Injuries While Using Rideshare Services

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According to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts publication, the average economic cost to employers for a nonfatal car accident injury is more than $78,000. Employers are not the only ones who lose, especially when a person is injured while using a rideshare service.

Companies such as Uber and Lyft have arrived on the scene at a great time for people to travel. These services are growing in popularity, especially in large cities. Providing transportation that is faster and less expensive than a taxi offers a convenience that many passengers cannot resist.

Generally, rideshare drivers must pass a security, driving and background check. This makes passengers feel secure – until an accident occurs.

Who Pays for the Injuries?

After an accident with a rideshare vehicle, questions may arise about who is responsible when the passenger gets hurt. Is it the passenger? The Uber or Lyft driver? Or, is it the insurance company? If so, which insurance company – the passenger’s, driver’s or rideshare service’s insurance?

The full answer usually comes after a claim is filed and debated. Safety and liability issues come to the forefront when a person is injured. As a result, there may be disputes between insurance companies about who is at-fault.

In the meantime, the injured passenger is trying to recover. They are dealing with pain and mounting expenses such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost wages

While rideshare services are similar to taxis, these companies are not subject to the same government or municipality regulations as taxi services. Instead, rules and standards that rideshare drivers must follow are set by the company.

Uber’s Answer to the Liability Question

According to Uber’s website, the company provides end-to-end insurance coverage. Yet, things remain unclear when someone who is not a passenger is injured from an accident caused by the driver. Uber carries a $1 million insurance policy to cover a driver’s liability in this types of situation.

Coverage applies from the moment a driver accepts a trip request until the ride is complete. Uber is also one of the first ridesharing services that includes $1 million for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

The policy kicks in even when the driver has personal insurance for his or her trips. In addition to uninsured/underinsured coverage, the company has also added contingent comprehensive and collision insurance coverage.

While this sounds like good news for people who use Uber, many grey areas still remain. The final outcome of who is liable is not determined easily.

Resolving the Liability Issue

Commercial insurance policies are designed for taxi services, but not for rideshare services. Even if the rideshare driver has personal auto insurance, it is unlikely that the policy is enough to cover the cost of physical injuries and damages. A typical personal auto policy does not cover commercial rides.

Anyone injured while using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft should collect the same information that would apply after an accident with another driver. Information includes:

  • Identity of the driver
  • Rideshare service
  • Insurance policy
  • Pictures of injuries and/or damages

Successful navigation of the claims process improves with the help of an experienced Memphis TN personal injury lawyer. Anyone injured from an accident while using rideshare services might be entitled to compensation. Our law firm may be able to help you receive an award for medical care, property damage, lost wages and any other expense related to the accident.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wiseman Bray PLLC for their insight into personal injury practice.

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