Ridesharing Accident Injuries
The past few years have seen a dramatic change in the way people travel. Ridesharing apps on smartphones have made getting around town fast, easy, and cost-effective. But, the technology has far outpaced regulations. Right now, we are still in a grey area with the legal aspects of ridesharing, specifically as it relates to who is liable when someone is injured by a driver. If you’ve been injured in an incident involving a ridesharing driver, your best course of action is to call an experienced auto accident attorney, like us at the offices of Richard Troutman.
The Complexities of Ridesharing
Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are so successful because they are so simple. Anyone with a clean criminal record and a car that isn’t over a certain age limit can work for them. Drivers simply apply, wait for approval, and then turn on the app to start working for the companies.
But, the simplicity for drivers and companies is precisely what creates the great legal complexity. First, drivers aren’t considered employees of ridesharing companies, but independent contractors, which means that they are not insured in the same way. Second, drivers use their own cars rather than company vehicles, which creates a further grey area in insurance issues. In the event of an accident resulting in injuries, it is hard to determine if the company or driver is liable.
Furthermore, the fluidity of working for ridesharing companies complicates the issue even more. Since drivers can work whenever they want, the state of their insurance coverage at any given moment is questionable. Of course, they are under company coverage when they have a passenger in the car, but what about if they are traveling to pick up one? Or what if they have the app turned on and are seeking a passenger, but have not yet found one? Ridesharing companies love to live in these grey zones in order to cut costs, and it can be hard to get compensation from them for injuries in these sorts of situations.
Problems Receiving Compensation
There are two situations which can be problematic for someone injured by a ridesharing driver. First, the driver’s personal auto insurance likely does not cover accidents when they are driving for profit. This means that if you are injured in a ridesharing accident, the driver’s insurance company could deny your claim. Some insurance companies, like Geico, are developing hybrid personal and ridesharing auto insurance policies for drivers. But this is by no means a requirement for ridesharing drivers, so it is impossible to know whether any given driver has it or not.
Second, ridesharing companies say they offer an additional $1 million on top of their drivers’ personal auto insurance coverage just in case there is a bad accident. Even though this sounds good, the companies can find loopholes in the coverage to get out of paying anything. For instance, their insurance may or may not pay for medical costs of any injured passengers, so getting compensation from them takes the experience and creativity of a skilled attorney.
The Troutman Law Firm
If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of a ridesharing driver, call The Troutman Law Firm today. Figuring out whether the driver or ridesharing company is liable can be a nightmare, and insurance companies will take advantage of this unclear situation by denying your claims. It is important to contact us as soon as possible so we can determine the right course of action to get you the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations, so give us a call today at 407-647-5002 to determine if our firm is right for you.