The convenience brought about by ridesharing apps cannot be overstated. Gone are the days of hailing a taxi on the road or waiting on a bus.
Unfortunately, apps such as Uber and Lyft have also introduced a whole set of new problems that are hard to ignore as riders.
First, there is the justified argument that overreliance on smartphones by Uber drivers increases the chances of causing an accident. The next is what legal steps one should take if they are injured in such a car crash. Whom do you sue for compensation? Do Uber or Lyft come into the picture?
Let’s discuss the nature of ridesharing accidents and how to maximize your compensation as the victim.
Are Ridesharing Accidents Difficult to Resolve?
Contrary to popular belief, ridesharing accidents are not hard to resolve. However, they are slightly different from typical personal car accident lawsuits for the following reasons:
You will be dealing with multiple parties, which can prolong the compensation process.
To start with, your insurance company might owe you personal injury compensation depending on your coverage. Next, you are required to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company, and lastly, Uber’s insurer.
Unfortunately, the personal car insurance coverage purchased by most ridesharing drivers do not come with commercial use protection, leaving you with only a few contested options.
Uber, Lyft, and the like have a cap on their compensation amount, depending on the driver’s activity on the app when the accident occurred.
This is how it goes: If the driver was not logged into the app, Uber is not liable for the accident. If the driver is using the app but has no accepted rides, the compensation is lower than the full amount given when the driver is en route to pick a rider or when the latter is onboard.
Ridesharing is a relatively new technology and lawmakers are still trying to draft concrete laws on how to handle accident lawsuits.
Recently, California passed a labor law that refers to ridesharing drivers as employees, as opposed to contractors.
Finally, the entire process might seem complicated if you approach it without a legal professional on your side.
With developing laws and multiple insurance companies you’ll have to deal with, a Riverside car accident lawyer is what you need to get your deserved compensation. An attorney can also investigate to bring more evidence, such as proving that the company did not conduct a proper background check on the driver.
How to Maximize Your Compensation
That being said, ridesharing companies are required by law to have $1M in financial liability, in the event of an accident. If you have been injured or suffered other damages in an Uber accident, here’s how to maximize your compensation:
At the scene, report the accident to the ridesharing company through their app.
If you are another driver, you can take a screenshot of the location to prove that the Uber driver was en route with a passenger. Remember to take photographs or video footage of the scene, as well as any willing witness statements.
Obtain a police report from the officer who responds to the scene.
This might make you remember important details of the accident and even mention the party at fault.
Seek medical help immediately after the accident and keep all the medical bills and records.
Your attorney will use this as proof for your compensatory damages.
Do not accept any offers presented to you by either of the parties without an attorney by your side.
The insurance company might try to get over and done with your case by offering an amount that is way lower than your total damages. Ensure that all communication happens with your car accident lawyer present.