Personal Injury Lawsuits and Rideshare Drivers: What You Need to Know
Since their emergence on the consumer market several years ago, rideshare companies have grown significantly. The idea of a force of drivers using their own vehicles to provide rides to passengers in need has transformed the transportation industry.
Rideshare companies don’t have to maintain a fleet of vehicles, they just have to worry about maintaining the software platform that matches drivers and passengers. As more and more rideshare drivers take to public roadways, the potential of being involved in an accident with one of these drivers is also increasing.
If you sustain an injury in an auto accident involving a rideshare driver, you will need to navigate your personal injury case with care.
Applicable Insurance Coverage
Drivers involved in a collision will need to work closely with both their own and the other party’s insurance companies when resolving a personal injury claim. When the other driver is a rideshare operator, the insurance coverage of the company for which the driver works will also need to be taken into consideration.
The major rideshare companies offer three layers of insurance protection for the passengers and drivers that use their service. If a driver is actively logged on to the ride matching system, limited liability coverage may pay a portion of the expenses for an accident that occurs during this period.
Once a ride has been accepted by the driver and he or she is en route to pick up passengers, liability insurance coverage increases.
Contingent collision and comprehensive insurance should kick in once the passenger enters the driver’s vehicle and lasts until the drop-off location is reached. Your attorney can help you determine which coverage applies to your accident so that you will know what type of compensation you are entitled to.
Drivers as Independent Contractors
Despite the fact that major rideshare companies do offer insurance coverage for their drivers while these drivers are actively available and engaged in the rideshare process, your access to insurance benefits isn’t automatic.
Rideshare companies classify their drivers as independent contractors. This is a strategic move that allows the company to eliminate a lot of their liability for the actions drivers may take while on roadways.
You will need to be able to prove definitively that the driver of the vehicle involved in your auto accident was logged in and actively engaged in rideshare activities at the time of the collision. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help subpoena records documenting log-in times to ensure you are able to access the full amount of compensation you are entitled to after an auto accident.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Determining who to name as the defendant in your case is often the first thing you will do when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Because drivers working with rideshare companies are independent contractors, you will probably not be able to name the rideshare company. The company will bear no liability in an accident-related lawsuit because it does not directly employ its drivers.
You will need to work with your attorney to determine if the personal insurance policy of the driver offers coverage for your accident, and you will be able to name the driver in the lawsuit if you can prove that he or she was at fault for causing the collision.
Personal injury lawsuits that stem from auto accidents involving rideshare drivers can be more complex than usual, with more factors to consider in each case. You need an attorney with experience to provide you with aggressive representation to ensure that you receive the financial compensation you deserve. Contact Frenkel & Frenkel today and let us fight to protect your rights.