Have You Been Injured in a Texas Rideshare Accident?
Rideshare companies like Lyft or Uber have taken the roads by storm. Affordable, easy to request, and even a career option, the world has gotten a little bit bigger. Unfortunately, Uber/Lyft companies have created an odd gray area when seeking compensation for a passenger’s injury in a rideshare accident.
Many riders or other drivers are unsure of whom to go to for compensation concerning Uber/Lyft accidents. The dedicated attorneys at Branch & Dhillon, P.C. are passionate about helping those injured from an accident caused by another’s negligence to gain compensation. When it comes to gray areas, this doesn’t scare us. Our team works ten times harder to ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve.
Insurance Policies for Uber and Lyft
Unlike taxi companies that have their own insurance companies that provide coverage for their drivers and vehicles, Uber and Lyft do not have coverage for the vehicles that are working under their contract. This coverage is reliant on each individual driver’s insurance. Instead, Uber and Lyft both have liability insurance for their drivers if the driver’s personal insurance company refuses to accept the claim.
Why Would the Driver’s Personal Insurance Deny the Claim?
Most drivers use their personal cars for their personal needs — getting from point A to point B to see family, go grocery shopping or to work, or to fulfill another personal/family need/want. However, working for a rideshare company takes away the personal use of the car and turns it into a commercial vehicle. This is not covered by most personal insurance policies.
If a driver is planning on using his or her vehicle for more than personal use, he or she must confirm if the insurance company provides commercial policies or a rideshare endorsement. This would help ensure that drivers have some kind of protection or financial cushion if an accident were to occur while performing their duties for the rideshare company.
Determining Fault in Rideshare Accidents
Typically, the liable party for the accident will be responsible for paying damages and medical expenses of the injured party. For Uber and Lyft accidents, the liability can be placed on different parties, depending on the nature of the accident and who is deemed at fault.
1. The Uber/Lyft Driver Was at Fault
If the driver of the Uber or Lyft was at fault for the accident, then one of two things will happen. Their insurance company will be responsible for paying the damages and medical expenses of the injured parties if they have commercial insurance or rideshare endorsement on their policy.
If they do not, then the responsibility falls on the company they work for, either Uber or Lyft. The rideshare company is then required to provide the injured party compensation through its liability insurance policy that is placed on the driver.
2.The Other Motorist Was at Fault
If the other driver was at fault, then his or her insurance company will be held responsible for providing compensation for the injured party. However, some insurance companies will fight this, as they will try to put the responsibility on the rideshare company. This is why having a personal injury attorney, such as the passionate attorneys at Branch & Dhillon is essential.
Liability During the Different Stages of the Rideshare Process
There are three different stages that make up the rideshare process:
- The driver is logged into the app but has not picked a driver request to fulfill. According to Uber/Lyft’s program, drivers don’t get paid until they actually pick up a driver. While they are “on” the job, they are technically not working until they accept a request. If a driver gets into an accident before accepting a request, then the responsibility will typically fall under his or her own insurance.
- The driver has accepted a request and is en route to pick up the rider. This is a gray area. The driver is technically working under Uber and Lyft at this point. If the driver gets into an accident, placing liability falls on who was at fault and whether or not the driver’s personal injury insurance will accept the claim. If not, the Uber/Lyft driver will have to talk consult his or her insurance company.
- The rider is in the car and en route to the chosen destination. During this stage in the process, there is no question as to whether or not the driver is working. The liability for damages still depends on who was at fault for the accident and whether or not the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal car insurance will take the claim. If not, then the Uber or Lyft company to provide their liability insurance to the driver in order to cover damages and medical expenses of the injured party.
What Happens When There Is More than One Responsible Party?
Texas is a comparative negligence state. This means that an individual cannot seek compensation if they are found to be at 50% or more at fault for the accident.
When both drivers share responsibility, both drivers must appear in court to determine who is responsible for what percentage of the damages and medical expenses.
Steps to Take if Injured in a Rideshare Accident
If you are involved in an Uber/Lyft accident, you will want to treat it like any other car accident. Here are the most important steps you will need to take immediately after the accident.
- Make sure you are out of harm’s way. Get to the side of the road and help move vehicles to ensure that no further accident or injury is caused.
- Contact the Police. Call medical services and law enforcement and make a public record accident statement.
- Collect Information. Get the names, insurance information, contact information, and license plates from both drivers.
- Get Witness Statements. Get the names, contact information, and statements from those who witnessed the accident. These statements can be either written down or recorded on your phone.
- Take Pictures of the Accident. Make sure you take pictures of the accident, especially the damages to both cars. This helps paint a clear picture of the event.
- Get Checked Out By a Medical Professional. Even if you do not feel any pain after an accident, it does not mean that you were not injured. Adrenaline can mask pain. It is always wise to ensure that you get checked out by a medical professional to help treat any hidden injuries, such as whiplash, and prevent them from getting worse.
Contact Our Texas Uber/Lyft Attorneys in Arlington, Texas
Our attorneys at Branch & Dhillon, P.C. have years of experience handling automobile accidents and can help you gain the compensation you deserve after an Uber/Lyft accident. Our dedicated attorneys can help you navigate the gray area concerning these particular accidents and help you claim the compensation you deserve.
We are a no-win, no-fee law firm, which removes any risk from you seeking compensation. Contact Branch & Dhillon P.C., for a complimentary consultation.