In recent years, rideshare companies have become very popular. These rideshare companies have done two main things: (1) provided drivers with a source of income and (2) provided passengers with an alternative method of transportation. Although the rideshare industry is booming, there are constantly issues that bring a negative light to these popular rideshare companies.
What are these issues? The two most popular rideshare companies that are currently operating are constantly involved in auto accidents—resulting in both their drivers and passengers suffering a series of injuries and even losing their lives. Because rideshare accidents are fairly recent occurrences, the parties involved often do not know anything about their rights.
When compared to regular auto accidents, rideshare accidents can seem to be very complicated. Consider the following points:
Normal auto accidents can lead to claims against the liable party’s insurance company.
Rideshare auto accidents can lead to claims against the liable party’s insurance company.
Rideshare auto accidents can lead to claims against the rideshare company’s insurance.
“Many victims of rideshare accidents mistakenly believe that they could handle rideshare accidents like any other auto accident,” says Daniel Azizi—personal injury lawyer at Downtown L.A. Law Group. “However, making the assumption that rideshare accidents are equal to typical car accidents is just wrong. Those injured in rideshare accidents can recover up to $1 million dollars, which is the insurance company that these rideshare giants typically carry.”
Without a doubt, a rideshare accident—under very specific circumstances—could represent a significant amount of money for the parties involved. However, in many cases, the parties involved in these rideshare accidents do not have even the remotest idea of their rights after rideshare accidents, or of the possibility of being eligible to receive a large settlement for their injuries.
The most important thing that you should remember is the following: you have the right to file an injury claim if you were involved in a rideshare accident that harmed you in any way. Without a doubt, you have a right to file a claim; if your claim is successful, you might have the right to be compensated.
This might make you wonder whether you could benefit from the $1 million dollar insurance policies that cover insurance companies. Could you file claims against these insurance policies and be compensated?
Consider the following:
Rideshare passengers are always covered by the rideshare insurance.
Rideshare drivers are not covered when they are not driving for the rideshare service.
Rideshare drivers are only partially covered when they are driving for the rideshare service but have not accepted a ride request (i.e. active but not assigned to a ride).
Rideshare drivers are fully covered when they are driving for the rideshare service and have accepted a ride request (i.e. active and assigned to a ride).
So, what should you do after you were involved in a rideshare accident? Undeniably, you should take action - even if you are not immediately interested in pursuing an injury claim. To preserve your right to sue and receive compensation, you should adhere to the following recommendations: take a screenshot of the rideshare ride/accepted request; gather details of all vehicles involved; gather witness contact information; take photos of the aftermath of the accident; take photos of your injuries; gather insurance information from all parties involved (this insurance is usually the first option prior to claiming against the rideshare insurance); file a police report; report the accident with the rideshare company; seek medical care; seek legal assistance.
“Rideshare accidents should never be treated similar to any other auto accidents. Victims (both drivers and passengers) and their families can potentially be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, mental distress, emotional distress, property damage, loss of consortium, funeral/burial expenses, and punitive damages,” says Azizi. “This compensation could potentially come directly from the rideshare company’s impressive insurance policy.”
As our society continues to be more and more dependent on rideshare companies for everyday travel, it is essential for both drivers and passengers to have a thorough understanding of their rights after being involved in a rideshare accident of any magnitude. You have rights; do not hesitate to exercise these rights.