Ridesharing refers to the process of using an app to summon a driver to take you somewhere in their personal vehicle. Led by companies such as Lyft and Uber, ridesharing has become incredibly popular over the last decade. Riders find these services to be convenient, easy-to-use, and often less expensive than taxis. However, anytime you get into a vehicle there is a risk of getting into an accident.
Have you been injured while riding as a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle? Was your vehicle involved in a car accident involving a ridesharing driver? Were you hit by a ridesharing driver while walking or cycling? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. The team at Mazow | McCullough, PC can help.
Normally in a car crash, the at-fault driver is liable for the damages, but if they are working when they cause the accident, their employer is liable. With ridesharing services, the liability isn’t always as clear, which is why you need a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your corner.
As a general rule of thumb, ridesharing services only claim liability when their drivers are actively using the app. If the drivers are logged in but don’t have a passenger in the car, Uber and Lyft both have a modest liability policy in place to cover accidents; however, this coverage simply isn’t enough to cover extensive damages to pedestrians and property. In these cases, you need a ridesharing accident attorney who understands how to successfully make a claim against these companies even when their coverage isn’t adequate.
When a passenger is in the vehicle, both Uber and Lyft have $1 million liability policies in place, and in fact, Massachusetts law requires these companies to carry liability policies in that amount. If liability cannot be established against the ridesharing service, the driver may be held personally liable. Unfortunately, ridesharing drivers often use personal insurance policies, and their insurers reject claims related to commercial accidents. Luckily, in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, drivers are required to notify their insurers so that doesn’t happen.
After an accident with a ridesharing driver, you may face a range of damages. In accident and injury cases, damages refer to any costs you incur as a result of the accident, any future losses you’re likely to face, and significant changes to your lifestyle, emotional state, or physical abilities. The damages can vary from case to case. To ensure you receive a fair settlement that truly meets your financial needs, you should work with an attorney who has experience estimating damages and obtaining generous settlements for clients — that’s what we do at Mazow | McCullough, PC.
Damages may include the following:
When you set up a no obligation case evaluation, your attorney can help you assess the damages related to your case.
As indicated above, liability is not always clear in cases against ridesharing services and drivers. In most cases, it’s usually more advantageous to bring the claim against the service rather than the driver, simply because ridesharing services have larger insurance policies and more assets than most individual drivers.
However, to protect their bottom lines, these companies and their insurers will try to fight against claims. At the same time, your attorney will try to unearth reasons why they are liable. For instance, New Hampshire state law requires ridesharing drivers to have no convictions for sexual offenses, property damage, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or using motor vehicles to commit felonies in the last seven years. If you are injured in an accident with a driver that did not meet these criteria, the ridesharing service may be liable.
In some cases, your lawyer may identify other liable parties. If faulty airbags or tires, for example, caused the injuries to be worse than they should have been, your attorney may advise you to bring a claim against the manufacturer of those components.
At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we represent clients who have been in ridesharing accidents in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. If you have been in an accident, contact us today. We can start with a free case evaluation and help you decide which steps to take next.
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be scary, expensive, and time consuming. Let us help you get through this situation as easily and painlessly as possible.