Posted on September 20, 2016
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Negotiating a car accident claim can be difficult enough without a complicating factor such as a rideshare vehicle’s involvement. Rideshare has not been around long enough for most drivers to understand what to do after an accident with one. If an on-duty rideshare driver strikes your car, your case will look different than a typical insurance claim. Learn what to do to successfully recover from a rideshare accident in Dallas.
Like other collisions in Texas, you will need to determine fault before you can file a lawsuit after a rideshare accident. The at-fault party will be the one that must pay for your damages, according to Texas’ fault-based insurance system. You may need to review police or investigative reports before assigning fault for your car accident. If you caused the crash, you will file a first-party claim with your own insurance company and that will be the end of your case. If the rideshare driver or company was at fault, proceed with a third-party claim.
File an Insurance Claim
File an insurance claim with the correct party. If the rideshare driver was guilty of some act of negligence or recklessness that caused the crash, such as speeding or distracted driving, and was logged into the app at the time of the crash, you will file your claim with the rideshare company. Rideshare companies do not accept vicarious liability for their drivers (they use independent contractors to avoid liability), but they do offer insurance coverage for third parties in some situations.
Logged in, no passengers. Uber and Lyft offer insurance coverage for victims’ damages if the rideshare driver was on the clock (logged into the app), even if the driver did not have passengers in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Coverage will go up to $50,000 per injury and $25,000 for property damage.
Logged in, with passengers. Both rideshare companies offer up to $1 million in third-party insurance coverage if the driver had a passenger at the time of the accident. However, Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverages will only apply once the rideshare driver has exhausted his or her personal insurance.
Off the clock. If the rideshare driver was driving for personal reasons, not to pick up passengers, and was not signed into the app, you would proceed with your claim the way you would with any other driver. Call the driver’s personal auto insurance provider and demand compensation for your losses.
It may also be possible to file an insurance claim directly against Uber or Lyft if the rideshare company somehow contributed to your accident or injuries. If, for example, an investigation finds the driver caused the crash while looking at the rideshare app, you may be able to bring a case against the company for making its drivers use an app while driving. A car accident lawyer can help you understand how to bring an insurance claim after a collision with a rideshare driver.
Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney
Navigating a rideshare accident claim in Texas can be difficult. The rideshare company may try to refute liability for its actions or those of its negligent driver. The at-fault driver may not have insurance, or not enough to cover your damages. The insurance company responsible for settling your claim may offer far less than you believe your damages are worth. The best way to protect your interests in the aftermath of a rideshare vehicle accident is to hire an attorney.
A Dallas rideshare accident attorney will know how to go up against powerful companies such as Uber or Lyft in pursuit of fair compensation for the full extent of your damages. Your lawyer can take over conversations with insurance companies on your behalf while you undergo medical treatments. Trusting your case to a lawyer can give you peace of mind during the complex claims process.