Ridesharing services are convenient for all travelers and drivers, but they are not perfect. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 36 percent of adults say that they have used a ridesharing service, but what happens if you are involved in a ridesharing accident? Many passengers may wonder what steps to take if an accident occurs.
Ridesharing services provide rides to consumers by using freelance drivers. These drivers use their own vehicles to take riders to their destinations. Both drivers and consumers use a cell phone application to communicate. Although convenient, they can be dangerous for several reasons, including making the road a more hazardous place. According to research done at the University of Chicago, ridesharing services have contributed to a two to three percent increase in fatal car accidents.
Insurance companies’ roles are different in ridesharing accidents, it is not always straightforward like it is in standard car accidents. However, liability usually falls on who is at-fault for the accident, whether it is the driver or the passenger. In order to determine who is liable for an accident, you must prove the following:
- The person driving owed someone a duty of care.
- The driver breached that duty of care.
- The breach led to someone being injured.
Normally, when you get into a car accident, you are covered by your personal insurance. However, personal insurance usually has a business-use exclusion, meaning they will not cover you if you use your vehicle for business purposes.
Ridesharing Service Periods
Uber and Lyft offer $1 million dollars in liability coverage for their drivers, but it depends on what period the drivers are in. The periods range from zero to three:
- Period zero is when drivers are not logged into the app. During this time, the driver’s personal insurance may cover them if they get into a car accident.
- Period one occurs when a driver is logged into the app but has not picked up any customers. During this period, Uber and Lyft offer liability coverage for any accident that is caused by the driver, it includes $50,000 per person and $100,000 in total liability, per accident.
- Period two is when a driver has accepted a ride request and is on their way to pick up passengers. This period is when liability coverage increases to $1 million.
- Period three is when customers are in the vehicle. Insurance coverage remains at $1 million with limited coverage for damage to the driver’s vehicle as well as uninsured motorist coverage.
What to Do After the Accident
It is crucial to follow the proper procedure after an accident occurs. If you are involved in an accident, remember to do the following:
- Report the accident
- Get medical care as soon as possible
- Obtain statements from witnesses
- Take pictures of the damage and of the accident scene
- Access your ridesharing insurance policy
- Find an attorney
Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Represent Clients Injured in Ridesharing Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident, contact one of our experienced lawyers to explore your options. Ridesharing services provide convenience, but they also have risks. Our accomplished Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 202-331-1963 for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., we also serve clients throughout Maryland.