With companies like Lyft and Uber giving taxicab companies a run for their money in the Dallas area, the options for catching an easily accessible, affordable ride are more numerous than ever. Rideshare drivers, however, are just as susceptible to accidents as the rest of us; some would even argue rideshare drivers are more prone to distracted driving due to their constant use of the rideshare app.
What happens if you are the passenger in a rideshare accident? What are your responsibilities, and next steps?
Some Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Just as with any other driver, rideshare drivers experience a few common causes of accidents.
- Drunk driving, whether on the part of your driver or another driver
- Weather-related incidents involving slippery roads or poor visibility
- Damaged or defective street signs or traffic signals
- Roadways in poor condition due to construction or wear
- Reckless driving such as turning too quickly, tailgating, or rushing through intersections, either on the part of your driver or someone else
- Road rage, whether your driver or another driver
- Speeding on the part of your driver or someone else
- Defective or malfunctioning vehicle
- Drowsy driving by your driver or someone else
- Distracted driving by your driver or someone else
Many rideshare experts are particularly concerned about distracted driving due to unruly passengers as well as the very nature of ridesharing. Drivers must access their company’s platform to accept requests and navigate to their stop. However, use of this platform should not occur while the vehicle is in motion. Notify the rideshare company if you notice this or any of the above behaviors.
What You Should Do After a Rideshare Accident
If an accident occurs while you are a passenger, follow this checklist to ensure your safety as well as any potential compensation for your injuries.
- If he or she has not already done so, ask the driver to move the vehicle to the side of the road or away from the flow of traffic. This ensures that you and the driver will remain safe throughout the next steps.
- Call the local authorities. Even if the accident seems minor, a police report will document the events of the accident and establish that you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle at that time. Stay at the scene of the accident until authorities release you.
- Obtain insurance information for all parties involved.
- Report the accident to the rideshare company. Most companies allow you to do so within the app in which you requested the ride. Often, the company will contact you for more information.
- Seek treatment for your injuries. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to have them documented as well as to screen for hidden injuries not apparent at the time of the crash. Retain all medical bills and doctor’s statements.
- File an insurance claim.
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
Depending on who is at fault for the accident, a number of insurance companies could be liable for your injuries. If a third-party driver with insurance caused your accident, that driver’s insurance company would compensate you for your injuries. However, if the third-party driver did not carry insurance the rideshare company’s uninsured motorist policy would likely provide coverage.
Rideshare drivers are responsible for providing their own, state-minimum liability and PIP insurance, meant to cover passengers and other parties involved in accidents. Rideshare companies maintain their own insurance, usually in effect while the rideshare driver has a passenger onboard. However, rideshare companies are notorious for maintaining that their drivers are not employees, merely contractors that use the platform. Still, most Dallas personal injury attorneys recommend filing a claim directly with the company first.
Consult with a Dallas rideshare accident attorney to determine your next steps. An attorney with experience in the area will be well versed in handling negotiations between the multiple insurance companies that often become involved in rideshare accidents.