Understanding Claims and Lawsuits With Rideshare Companies

When taxis were the only method for hiring cars to take you to your destination, claims and lawsuits were relatively straightforward. If a taxi struck you and you could prove negligence on the driver’s part, you could file a claim against the driver’s insurance. If you were injured in an accident while riding, you could sue the taxi company.

Rideshares such as Uber and Lyft have muddled that process. Find out how claims work with these companies.

Risks of Rideshare Services

Millions of people use rideshare services every day without any issues. However, safety is still a concern. The introduction of rideshares has put more cars on the street. As a result, studies have noticed a two to three percent increase in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents.

Taxi drivers are subject to fingerprinting and background checks. The requirement for background checks is inconsistent for rideshare drivers. So, you don’t have any centralized quality control. These risks are some of the reasons that a claim against rideshare companies is less straightforward than with taxis.

Insurance for Rideshare Drivers

The next twist comes in insuring the drivers. Insurance coverage for personal cars includes a pertinent stipulation — the driver cannot use the car to make money. As soon as they start driving for one of the rideshare companies, however, they use the vehicle for commercial use. So, the insurance company will not cover any accidents that happen during that ride.

In the beginning of the rideshare companies’ businesses, this loophole obviously created issues, so they now offer rideshare insurance. They break coverage down into four categories:

  • Period 0: The driver is not logged into the app, so there’s no rideshare insurance coverage
  • Period 1: The driver is logged into the app but hasn’t accepted a ride.
  • Period 2: The driver has accepted a trip and is en route to the pickup.
  • Period 3: The driver has a passenger in the car.

Drivers can also purchase additional rideshare insurance coverage to make up for gaps. When they’re not logged into the app, they’re covered by their own insurance. So, if you get into an accident with a rideshare car, you have to find out what category applied in order to file your claim.

As a passenger in a rideshare car, you are also covered under the above insurance. That said, if the other driver is found liable, your claim may have to be against that insurance company.

Claims against Rideshare Companies

The steps you take immediately after an accident that involves a rideshare car are the same as with any other accident. If you’re a fellow driver, or if you’re struck by a rideshare driver, get the names, contact information, and insurance information for all involved parties. Likewise, take photos of the scene from several angles. You should also file a police report.

The steps are similar if you’ve been injured while riding in a hired car. In this case, though, make sure you get the pertinent details from both the rideshare driver and any other vehicles involved.

The important step in both cases is to seek medical attention if you suspect even minor injuries. Your claim and potential lawsuit will be based on your damages, which include injury, pain, and suffering. You need medical documentation for those damages. If you’re forced to miss work, you also may be eligible for compensation related to lost wages.

Both a claim and a lawsuit hinge on one important determination — who’s at fault for the accident. You’ll need to seek damages from the insurance company that covers the relevant driver at the time.

If you’re in an accident that involves a rideshare driver, get help navigating the muddied waters of insurance and lawsuits. Call The Jaklitsch Law Group.


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