Ridesharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, have become very convenient and accessible methods of transportation. Individuals no longer have to own a car or utilize public transportation to get around town.
While these services do have their benefits, such as providing a safer mode of transportation for those who have been drinking, they also have their downsides and risks. One of the major causes of concern is your driver’s ability to adequately operate their vehicle. While you can generally assume that the driver will have your safety as a top priority, there are instances where unsafe driving behaviors can lead to them becoming involved in an accident.
In the event that you are involved in an accident while using a rideshare service, it is crucial to know what rights you have as a passenger and what actions you can take in order to get properly compensated for any injuries and damages you have suffered.
The McAllen car accident lawyers of J.Gonzalez Injury Attorneys have created a guide for victims of rideshare accidents in Texas.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Rideshare Accident?
Determining liability in a rideshare accident depends on the specifics of the accident.
For instance, if your rideshare driver was the one who caused the accident, the rideshare company will most likely be liable for the accident. However, the rideshare will only cover the cost of your damages, if and only, the rideshare driver was actually on-the-clock (online).
If they are officially driving as a contractor at the time of the accident, then you will make a claim against the company rather than against the driver.
One of the only instances you can seek legal action against a rideshare driver is if you are hit by them when they are not online at the time of the accident and not performing any job-related duties.
Working closely with a local car accident attorney will help you to determine exactly who is liable for any damages you have suffered.
What Texas Law Says Regarding Ridesharing Services
Under Texas state law, Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare company must provide their contract drivers with 50/100/25 insurance coverage when the app is on but they are not providing a ride. This means that coverage will provide up to $50,000 per person injured for a total up to $100,000 per crash, as well as $25,000 in property damage per accident.
Coverage must increase to $1 million when the driver is providing a ride.
What Insurance Policies Do These Ridesharing Companies Have?
While every ridesharing company has its own specific policies regarding accidents and insurance policies, those of Uber and Lyft are especially worth taking note of.
Uber’s Insurance Policy
Uber will be held liable for an accident only IF the accident occurred while their contract driver was providing services. If an accident occurred while a ride was active, the company will provide up to $1 million worth of coverage.
However, if a driver is online (has the app on) but is waiting to be paired with a user, and gets involved in an accident, Uber’s insurance policy will provide:
$50,000 per person involved
$100,000 max in bodily injury coverage
$25,000 property damage
Lyft’s Insurance Policy
Lyft will be held liable for an accident only IF a rider was inside one of their vehicles and their driver directly caused the crash. If a driver is online and waiting to pick up a user, unlike Uber’s policy, a driver will need to use their own insurance to cover damages suffered by any party.
Lyft will only cover a driver’s damages if their own insurance policy does not cover the damages inflicted.
What to Do in the Event of a Rideshare Accident
If you are involved in an accident while using a rideshare service, there are several steps you will want to take:
- Seek medical attention immediately: It is crucial to get a medical evaluation as soon as you possibly can following the accident. While you may not immediately feel the effects of an injury, severe injuries such as a spinal cord or head injury can take hours or even days after an accident to be fully felt.
- Call 911 and inform the authorities: Inform the appropriate authorities about the incident. Let the police know exactly what happened before and during the accident.
- Gather as much evidence as possible: When filing a claim against either a driver or a ridesharing company, it is vital to gather as much relevant documentation and evidence as possible in order to build the strongest case on your end.
Some examples of key documentation and pieces of evidence you should gather include but are not limited:
- All photographs and video footage that tie into the accident; highlight physical injuries, vehicle damages, and the scene of the accident.
- The rideshare driver’s or the at-fault party’s full name, phone number, insurance information, and vehicle’s license plate number.
- The official police and the incident report once it becomes available.
- All medical receipts, doctor’s notes, prescriptions, and treatment documentation.
- Consult with an experienced car accident attorney, such as the McAllen car accident attorneys at J.Gonzalez Injury Attorneys as soon as you possibly can. Do NOT give any verbal or written statements to any insurance company before you consult an attorney.
Reliable McAllen Car Accident Attorneys You Can Depend On
If your rideshare driver acted in a negligent manner that led to a severe car accident, do not hesitate to get in touch with J.Gonzalez Injury Attorneys as soon as you possibly can.
Our attorneys will fight tooth-and-nail to seek the proper settlement you deserve for all of the injuries and trauma you have suffered as a result of your accident. We will seek justice on your behalf against the negligent parties responsible for your pain and suffering.