Liability is determined in a ridesharing accident by confirming:
- Whether the rideshare driver caused the accident
- Whether the rideshare driver was actively using the ridesharing app when they got into the accident
- Whether other parties were involved in or contributed to the cause of the accident
A car accident lawyer can investigate to determine if the at-fault driver, their employer, or a third-party participant is liable for the damages you incurred in a ridesharing accident. This article goes into further detail about the nuances of rideshare accident liability and whose insurance policy might cover an accident.
You Must First Determine if the Rideshare Driver Was Working at the Time
If a rideshare driver caused your accident in Lafayette, one of the ways liability is determined is by confirming if the driver was working at the time. Ridesharing companies, also known as transportation network companies (TNCs), must insure their drivers if they are involved in an accident while performing ridesharing services.
Liability for these accidents may depend on how the rideshare driver was engaged with the ridesharing app during the accident. Consider the following scenarios:
- The rideshare app is off, or the driver is not logged on: If the driver has yet to log on to the rideshare app to begin working or is not logged in while driving, the rideshare company is not liable for any accidents the driver may cause. In these situations, rideshare drivers will have to refer to their own auto insurance company for liability coverage.
- The rideshare driver has the app on and is waiting for a rider: Once the driver begins engaging with the rideshare app, the ridesharing company begins to have some liability. If the app is on, but the driver has not received a ride request, an accident victim may contact the driver’s personal auto insurance company first. However, if the driver’s personal policy does not cover them, the ridesharing company may cover the accident, up to policy limits.
- The rideshare driver is actively picking up or transporting a passenger: If the driver was on their way to pick up a passenger or actively giving a passenger a ride, the ridesharing company’s insurance policy should cover the accident.
If a third party caused your ridesharing accident, you might pursue compensation from their insurance company instead.
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Determining Liability Helps You Understand Whose Insurance Company to Contact
Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §45:201.6 mandates that TNCs and their drivers both have insurance policies if an accident occurs. Uber and Lyft post general policy limits on their websites, but these values are subject to change.
Based on your accident scenario, you might pursue compensation from:
The Rideshare Driver’s Insurance Company
If the rideshare driver was off duty or not logged into the app, you may pursue compensation from their auto insurance as if they were a non-commercial driver on the road. Filing an insurance claim may allow you to recover compensation for your collision-related medical expenses and property damages.
The Rideshare Company’s Insurance Coverage
If Uber or Lyft is determined to be liable for your accident, they may be compelled to provide coverage for your medical bills, property damage, and other losses.
Ridesharing companies must also provide uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage if an involved party is not sufficiently insured. Other types of insurance coverage may apply, which your lawyer can discuss in more detail.
A Third Party’s Insurance Company
If a third party was liable for your accident, you might pursue compensation from them via an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Third parties in rideshare accidents might include:
- Another motor vehicle driver
- The maintenance company that last worked on the vehicle, if a vehicle malfunction led to the accident
- The manufacturing company of the at-fault vehicle, if the vehicle’s design was defective and led to the accident
- A municipality, if hazardous road conditions led to the accident
Recovering Damages After a Rideshare Collision
You may receive compensation if you have been injured in a rideshare accident. The at-fault party could be held liable for the damages you sustained. Damages can be categorized as economic or non-economic damages.
Economic damages are objective monetary losses such as medical costs, auto repairs, and lost income. Non-economic damages are subjective, non-monetary losses that include pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Some of the damages you may recover include:
- Medical costs: This includes any current and ongoing medical care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and future medical expenses.
- Auto repairs: If your car was damaged during the accident, you could receive compensation for repair costs.
- Lost income: If you missed work while recovering from the accident, you could recoup those wages.
- Pain and suffering: You can include any ongoing physical pain stemming from your accident injuries in your claim.
- Emotional Distress: Many people who have been in accidents experience emotional distress. For example, some people suffer from anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
A lawyer from our firm can help you calculate the amount of damages to seek in your rideshare accident lawsuit.
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What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
Being in a rideshare accident can be terrifying. It is important to make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe and out of harm’s way. Once you have determined the environment is safe, do the following:
- Call the police and file a police report.
- Determine if anyone needs medical attention, and if so, call for an ambulance.
- Get contact information from everyone involved. This includes names, phone numbers, and insurance information.
- Identify witnesses to the accident and get their contact information.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved and anything else that could be relevant.
- Contact a rideshare accident lawyer to determine if you have a case.
Following these steps will be helpful to your lawyer if you decide to move forward with a rideshare accident case.
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How an Attorney Can Help You After a Rideshare Accident
It can be hard to navigate the process of determining liability on your own. Our attorneys have experience with rideshare accidents and can help you determine who is at fault. We will support you throughout your case while you focus on recovering. Attorneys at our firm will help you by:
- Investigating the accident
- Examining the police report
- Talking to the first responders and witnesses from the scene.
- Determining who is liable for the accident.
- Filing an insurance claim
- Negotiating a settlement
- Litigate on your behalf in court, if necessary
Lawyers from our firm will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. We are in a position to help you because:
- We offer free consultations, during which we will review your case and answer questions.
- Our staff members are available 24/7 for legal support and status updates and to answer your questions.
- We have over 250 years of combined experience in personal injury law.
- We will advocate for you throughout the case and encourage you to learn about your best options.
- We focus on helping you get fair compensation to cover all your losses.
Contact Our Team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers
If you are not sure how to determine liability in a ridesharing accident, let our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers help you. We can review your accident and see whether the rideshare company could be held liable for your damages. Once we determine the liable party or parties, a Lafayette personal injury lawyer from our staff can help you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit if needed.
Call us at (337) 777-7777 to speak with one of our representatives in a free consultation. We can start building your case file and strategizing a legal approach for your case as soon as you call.
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