Ridesharing accidents caused by drivers working for Uber, Lyft or another ride-hailing company are on the rise nationwide. A study released last year by the University of Chicago and Rice University found that traffic fatalities have increased overall by 2 to 3 percent nationwide from fatal car accidents caused by ridesharing companies. Then again, these numbers should come as no surprise since 14 million Uber trips are completed every day.
So what should you do if you have been injured in a ridesharing car accident? Who’s responsible for paying for your accident-related expenses? What are your rights? Our Lafayette, Indiana ridesharing accident lawyers explain what you need to know so you know what to do when you’re faced with such a serious car accident.
How are ridesharing accidents different?
Ridesharing accidents might seem similar to other car accidents but the reality is there are many important differences between accidents caused by ridesharing drivers and ones caused by other motorists. That’s because state and federal laws treat these accidents differently. Factors that can affect a ridesharing accident include:
- Insurance coverage – Ridesharing drivers often need to have additional insurance coverage when they have a customer in their vehicle. Otherwise, most insurance companies won’t cover these accidents.
- Uber and Lyft drivers not employees – This is an important distinction when it comes to understanding ridesharing accidents. Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors. As a result, this can significantly affect who’s responsible for compensating you for your accident.
- Whether app is on – This can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Unlike taxi drivers, drivers who work for Uber, Lyft, Carma, Sidecar and other ridesharing companies may be considered “on duty” if they have the app on, even if they don’t have a customer.
- Whether there’s a customer in vehicle – Whether you’re the customer or you’re driving (or riding) in another vehicle, the rules are different depending on whether the ridesharing driver has a customer in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Each one of these factors can affect the outcome of your accident – and ultimately who’s responsible for financially compensating you for your crash.
Who’s responsible for paying for your ridesharing accident?
If an Indiana ridesharing driver caused your collision, several people or companies could potentially be responsible for financially compensating you for your accident, including:
- Ridesharing driver
- Ridesharing driver’s insurance company
- Ridesharing company itself (although most ridesharing companies deny responsibility)
- Car manufacturer (especially if there’s a car defect, tire defect, etc.)
In general, you may be able to pursue a legal case or file a claim with the ridesharing driver’s insurance company or the insurance company for the ridesharing company itself. Determining who’s liable (the legal term for who’s responsible) for compensating you for your ridesharing accident can be very difficult. Since there’s often so much money at stake, insurance companies, ridesharing companies, and their attorneys often do everything they can to avoid having to pay for these accident-related expenses.
What rideshare accident expenses are covered in an accident settlement?
Any accident-related expense should be covered by any financial settlement or verdict you receive for your accident. These expenses can easily add up to thousands or millions of dollars and may include:
- Emergency room bills
- Surgical procedures
- Follow-up medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Lost income during recovery
- Lost future income if you cannot return to work
- Modifications to your home if you sustain a permanent disability
The more severe your injuries, the higher your accident-related expenses, in most cases. That’s why it’s important to discuss your potential legal case with an experienced, Indiana ridesharing accident attorney.
Why should I hire an Indiana ridesharing accident lawyer?
Because the financial toll can often be so significant when it comes to ridesharing accidents, you will often encounter fierce resistance when you attempt to obtain the money you deserve for your accident-related expenses. That’s why it’s important to have a lawyer on your side who knows the law and understands how the legal system works in Indiana when it comes to ridesharing accidents.
For more than a century, the Lafayette, Indiana law firm of Vaughan & Vaughan has been serving the legal needs of people injured in serious accidents caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior. We’re familiar with Indiana’s ridesharing laws and we can help you build the strongest possible legal case. Contact our law firm and schedule your free case evaluation today.