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Everything You Need to Know About Rideshare Accidents

The days of hailing a taxi are dwindling. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have taken over.

While ridesharing has grown popular thanks to the convenience and competitive pricing, there are issues with the industry that are not often talked about. Specifically, what happens to the driver and passengers after a car accident?

Here, the personal injury attorneys at Gemma Law break down what to expect after a rideshare accident.

If you have more questions or have been injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle in Rhode Island, you can contact our attorneys at 401-467-2300 for a free consultation.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

Whether you’re a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian, the first thing you should do after an accident is to check that all parties are safe. Call 9-1-1 immediately, especially if someone needs medical attention.

If you’re a rideshare driver, you can report an accident through the Lyft app or contact the Uber support team.

Before you leave the scene of a car accident, make sure to collect:

  • Names and contact information from everyone involved (riders and drivers)
  • Insurance and vehicle details for every vehicle involved 
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Pictures of the vehicles and the scene

All of the above can help with your insurance claim in the future. It can also help if you’ve been injured, whether as a rideshare driver, rider, or another party.

How Rideshare Insurance Coverage Works

Rideshare drivers are not considered employees of the company; rather, they’re considered independent contractors. Because of this, rideshare companies may attempt to shirk their responsibility following an accident involving one of their drivers. 

Most rideshare drivers are operating with a personal policy. Unfortunately, most personal policies exclude coverage when the vehicle is being used for commercial purposes—this includes driving customers for Uber or Lyft.

Ridesharing endorsements or special coverages are now available in some states to fill coverage gaps. But this coverage isn’t mandated by ridesharing companies, which means some drivers aren’t fully covered. 

Uber and Lyft do offer extended insurance coverage for their drivers. But the commercial coverage they offer can be limited. Uber and Lyft, for example, have a $1 million insurance policy, but it doesn’t cover each period of the ridesharing process the same way.

  • Period 0: When a driver’s not logged into a rideshare app, the driver’s personal insurance policy provides coverage
  • Period 1: When a driver is in Driver Mode, but they haven’t accepted a ride request, Primary Automobile Liability coverage provides for any accident that’s the fault of the driver (up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 total liability per accident) 
  • Period 2: When a driver has accepted a ride request and is on the way to pick up a passenger, coverage increases to $1 million per accident
  • Period 3: Coverage up to $1 million applies when a passenger is in the car until the time they are dropped off 

Knowing that you’re covered doesn’t prevent a rideshare accident, unfortunately. Given the unique nature of these accidents, it’s definitely important to know what steps to take if you’re involved in one.

Involved in a Rideshare Accident in Rhode Island?

Just like in any car accident case, the person who starts a claim must be able to prove liability (who was at fault) and damages (how badly they were injured).

But this can be tricky if the accident involves a rideshare driver. Seeking a car accident lawyer is a smart way to ensure comprehensive compensation in the event of an accident.  

Don’t add more stress to your plate, and don’t haggle with insurance companies that don’t want to compensate you for what you’re rightfully owed. A car accident lawyer at Gemma Law can help you understand your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been hurt in a rideshare accident in Rhode Island, call Gemma Law at 401-467-2300 for a free consultation, or fill out a contact form online.

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  • Peter Gemma

    Peter Gemma is a personal injury attorney in Rhode Island, and is a Principal at Gemma Law Associates, Inc. He has over 30 years of legal experience, as well as bar admission to practice in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Peter’s specialty areas include personal injury, products liability, and construction accidents. You can reach him at peter@gemmalaw.com.

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