Usually, when you are involved in a car accident where the other driver is at fault, you can work alone or with a lawyer to collect payment from the other driver’s insurance. In cases where the other driver works for a trucking or transportation company and is on duty, you generally deal with the company and their insurance company directly.
However, when it comes to ride-sharing services, settling an accident case is a bit trickier. Due to the way that companies such as Lyft and Uber operate, it can be challenging to know who to deal with and is dependent upon the state in which the accident occurred. Here are some things to keep in mind if you need to know who is liable in a ride-sharing accident.
Drivers for Ridesharing Companies are Self-Employed
The main reason ridesharing accidents are different from other automobile accident cases is that ridesharing drivers are not technically employees of these companies. Drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft are independent contractors, which means that they technically work in collaboration with the company rather than working for the company.
This arrangement means that the driver is responsible for his/her actions while driving, and the company is not liable for accidents. It is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to sue the ridesharing company for the actions of the driver.
People who drive for ridesharing companies are personally liable for their actions, which means that they have to carry their own insurance to make sure they are covered in the event of an accident. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the ridesharing company is completely off the hook in the event of an accident.
What Role Does the Insurance Company Play?
In many cases, when someone does work for Uber or Lyft, they won’t be able to depend solely on their personal car insurance to cover them if they get into an accident. Special insurance is necessary, and some drivers get a rider on their current policy so that they are covered while they’re performing ridesharing duties. Uber requires drivers to have the proper insurance before they can officially become Uber drivers.
Many ridesharing companies also have supplemental insurance in the event that the driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover accident claims. The policies are often good for up to $1 million in coverage. This means there’s a limit to how much money an accident victim can recover if they are involved in a rideshare accident. Any damages beyond the amount covered by insurance can only be recovered by suing the driver directly.
If you’re the accident victim, you can’t go directly to a ridesharing company to collect compensation higher than the number of the company’s insurance policies. More than likely, the driver at fault won’t have the assets to cover the judgment in the accident case. A large verdict usually means the driver could seek bankruptcy protection.
You’ll also have to deal with the ridesharing driver’s insurance company, which can present even more challenges in your case. Insurance companies often do all they can to pay as little as possible by manipulating people who don’t know how much their case is worth.
With ridesharing accidents on the rise, dedicated attorneys offer legal support to victims. If you’re trying to deal with an insurance company that won’t provide details concerning the offending driver’s status, you should hire an attorney who specializes in ridesharing accidents. Your lawyer will have extensive experience when it comes to negotiating with the insurance company and increase the chances that you are properly compensated for damage and injuries.