Who Pays Insurance Benefits in Ridesharing Accidents?
Car accidents are already confusing and scary. When an accident happens during a ridesharing job, or when riding in an Uber of Lyft as a passenger, the confusion doubles. It can be difficult to determine who is liable for the accident and any resulting injuries. There may be multiple drivers, and at least one of them was working at the time. If you are in a ridesharing accident, you should take the standard steps that you would in any other accident. Then you should call a lawyer.
Taking the Standard Steps
There is a standard set of practices you should take in any car accident, regardless if you are a passenger, driver, or otherwise. If you find yourself in a ridesharing crash, follow these immediate, important steps.
- Tend to the Wounded
Regardless of the details surrounding an accident, your first order of business is to treat what injuries you can. Try to stop any immediate bleeding. Put out any fires and get people to safety if they are in a precarious situation. Don’t attempt more than you are qualified to do. Do not move anyone with broken bones or other severe injuries unless it is absolutely necessary for survival. Treat what you reasonably can when you are able.
- Call Emergency Services
Once you’ve done your best to ensure everyone’s safety, immediately call emergency services. Tell them as many details as you can and wait for them to arrive.
- Gather Information
From everyone who is unharmed and capable of communicating, gather personal contact information. You need the names, contact information, and insurance information of everyone involved in the wreck. This includes drivers and passengers. Since this is a ridesharing incident, more information is better. Make sure to get the makes and models of all cars involved, along with license plate numbers.
You should also gather information from witnesses. Anyone who saw the event and is willing to talk, record their names and contact information as well.
- Call Your Insurance Company
After you are home safe and the immediate concerns have been handled, call your insurance company. Hand over all your records to them, including the contact information you’ve collected. Afterward, call a lawyer.
Talking to an Attorney
In a perfect world, you could file your claim with the insurance company and trust them to handle all the details from there. In the real world, insurance companies will look for any loophole to keep from paying benefits. Whether you were the driver or passenger in a ridesharing accident, you should seek the services of a lawyer to help ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.
If You Were the Passenger
Lyft and Uber drivers are required to have special insurance that is designed to protect rideshare passengers, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
If you are denied just compensation by the ridesharing company, tell your attorney. It may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Part of the rideshare company’s insurance covers liability in the event of a lawsuit. It can cover medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of potential income, and even wrongful death.
If You Were the Driver
As a rideshare driver, you should be doubly insured. First, you must have your personal insurance that covers the daily use of your car off the clock. Your employer should also provide you with insurance, covering you when you are taking fares. There is even a third option available. Some companies offer an extra rideshare insurance that covers you specifically when you are between fares. Technically, if you are not actively picking someone up or dropping them off, you are not on the job. This extra rideshare insurance is meant to cover any downtime between fares as you are waiting on a new job.
With your being doubly (or even triply) insured, confusion can arise when you are in a ridesharing accident. It becomes very easy for each insurance company to refuse benefits, claiming that the accident falls under the jurisdiction of the other company. When all companies are shirking responsibility, you could be left in a tough situation. With no one paying out, you could have medical bills piling up and be losing income daily. A good lawyer can help you hold insurance companies accountable and help ensure that you get the benefits you need.
If you’ve been in a ridesharing accident, reach out to us today. We can help sort out the complications of your insurance benefits. Our number is 805-429-4292, and you can contact us online.