Ridesharing quickly took over the transportation industry as the most popular method of hired travel, especially among the younger generation. Currently, the top two rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft, serve over 121 million users monthly. Yet ridesharing is not always the safest method of travel. Every year, hundreds of ridesharing vehicles are involved in automobile accidents.
Common Causes of Ridesharing Accidents in San Antonio
Ridesharing works by allowing users to request and schedule drivers to pick them up on demand at a certain location. Drivers connect to users and vice versa through an app on a smartphone. This is one of the hazards related to ridesharing: drivers have to constantly look at and interact with their cell phones while behind the wheel.
Like standard auto accidents, ridesharing accidents in San Antonio can occur for many reasons:
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- Eating and drinking
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Running a red light
- Making unsafe lane changes
Since Texas is a fault-based car insurance state, you or your attorney will need to determine fault before you file an insurance claim. You will file your claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault party. In a typical auto accident, this is most likely the other driver. However, fault is more difficult to determine in a ridesharing accident.
Liability for an Uber or Lyft Accident in San Antonio
In a ridesharing accident case, you may be able to hold the individual driver financially responsible for your injuries and losses. Unlike other transportation services, such as using a taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees of the ridesharing companies. Instead, they are independent contractors.
Generally speaking, this protects Uber and Lyft from vicarious liability for the mistakes and negligence of their drivers, meaning you will seek benefits from the driver’s private insurance carrier instead. In certain scenarios, however, you can file your claim directly with the insurance provider of the rideshare company. This might be the case if the individual driver does not have enough insurance to fully cover your losses.
Insurance Coverage Available
Both Uber and Lyft maintain $1 million insurance policies to cover victims’ injuries when their drivers cause car accidents. The exact amount of coverage available depends on the phase of the ride:
- Phase One. The driver is signed into the ridesharing app and searching for riders. If the driver causes a collision in this phase, the ridesharing company will provide up to $50,000 in bodily injury insurance per person, $100,000 per accident and $25,000 in property damage coverage.
- Phase Two. The ridesharing driver has accepted a ride and is on his or her way to pick up a passenger. In this scenario, both Uber and Lyft will provide up to $1 million in liability insurance coverage.
- Phase Three. The driver has picked up the user and the passenger is in the vehicle at the time of the accident. As in Phase Two, the company will provide up to $1 million in this scenario, as well as possible uninsured motorist coverage.
Keep in mind that your own insurance company may also offer compensation for your losses as secondary insurance to the at-fault party’s coverage. Finally, if another driver caused your crash, that driver’s auto insurance will also be available to cover your damages. As the victim of a ridesharing accident, therefore, you may have many outlets for financial recovery.
When to Contact a Ridesharing Accident Attorney in San Antonio
If you are injured in an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle, consult with a ridesharing accident attorney right away. An attorney can help you navigate your way through this complicated type of claim, holding the at-fault driver or ridesharing company financially responsible for your past and future losses.
With an attorney as your legal advocate, you can rest assured the settlement you accept from Uber or Lyft is adequate for your injuries. Learn more about your accident by consulting with a lawyer today.