Over the past decade, ridesharing has become an increasingly popular form of transportation. From preventing a drunk driving accident to avoiding long-term airport parking fees, rideshare services offer a convenient solution. Unfortunately, rideshare drivers are no less likely to be involved in car accidents than any other driver. In fact, a study conducted in 2018 shows that since rideshare services hit the market, rates of injury-causing and fatal car accidents have risen considerably nationwide. Despite this marked increase in traffic accidents, many people are still confused about who may be liable for their damages after a rideshare accident. This uncertainty comes in large part from the fact that options for liability extend well beyond the drivers involved and can also include the rideshare company, and numerous other third parties. If you were injured in a rideshare accident, an experienced Portsmouth personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you prove liability for your damages and help you secure fair compensation.
How Does Rideshare Insurance Coverage Work?
Rideshare insurance coverage is a tiered system. When the driver is logged into the app and waiting for a request, rideshare insurance provides very minimal coverage. Additional coverage kicks in after they accept a ride and have passengers in the vehicle. The insurance tiers are laid out as follows:
- Tier 1 (Offline): The driver is not logged into the app meaning they are not seeking or giving rides to fares, thus they are not engaged in company business. In this situation, their auto insurance coverage would apply.
- Tier 2 (Available): The driver is logged into the rideshare app and actively seeking a fare. In this scenario, the company’s contingent liability coverage of $50,000 per individual/$100,000 per accident bodily injury, and $25,000 property damage would apply.
- Tier 3 (En route): The driver is logged into the app, has accepted a fare, and is either en route or the fare is already in their vehicle. In this case, the company’s $1,000,000 primary liability insurance is in effect. The company may also provide uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage if a non-rideshare driver causes an accident and they have no or insufficient coverage.
If you were injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle and your damages exceed the limits of the policy that was in effect at the time, you need to consult with a knowledgeable Portsmouth personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Who Might Be Liable for My Rideshare Accident Damages?
To bring a personal injury claim for your rideshare accident, you will first have to establish liability. In many cases, rideshare accidents involve two or more negligent parties. Potentially liable parties could include:
- The rideshare driver: Between using their GPS, responding to ride requests in the app, texting, and eating, rideshare drivers are notoriously distracted. Additionally, if drivers are drunk, speeding, fatigued, or fail to obey traffic laws, they can be found negligent. If the driver was not logged into the app when the accident occurred, their insurance would be liable for covering the victim’s damages.
- The rideshare company: If the driver was logged into the app at the time of a crash they caused, the company could be found partly liable.
- The other driver: If the driver of the other vehicle caused the car accident, then their insurance company would be liable for compensating the victim.
- Other parties: Other potentially liable parties in rideshare vehicle accidents could include a parts manufacturer, the mechanic who serviced or performed repairs on the vehicle, the government agency responsible for roadway maintenance, and many others.
Talk to a Portsmouth Personal Injury Attorney
Determining and proving who is liable for a rideshare car accident can be a very complex endeavor, particularly when liability falls to multiple parties. Insurance carriers and attorneys for commercial and corporate interests will use questionable tactics in an effort to shift liability and avoid paying compensation. A skilled Portsmouth personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can protect your rights and make sure you are fairly compensated for your damages whether or not the at-fault driver worked for a rideshare company. That is precisely what we did for a client when we secured him a $550,000 settlement after his truck was hit head-on by a speeding driver.
If you were injured in a rideshare accident or any other type of motor vehicle accident, you can schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys by calling (833) 997-1774 or filling out our online contact form. Our offices are located in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Hampton.