Can I Sue After Being Involved in a Rideshare Accident?

Can I Sue After Being Involved in a Rideshare Accident?
Calendar icon January 30, 2024

The rise of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft has transformed the transportation industry and provided a more convenient way to get around. However, like with any other car on the road, there is always the risk of getting into an accident while in a rideshare vehicle. If you find yourself a victim of a rideshare accident, you may be wondering about your legal rights and options. 

Can you sue to collect damages after being in a rideshare crash? The answer is yes, under certain circumstances, you can take legal action. But understanding the complexities of rideshare accident liability is crucial to determining your course of action.

Understanding Rideshare Insurance Coverage 

Rideshare companies generally have unique insurance policies that differ from typical private vehicle coverage. These policies often have multiple tiers that depend on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. 

For instance, whether a rideshare company will accept responsibility and provide coverage for an accident may vary depending on whether or not the driver was “on-the-clock” at the time of the collision (meaning they were logged into the app and on their way to pick up a passenger or actively handling a trip with a passenger). 

When the driver is “off-the-clock” and not logged into the rideshare app, the driver’s private auto insurance is likely the only coverage in effect. When the driver has picked up a passenger and is actively handling a trip, the rideshare company’s insurance provides limited liability coverage, and this coverage is in effect until the passenger is dropped off and the trip is ended.

Determining Liability in Rideshare Accidents

In order to pursue a lawsuit after a rideshare accident, it is crucial to determine liability. Various parties could be held responsible, including the rideshare driver, another driver, the rideshare company, or even the vehicle manufacturer.

Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, and as such, the rideshare companies often attempt to evade liability for the drivers’ actions. However, if a driver was logged into the app and conducting business on behalf of the company, the rideshare company’s insurance policy is likely to apply.

In some cases, the liability may fall on another driver if they caused the accident with your rideshare vehicle. Other factors, such as vehicle malfunctions, could raise the question of whether a manufacturer bears some responsibility for the incident.

Seeking Compensation After a Rideshare Accident

If you sustain injuries in a rideshare accident, you’re entitled to pursue damages such as medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Claims against rideshare companies can be complex due to the various levels of insurance coverage and the complex legal issues unique to this sector.

A seasoned attorney with experience in rideshare litigation can help navigate the applicable rules and regulations and ensure that your rights are protected when dealing with the insurance company. Your attorney will be able to investigate the specific circumstances of your accident to establish liability. 

The Need for an Experienced Rideshare Accident Attorney

Given the complexities of rideshare insurance policies, having a seasoned personal injury attorney by your side can help you to achieve a desirable outcome. An experienced personal injury attorney will have an in-depth understanding of the applicable laws and will have the resources necessary to prove negligence against one or more parties involved.

Your attorney will begin by thoroughly investigating the accident to collect all relevant evidence, such as the rideshare driver’s history, any vehicle maintenance records, and the details of the accident scene. Your attorney will also review all applicable insurance policies to determine the most effective claim strategy.  Moreover, an experienced rideshare accident attorney can negotiate with insurance companies, who often aim to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether. 

Keep in mind that personal injury cases, including those involving rideshare accidents, generally need to be filed within a specific time frame, known as the statute of limitations. This time frame, which is typically 3 years from the date of the accident in New York (but may be shorter if any responsible party is a municipality), makes it crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible after the accident.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

If you’re involved in a rideshare accident, taking the following steps can protect your health and legal rights:

1. Seek medical attention immediately, even if you think you’ve only suffered minor injuries. Some injuries may not be apparent right after the accident.
2. Document the scene of the accident by taking photos and notes. Capture images of your injuries, the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, and any traffic signs or signals.
3. Get the contact information and insurance details of all parties involved in the accident. Try to get contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
4. Report the accident to the rideshare company through their app or customer support system.
5. Contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in rideshare accidents to discuss your legal options before making any statements to insurance representatives.

Contact Cellino Law For Help With Your Rideshare Accident Claim

Victims of rideshare accidents should take immediate steps to ensure their rights are protected. By contacting a trusted and experienced rideshare accident attorney, you can significantly enhance your chances of securing the compensation you’re entitled to for your injuries and related losses. 

At Cellino Law, our attorneys have the experience to take on the rideshare companies and to navigate these unique accidents.  We will work tirelessly to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your ordeal. 

If you or someone you know has been injured in a rideshare accident, it’s essential to act swiftly. Contact Cellino Law today at (888)-888-8888 to discuss your case with a member of our legal team and determine your next steps. 

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