have sufficient insurance cover. Besides, filing a personal injury case, gathering all relevant details, and making sure that you get the right amount of compensation isn’t a walk in the park.
As much as Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services create convenience and comfort while traveling, these vehicles are prone to accidents, just like all other vehicles. And you need a good lawyer to help you figure out the best course of action if you have been involved in these accidents.