Were you injured while in an Uber or Lyft in White Bear Lake, Minnesota?
Over the past several years, the ridesharing app market has exploded in popularity and ubiquity in cities all across America. Apps like Uber and Lyft are quickly becoming staples of American culture, with Uber alone fulfilling almost 40 million rides per month. With that many rides a month, it’s unavoidable that some of them will be involved in a collision – you’re still traveling via car, with all the risks that entails. What happens if you happen to get in a motor vehicle accident with a car driven by an Uber or Lyft driver? What happens if you’re in the Uber or Lyft and are injured in an accident? Read on to find out how Sand Law’s experienced rideshare lawyers can help you in these unique situations, and how they can get you the compensation you deserve.
What is Ridesharing?
Ridesharing a relatively recent phenomenon, originating from the business model of the Uber company in San Francisco. The basic idea of ridesharing is the chartering of private transportation via an app that runs off a computer or phone. Users split the cost of the chartered ride between their party, often resulting in transportation that is cheaper than a taxi or other chartered car service. Other companies like Lyft or Gett followed Uber’s model, resulting in a variety of companies offering the same type of service, with small variances between them.
Who Does the Driving?
Rideshare drivers are considered freelancers. Legally, they are not direct employees of the ridesharing service, which can turn litigation involving them into a legal quagmire. Typically, employers are usually liable for accidents involving employees, but since rideshare drivers are freelancers, it can be difficult to sue the company itself due to the divestment of liability.
This issue is further complicated by what ridesharing companies are considered under the law. While their function is similar to that of a taxi service, they are classified very differently. Taxi companies have employees, and are subject to liability for accidents involving their drivers. Rideshare companies are considered software companies, who maintain an electronic app that facilitates the service their freelance drivers provide to consumers who use said app. This allows them to circumvent certain regulations and standards, which can be an obstacle in pursuing legal action against them. One example includes regulations around commercial vehicles like vans, trucks, and buses. Since the freelance drivers own their own vehicles, they are not subject to the same regulations as taxi cabs.
Insurance For Rideshare Drivers
If you drive for Uber or Lyft, the companies provide insurance protection as long as your accident occurs while you have a passenger in the car, or you’re on your way to get a passenger. The coverage is decreased if the accident occurs if you’re waiting on a passenger request.
Before becoming a rideshare driver, read your own insurance policy carefully, as well as the rideshare company you wish to work for before signing up to be a part of their service. Most states have statutes that further define how insurance coverage works when one or more vehicles involved in an accident are ridesharing vehicles.
What To Do After a Rideshare Car Accident
The convoluted rules surrounding who gets covered and how much compensation can be awarded to parties involved in a car accident with a rideshare vehicle can only compound the stress in the immediate aftermath of an accident. However, it is important to remember to prioritize your health and the health of those around you in the immediate aftermath of any accident. Litigation can come laterThe following is a handy list of things you should do after any car accident, not just ones that involved ridesharing vehicles:
- Check on the condition of everyone involved, and render medical aid if it is needed and you are able.
- Remember notable details of the accident scene, such as location, time of day, conditions, and any other conditions that may have contributed.
- Preserve as many of those details as possible. If you have a phone and are physically able, take photos of the accident scene and damage to the vehicles.
- Get the contact information of parties involved in the accident and those who witnessed it.
Will I lose access to the ridesharing service if I make a claim?
This is a reasonable concern to address, as many Americans have come to rely on services like Uber and Lyft for regular transportation needs. So long as your injury claim is valid, you will not lose any access to your ridesharing account. With proper documentation by police, fire rescue services, and doctors, claims involving ridesharing services will be given the respect they should regardless.
Experienced Rideshare Accident Attorneys in White Bear Lake, Minnesota
While accident claims involving ridesharing services can seem like a complicated mess, the attorneys at Sand Law can help you navigate the complicated legality of the situation. You can contact us at 651-571-4125, or fill out our online contact form to get in touch. Our experienced rideshare accident attorneys will help you through the litigation process and get you the compensation you deserve.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at Sand Law LLC who have extensive experience practicing and writing about the law in Minnesota. The information in this article comes from this hands-on experience along with extensive research. For information about the author of this page, view our attorneys’ bios.