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Your compensation rights as an injured rideshare passenger

Jun 13, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Rideshare services have become integral to most people’s lives in recent years due to their flexibility. The ridesharing giants Uber and Lyft even made things easier by creating apps that customers can use to determine which cab driver is closest to their current location.

As integral elements of modern transportation, rideshare services also tend to be a relatively safe way to move around. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that all passenger vehicles on the road, including rideshare cabs, are susceptible to motor vehicle accidents. Understandably, many rideshare customers do not take the time to think about their rights if they get injured in a rideshare cab until a crash occurs.

Layers of insurance and liability

Unlike conventional taxi services, rideshare giants categorize their drivers as independent contractors. This distinction determines how compensation works in case of an accident. All drivers ought to have personal auto insurance policies that meet the respective company’s minimum coverage requirements.

Aside from driver’s personal insurance policies, rideshare companies provide supplemental insurance coverage. When you get involved in an accident as a rideshare passenger, this is the insurance coverage you can expect to cover some of your medical expenses. A rideshare company’s supplemental insurance usually kicks in when a driver accepts a new customer on the app up until they drop said customer at their destination.

However, when an accident happens before a rideshare driver accepts a passenger, they’re essentially independent contractors without the app tying them to their respective companies. As such, the company’s supplemental insurance may not kick in in such instances. Essentially, Uber or Lyft drivers are solely liable for accidents that happen when they just dropped off a passenger or when they’re waiting for a new ride request.

Determining fault and compensation

If you got injured as a rideshare passenger, the accident clearly happened when the driver could be tied back to their respective rideshare company. However, as with any car accident, the law requires that you establish fault before claiming compensation. Suppose the rideshare driver was engaging with the app at the time of the accident; you can file a claim against them. However, if another party caused the collision, you would have to file a claim against their insurance company.

Sustaining injuries as a rideshare passenger can be confusing, especially when you are unsure about who should cover your medical expenses. Thankfully, with the appropriate legal guidance, you can make informed decisions about pursuing compensation for your injuries.