Rideshare services are a great way to get around when your own vehicle is out of commission or when you have been at a bar and do not want to risk driving under the influence. They are handy if you are visiting a city where you do not have a car or do not know your way around. But when you take an Uber or Lyft, you are putting yourself in the hands of a driver who may not be very skilled or careful.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a crash while using a rideshare service, you need the help of a skilled Germantown personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bievenu & Montesi PLC are experts in litigating car accident claims and have helped their clients win millions in compensation for their losses. We negotiate with insurance companies and take the worry off your shoulders.
Rideshare Insurance and How It Works
Rideshare companies carry insurance on their drivers, but it does not work in the same way your personal auto insurance does. If you are involved in a wreck with another driver, you recover your losses by filing a claim against the insurance of the driver who is at fault. This is possible with Uber and Lyft, but the claim may be denied unless the driver was actively involved in the business of driving for the company when the accident occurred.
Rideshare companies carry liability coverage for their drivers, but it does not insure them for the entire period they are in their cars. Drivers are contractors, not employees, and the rideshare work contract stipulates that the company’s insurance covers three main periods of activity:
When the Rideshare App Is Active
Drivers for Uber and Lyft must be logged into their apps and be waiting for requests when an accident occurs. For example, suppose a driver is parked along a street when another car collides with the rideshare vehicle. In that case, the liability coverage is active and will pay for your injuries. Most policies for these companies have a minimum liability coverage of $50,000 for bodily injury per person, up to a total of $100,000 per accident. Property damage by the driver is covered for up to $25,000 damage to your personal property.
When a Driver Is Picking Up a Passenger
Insurance coverage is higher in other instances, such as when a driver is on their way to pick up a passenger. If the Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident while driving, the coverage is a minimum of $1 million of comprehensive liability insurance. A rideshare driver’s contract states that the rideshare company is leasing the driver’s vehicle during the time of service, so the company itself actively “owns” the car. Therefore, they provide a higher rate of coverage.
When There Is a Passenger in the Car
Similarly to when a driver is on the way to a ride pickup, the rideshare company “owns” the vehicle when a passenger is in the car. Therefore, the company provides the same $1 million worth of coverage for bodily injury and property damage. This coverage also includes comprehensive collision damage.
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Uber & Lyft Contractors Are Not Always Good Drivers
Rideshare contract drivers are responsible for answering some basic questions and passing a standard background check, but they do not have to complete any specific training before beginning work. This means you are risking your safety with someone who may not be a good or careful driver. Your risk of being in an accident may be much higher than if you drive yourself.
Because you must sometimes use a rideshare service, such as after drinking or when you have no car, you could face serious injuries when you let someone else take the wheel for you. If you are hurt, it is critical to hire an Uber or Lyft rideshare accident lawyer in Germantown right away to help you avoid astronomical medical bills. Our attorneys can help you hold those who hurt you accountable for their actions.
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Understanding Liability in an Uber or Lyft Car Accident
If you are ready to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit, you should understand exactly how liability works in these cases. If your Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, you will file against their insurance unless the rideshare company insurance is active. However, if your driver obeys all the laws and the accident is caused by someone else, you should file against the other driver’s insurance.
It can be quite complicated to understand who is liable and who is a victim. Your lawyer can gather evidence such as police reports, medical records, and video footage to determine exactly who contributed to the accident. They will help you determine how to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve from insurance claims or litigation in court.
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What Is a Rideshare Claim Worth?
Suppose you are involved in a crash while in a rideshare vehicle when it is covered by insurance. In a case like this, you can file a claim against the rideshare insurance. The driver can be held liable as well as the company itself. Having a skilled Germantown rideshare accident lawyer on your side means you can let your legal team negotiate with insurance adjusters for your compensation. This can be important in two ways: you can recover from your injuries without additional stress, and your attorney will fight for the highest settlement available for you.
Many car accident injuries, such as whiplash or internal damage, do not appear immediately. You may develop more severe pain and injury over time after the collision. You may also suffer property damage, such as to your luggage or electronic devices, which needs to be covered. Your lawyer can help you calculate a complete record of the damages you are owed, which can include:
- Personal property replacement or repair costs
- Pain and suffering from injuries
- Mental anguish
- All medical expenses, current and expected
- Lost wages
- Travel costs for medical treatment
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Hire a Germantown Uber & Lyft Rideshare Accident Attorney Today
Rideshare services are usually convenient and safe to use. However, when an accident occurs, the legal circumstances are complex. You need help understanding who is to blame and how to receive restitution for your injuries and property damage. A skilled Uber & Lyft rideshare accident attorney in Germantown from Gatti, Keltner, Bievenu & Montesi PLC will make your life easier as they help you create a solid case to get the justice you deserve.