Ride Share Accidents
Ride sharing is gaining popularity like never before. Popular services like Uber and Lyft allow people to live and work easily without a car, and has become one of our greatest tools against drunk driving. However, ride sharing may have as many dangers as it does benefits. Ride share accidents quickly become a confusing situation.
If you’ve been in a ride share accident, you may not know who to blame or what your rights are. Our knowledgeable shared ride accident attorneys can help you to understand the situation fully and get the compensation you deserve.
What Is “Ride Share”?
Understanding what is meant by “ride share” can help you to understand if these circumstances apply to you. Ride share is a concept more familiar in terms of taxicab services. Ride sharing is a one-time transportation of a passenger by a private driver, for a fee or for free. The pairings of passengers and drivers are usually facilitated by third-party apps, such as Uber or Lyft.
Uber’s Terms and Conditions
Uber, the largest current ride share service, covers some important information in its Terms and Conditions page. Be sure to read the terms if you can; if not, here are some of the highlights. (The terms and conditions for Lyft and other major ride share platforms are similar to Uber’s terms, but there may be some differences. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your ride share app before use.)
- An Arbitration Agreement. When you agreed to the terms of Uber, you give up the right to sue Uber in court should a dispute arise. Instead, you agree to discuss your claims in front of an arbitrator, a private citizen (usually a retired judge). Arbitrations are generally more informal and shorter than traditional court settings. Less evidence can be presented, and the verdict cannot be appealed.
- Uber’s Liability Policy. Once you are in the rideshare car, you’re covered by Uber’s auto liability policy. Uber provides up to $1,000,000 in coverage, which protects the passenger whether the driver is at fault or not. This coverage also applies to the driver and passengers of the other cars involved if the ride share driver is responsible.
- “Online” vs “Offline”. Uber’s liability policies are dependent on if the driver is currently “online” and actively seeking out passengers or “offline” and not accepting passengers. Uber’s liability policy may be available when the diver is classified as “online”, but if the driver is “offline”, Uber can deny liability.
- The Independent Contractor. Uber drivers are classified as Independent Contractors rather than employees. As such, Uber can attempt to deny liability using an “independent contractor defense”. In the situation that Uber denies liability, the independent contractor (the driver) takes responsibility for any damages.
Other Ride Share Accidents
Ride share driver negligence is not only limited to car accidents. Other injuries can be sustained while using a ride share service, including:
- Animal attack
Ride Share Accidents for Drivers
Are you or a family member a driver with a ride share service? Be sure you know your rights, responsibilities, and liabilities. Ride share drivers are put in a unique predicament. A debate of liability between the ride share service and the driver’s personal insurance can start if the ride share driver is at fault. These conflicts can force you to compensate the passengers out of pocket.
Here are a few hypothetical situations:
- The driver is online and has a passenger. The ride share company is usually liable.
- The driver is offline. The driver’s personal auto insurance is usually liable.
- The driver is online but between passengers. This situation gets tricky. Some auto insurance policies have an exclusionary clause for when the vehicle is being used for commercial purposes. Since the driver is between passengers, the ride share company usually tries to avoid liability. This creates an ambiguous gray area of coverage. Many drivers in this area are forced to pay out of pocket.
The best solution for ride share drivers is an insurance policy for commercial auto liability. These insurance policies are a great way to ensure that you stay protected during a lawsuit and do not need to pay any costs of damages out of pocket.
Work with Shared Ride Accident Attorneys You Can Trust
If you have been involved as a driver or a passenger in a ride share accident, talk to our skilled Uber accident lawyers. Our ride share knowledge and legal expertise can help you get the compensation you deserve for medical bills and lost wages.