When you book a rideshare service, whether it's an Uber, Lyft, or another app, you expect the driver to be cautious and for the vehicle to be safe. However, rideshare drivers and their passengers are just as likely to be involved in an auto accident as regular cars, if not more so.
When these accidents happen and injuries result, victims are likely to wonder who can help cover the costs stemming from such rideshare accidents.
The damages suffered by victims of rideshare accidents are often covered by insurance policies. Yet, getting a payout from the policies can be incredibly complicated and time-consuming.
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Most users of rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft are made to 'sign' user agreements before they can ever use the service. These legal contracts are lengthy and complicated, so it's no surprise that most users glaze over them and simply agree to move forward.
However, if users took the time to go through the fine print, they'd learn that most if not all active rides on Uber and Lyft are covered by a $1 million dollar insurance policy. That is $1 million in maximum coverage and not $1 million in guaranteed compensation for the passenger or driver, just to be clear.
At first, these policies can seem generous and confidence-inspiring. Indeed, $1 million dollars can go very far when it comes to treating the majority of injuries resulting from a car accident. Yet it is ultimately a private insurance business that is responsible for paying out this amount, and they are likely to do everything in their power to decrease the amount of money they pay for each claim.
Insurance providers will arm themselves with experienced attorneys who know how to argue in court against damages. They will try to place the blame on others and perhaps even claim that some or all of a victim's physical injuries were from pre-existing conditions.
Fortunately, victims can themselves seek out powerful legal professionals who will stand up for their rights and fight for the maximum compensation given the damages suffered. The Maryland Injury Guys are here to do just that - to make sure that rideshare accident victims are taken care of.
The type of rideshare accident you are involved in will determine the legal avenue through which you are able to seek compensation for your damages. More specifically, it will determine which insurance provider is liable for your damages and how much you may receive by filing a rideshare injury claim. Here are some examples.
If you are the passenger in a rideshare vehicle and the vehicle is involved in an auto accident, you will likely be covered by the broad insurance policy that covers all active riders. This is true even if your driver was at fault for the accident. Once more, there are likely legal loopholes and lengthy claims processes to undergo before benefits are paid out, so it's always advised to seek an attorney to defend you.
If another driver was the cause of an accident while you were riding in an Uber or Lyft, then it's likely for that driver's auto insurance policy to come into play. However, normal auto insurance policies are much less (in dollar value) than the rideshare $1 million policy, so it's possible that you will have to file claims to both policies to cover your damages. Of course, this depends on the extent of your injuries and necessary medical treatment.
If you are driving your own personal vehicle and you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft and the rideshare driver is at fault, then it's likely that the rideshare driver's auto insurance policy will be liable for damages. As mentioned in the previous scenario, regular auto insurance policies are often insufficient to cover all damages, so hiring a rideshare accident lawyer is recommended to help you get the maximum compensation from all possible sources.
If an Uber or Lyft driver is carrying out a ride and they strike you, a pedestrian, with their vehicle, you likely can make a claim to the $1 million policy. If the driver is not on duty, then the potential for compensation will likely be significantly less.
Since Uber and Lyft drivers are generally considered independent contractors, then rideshare accident victims usually cannot file a lawsuit against the company in search of compensation for damages.
Nevertheless, this contractor status is currently being litigated in courts throughout the country. Most notably, California recently recategorized Uber & Lyft drivers as employees before the ruling was overturned. In summation, depending on when your accident took place, it's possible to hold the private entity itself responsible for damages suffered.
Without considering the categorization of the driver, it's also worth mentioning that Uber & Lyft have previously settled cases in which passengers were alleged to have been sexually abused or otherwise assaulted by their drivers. This seems to point to the fact that the companies are willing to take some responsibility for injuries suffered by riders, even when the law nor the user agreements indicate that they should.
There is no explicit requirement for persons involved in a rideshare accident to hire an attorney to represent them. However, having a legal representative by your side through these kinds of legal proceedings is always recommended.
Legal processes such as the filing of insurance claims tend to penalize individuals for seemingly minimal mistakes, even when their filing is completely justified. And, as previously mentioned, insurance companies are likely to fight back against claims in order to reduce or deny them.
By hiring a rideshare injury lawyer, victims have increased chances of having not only a successful claim but one that achieves the maximum compensation possible given the circumstances.