Ride share is one of the newest ways to commute in a bustling city where taxis are so difficult to get. The platform is based on a software program that affords the public access to several vehicles to choose from when the need arises. Uber and Lyft are just examples of rideshare companies and it has gained much popularity that some taxi companies and drivers have gone under and had to shift to the rideshare platform so they can continue working.
Ride share works with independent contractors who have their vehicles, it saves the company from investing in a fleet of vehicles, and since the drivers are independent contractors they do not have to pay for medical insurance or retirement benefits. It may have negatively impacted the taxi industry but it does serve the riding public quite well. It is now very easy and convenient to have the ride share app on your phone and be able to get a vehicle in a matter of minutes. The ride share companies do have safety and security policies and standards and all precautions to keep their customers safe and protected. However, accidents are bound to happen on the road, and despite the claims of safety and security policies, it is very difficult to file a claim for any accidents or untoward injuries to the customers when you use a ride share not like the taxis before.
With the sheer number of cars registered as ride share vehicles and the number of people using the app, the surge of accidents involving vehicles has since risen to an alarming rate. In the State of New York alone, the number of accidents has doubled in two years. Personal vehicles are not tailored or customized to be used for commercial purposes and thus, it has also contributed to the increase in accidents involving vehicles and passengers over the last 2 years, the accidents often are quite serious and were sometimes fatal and highly dangerous.
As such the number of people involved in accidents are higher than usual and if you happen to be an injured passenger or know someone who had an injury because of a vehicular accident involving a ride share, whether the driver was at fault or not, you must speak with a lawyer about your legal rights and the options that are available to you since it is provided by law that you can claim for just compensation for your injuries.
Why It Is Difficult To File A Claim From A Ride Share Accident
One of the most difficult challenges to face if you had been in an accident and sustained injuries in a ride share is that it is difficult to receive any fair compensation for your injuries. If the driver of the ride share company is an independent contractor, it will be an almost insurmountable task as the ride share companies claim that they do not have control over the independent contractors and that they do not own the vehicles that was involved in the accident. In principle, ride share companies like Uber and Lyft are still responsible for the actions of their drivers, and that they are covered by ride share insurance. Hence, you can still claim compensation for your injuries and you would need someone to advocate for you.
What Does A Ride Share Accident Insurance Cover?
Based on the mandate of New York State in regards to Transportation Network Companies under Article 44-B Section 1963, ride share companies like Uber and Lyft should provide the following insurance coverage if an accident may occur during the ride share request; (a) a minimum of $75,000 per passenger and $150,000 per occurrence of an accident when the driver is logged into the app and is receiving service requests; (b) a minimum of $1,000,000 for each passenger trip which begins from the trip is accepted and ends only when the passenger is dropped off.
Moreover, the ride share companies also have their accident policies which can cover the personal injuries sustained by the driver and passenger, comprehensive coverage of the property damage if the driver has their insurance. This would mean that companies like Uber and Lyft would not enter into a contract with drivers whose vehicles are uninsured.
What To Do If You Are In A Rise Share Accident?
The possibility of being involved in a ride share vehicle accident is becoming very real due to the increase in the number of ride share vehicles registered in the state and how popular it has become in the city. When you are in an accident in your car, you will know what to do so that you can make an insurance claim, but with a ride share vehicle, you should take the necessary steps and precautions to ensure that you can claim for insurance after the accident. Technically, whether you are in a ride share vehicle or not, the accident should be treated just as it was an accident involving non-commercial drivers.
The first thing you need to do when you are in a ride share accident is to call the police and remain at the site even if you have injuries. You need to make sure that your name and information are accurately mentioned in the police report and get a copy of the report. You also have to collect the phone numbers and insurance information of those involved in the accident as well as how to contact the eyewitnesses. Do not forget to take pictures of the crash or accident, the drivers, vehicles, and your injuries. Then you can seek medical attention for your injuries and make sure to get a copy of the list of your injuries and the treatment done to it. After which, you can look for a lawyer that will represent you in filing the insurance claims for your injuries.
With the documents and pictures that you have of the accident and your injuries, you will have ample evidence to support your insurance claims, however, you would still need an experienced lawyer to help you prepare all the documents needed and to represent your best interests.
Photo by Jackson David.