Using rideshare apps have proven to be one of the most convenient ways for Californians to get around. These applications can turn your smartphone into a ride-hailing machine. And though some argue that these apps cause safety and employee rights issues, many people in the Inland Empire still use these services. However, there are several drawbacks to the ridesharing trend.
At Dolen, Tucker, Tierney & Abraham, we see quite a few car accidents every year, but few are as complicated as rideshare accidents. These accidents can leave the injured struggling to find the liable party who is responsible for their compensation. This is where a California rideshare lawyer can help. Here’s what you should know about dealing with a rideshare accident.
What Makes Rideshare Accident Claims So Difficult?
Here in California, companies like Uber have been in a legislative fight over employee classifications. For now, rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors. It is this designation that also makes rideshare accident claims difficult to file.
Due to their drivers being independent contractors, rideshare companies only have to insure drivers and passengers for certain time periods. If an accident happens outside of these time periods, the rideshare driver's insurance may be liable for the damage. But not every auto insurance policy covers damages that happen during rideshare accidents. The driver must have specialized rideshare accident insurance if they want coverage at all times while working. This can create dead spots in coverage.
When Does Rideshare Insurance Cover an Accident?
Rideshare company insurance usually has four levels of coverage:
- When the driver is not using their rideshare app, their personal auto insurance is active.
- When the driver is using their rideshare app but has not accepted a fare, they have some coverage. Each rideshare company has different parameters when it comes to this coverage. For example, Uber and Lyft both cover bodily injury at $50,000 at this level. They cover bodily injury to multiple people at $100,000 and property damage up to $25,000.
- When a driver is on the way to pick up a fare, they often have $1 million coverage. This is true for Uber and Lyft, which have auto liability, uninsured/underinsured and contingent collision & comprehensive coverage.
- When the driver is taking their fare to his or her destination, that $1 million coverage continues. This coverage ends once the passenger reaches his or her destination.
How Does an Attorney Help You Get Compensation for a Rideshare Accident?
As you can see, getting compensation for a car accident with a rideshare vehicle is complex. If your crash happens outside the rideshare company's windows of coverage, you could be facing a claim with the driver's insurance. If they do not have the proper coverage, you may have to file an uninsured/underinsured claim with your own insurance. Worse yet, at every level of this process you will have to deal with an insurance company that is always going to try to settle your claim on the bottom dollar. All of these reasons are why you need the help of a car accident attorney.
Our experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine who is responsible for the collision. Afterward, we can help you file claims with the correct parties and help you negotiate a fair settlement. Do not face these issues alone. Give us a call at (909) 473-4948 and schedule a free consultation today.