Our increasingly digital world is seeing app-based services such as Lyft and Uber filling roles previously taken up by public transport or local taxi companies. While these services are convenient, they also inevitably lead to collisions when a driver chooses to behave negligently. A rideshare accident may leave you with hefty medical bills and no way to pay as you recover from your injuries.
Rideshare Accident Injuries
Each rideshare accident case is different, and it isn’t always immediately apparent who holds the most responsibility for the collision. That’s why you need a personal injury attorney with experience in these kinds of cases to determine fault through a comprehensive investigation.
Whether you were a passenger, a driver in another vehicle struck by a rideshare driver, or a pedestrian hit in a collision, you have a legal right to seek compensation. In Virginia, you can specifically seek a settlement or court judgment for these kinds of injuries and economic damages sustained from a rideshare accident:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Nerve damage
- Loss of wages and inability to return to work
- Pain and suffering
- Ongoing medical costs for future therapies and surgeries
Regardless of the type of injury sustained, there are several important steps to take to protect your legal rights after a crash. Report the accident to the rideshare company as soon as you can, document the scene if possible, and see a doctor immediately to establish the extent of your injuries.
Due to how rideshare companies operate and categorize their drivers, seeking compensation after an accident can be more complicated than with a taxi or public bus. Laws covering these apps are currently changing, as rideshare service operations have been increasingly debated at the state and federal level. Make sure to consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney for the most up-to-date information and the best chance at recovering the full amount you deserve.
Recovering Damages After a Rideshare Accident
If you are hurt and have trouble working after an accident, your first source of compensation will likely be an insurance carrier. Rideshare drivers are required to carry auto insurance for their vehicle, while the specific app company the driver works for also provides insurance. An attorney is an invaluable source here in determining which insurer should cover your damages and how to best communicate with adjusters so you receive everything you are owed.
Each insurance policy has caps in how much can be covered, which is typically either $50,000 or $100,000 if the driver was waiting for a new ride request, or up to $1 million if the driver received a request and was in the process of driving towards a destination. If the driver was not actively using the app and had already completed their latest fare, their personal insurance coverage can vary depending on the specifics of their policy.
These numbers apply solely to insurance settlements, as financial compensation granted if the case needs to go to court isn’t governed by those same policy caps. In either instance, an attorney is needed to find out who was specifically most at fault for the accident and prove that negligence caused your injury.
The at-fault party could be the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, a different driver on the road who caused the collision, or even another person altogether if the accident was caused by:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence
- Faulty parts or improper vehicle maintenance
- Failing to yield or other traffic violations
- Negligent hiring and training practices, such as failing to perform a background check or failing to fire drivers with multiple offenses