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 NashvilleBefore 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 PassengerIf 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 DriverAs 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
- $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)