Whether you live in the city or are just visiting, driving around Nashville is typical of many cities. Other drivers may not yield right of way properly, or they may try to weave in and out of traffic just to get to their destination a few seconds faster (at best). To avoid the headache of driving in Nashville traffic, tourists and residents alike have turned to the alternative: ridesharing.
Uber first became available in Nashville in 2014, with Lyft following soon after. These companies allow riders to summon a driver to take them to their destination, much like one would call a cab. However, their services are generally cheaper and more convenient than calling a cab or taking WeGo Public Transit. Unfortunately, ridesharing isn’t always a safe option.
Though Uber, Lyft, and other companies are very secretive about how many accidents involving their drivers occur every year, a simple web search brings up hundreds of reports on ridesharing wrecks. These drivers simply have to have a qualifying car and pass a background check in order to start making money. They receive no training, and there are very few regulations regarding ridesharing in Tennessee.
This means accidents are, unfortunately, all too common. If you are involved in a wreck with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, whether you’re the passenger, the driver of the rideshare, or another driver, you have legal options. At Steinger, Greene, & Feiner, our Nashville car accident lawyers have helped recover over $1 BILLION on behalf of our clients. Give us a call at (615) 590-3106 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Why Are Rideshare Accidents More Complex Than Regular Car Accidents?
The first accident involving a gas-powered automobile occurred in 1891. That means we’ve had well over a century to create laws regarding nearly every aspect of driving a car. However, ridesharing as we know it today has only been around since 2011, thanks to a little-known company called Sidecar. As such, there are far fewer laws regarding ridesharing, complicating personal injury lawsuits.
What’s more, companies like Uber and Lyft don’t hire drivers as employees. Instead, drivers are hired as independent contractors. While this means drivers are free to work whenever they want, it also means it’s much more difficult to hold ridesharing companies accountable when an accident happens.
The one group that has really adapted to the ridesharing phenomenon is insurance companies. Most insurers now require rideshare drivers to carry additional “commercial” insurance on their vehicles in the event of an accident. In addition, both Uber and Lyft have similar insurance policies to cover both drivers and passengers, if need be. However, getting compensation from ridesharing companies is not easy. That’s why it’s important to have a Nashville rideshare accident lawyer by your side.
How to Get Compensation After a Rideshare Accident in Nashville
Before we explain how to get compensation after a rideshare wreck, we should first explain how compensation works in any auto accident in Tennessee. Simply put, Tennessee state law allows you to recover compensation after a collision even if you are partially at fault. However, if you are 50% or more at fault, you are not eligible for compensation.
If you are the passenger in the rideshare, you likely won’t be held at fault unless you distracted the driver in a major way and caused the wreck. Depending on your role in the wreck, there are a few ways you may be compensated if you weren’t accountable for the majority of the fault.
As a Passenger
If you are a passenger in an active Uber or Lyft, your first source of compensation is the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If the other driver is at fault, you will seek compensation from their insurer. If your own rideshare driver is at fault, their insurance company will be responsible for your compensation.
However, there are times in which the rideshare driver’s insurance may not honor their policy, specifically if the driver doesn’t have the required commercial policy. In addition, the at-fault driver may not have enough insurance to cover all of your losses. In this case, you may be entitled to compensation from Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance policy.
As a Rideshare Driver
As we shared, your insurance company will likely require you to carry a commercial policy in addition to your personal policy. In the event of an accident that isn’t your fault, the other driver’s insurance policy will cover your losses. Your own policy’s involvement, as well as the insurance policies held by rideshare companies, depends on your activity as a driver.
If you are not currently logged in to drive, the wreck will be handled like any other accident. Your own policy/the at-fault driver’s policy will be the first resource. However, if your own policy doesn’t apply to the following scenarios, Uber or Lyft insurance may cover you.
If you are online but are waiting on a request, rideshare companies will provide:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
If you are on your way to pick up a passenger or currently have a passenger in your car, rideshare companies will provide:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive and collision
- Up to actual cash value of car ($1,000 deductible)
As Another Driver
If you are driving your personal automobile and are involved in a wreck with a rideshare driver, and you aren’t at fault, their insurance will be responsible for your losses. However, if that policy isn’t enough or it doesn’t apply to the commercial use of a vehicle, the rideshare company’s own insurance policies may apply.
No matter the scenario, getting the compensation you deserve after a rideshare accident can be extremely difficult. Insurance companies might argue about who is responsible for covering your injuries and other losses, leaving you in the lurch while bills pile up. Our experienced car accident lawyers can identify the at-fault party and determine who is responsible for your compensation.
Get the Help You Deserve from an Experienced Nashville Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft never want to pay out. Therefore, if you are injured in a wreck involving a rideshare, they may deny fault and your right to compensation. If this happens to you, you need the help of an experienced Nashville rideshare accident lawyer.
At Steinger, Greene, & Feiner, we have decades of experience representing victims of car accidents. Even when the case is complex, such as when a rideshare vehicle is involved, we know what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
Give us a call at (615) 590-3106 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.