There are a few common causes of rideshare accidents, and car accidents in general:
- Failure to maintain vehicle: If the driver practices poor vehicle maintenance, this may contribute to an accident. Neglecting to replace old breaks, deflated tires, or balding tires are just a few examples of negligent auto maintenance.
- Insufficient sleep: Many individuals who work as drivers have long shifts and sometimes drive for longer periods of time than they should. This can cause fatigue and ultimately lead to an accident.
- Driving under the influence: If a driver is under the influence of any alcohol or drugs while driving, this certainly raises the likelihood that a car accident can occur.
- Negligent or reckless driving: If a driver is driving recklessly (i.e., driving faster than the speed limits, failing to obey traffic light signals, or not following the rules of the road in general) then there is an increases risk of a car accident.
Who Is Responsible For Checking The Safety And Maintenance Of A Rideshare Vehicle?
The driver of the vehicle is the sole person responsible for maintaining the rideshare car that is being utilized for their on-the-job rides. Unlike taxis, rideshare vehicles are not required to undergo routine inspection by the rideshare company. While taxis must maintain thorough maintenance records and are subject to routine safety inspections, the rideshare drivers themselves are the only parties responsible for ensuring the safety of their own vehicles.
Are Rideshare Drivers Professional Drivers?
The majority of drivers working for major rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, utilize their personal vehicles for driving trips, and many of them drive for a living only part-time. Rideshare drivers are not professional drivers. They are not required to take any sort of specialized driving training, they do not have to have a minimum number of years of driving experience under their belts, and they most likely do not carry commercial car insurance policies. In fact, a valid license and basic state-mandated insurance is sometimes all a driver needs in order to get a job driving for a rideshare company.
Can A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Be Filed Against A Driver Or Rideshare Company If A Pedestrian Or Passenger Is Killed In A Rideshare Accident?
The short answer to this question is yes, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against a driver, and in certain circumstances a rideshare company, in the unfortunate event that a pedestrian or passenger is killed during a rideshare accident. There have been cases where rideshare drivers were charged with vehicular manslaughter due to gross negligence because they killed a pedestrian or passenger in a rideshare accident that they caused. However, determining if there are grounds for such a suit depends on the specific facts of your situation and case. In order to decide if filing a wrongful death lawsuit is the most appropriate action to take, it is advisable that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney who has dealt with rideshare accidents before as soon as possible.
Are Rideshare Companies Responsible For Conducting Background Checks On All Of Their Drivers?
While rideshare companies are technically responsible for conducting background checks on all drivers who sign up with them, it is unclear if the checks are actually ran on all prospective drivers. In reality, almost anyone can sign up with the major rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber. It has been reported that drivers with questionable background and history have been granted permission to drive passengers for rideshare companies.
How Far Back Does The Background Check Look Into A Rideshare Driver’s Past?
Major rideshare companies, such as Uber, Lyft, and SideCar are only required to look seven years into a driver’s past for criminal and driving behavior
I See Certain Rideshare Companies Tout “Million-Dollar Insurance Policies.” Is That Accurate?
The major rideshare companies claim that they carry a “one-million-dollar insurance policy.” If the driver is transporting a rideshare passenger at the time and they are logged into the app, then the one-million-dollar liability coverage will kick in. The insurance will also apply if a driver who causes an accident is uninsured or underinsured. Although hopefully this is never the case, as rideshare companies are supposed to screen prospective drivers to make sure they have adequate car insurance before they begin driving passengers. However, while these companies do offer insurance coverage for their drivers, the policy is only effective when the driver is physically signed in to the respective rideshare company’s app. That means if the phone somehow disconnects from the app and an accident occurs during this time, there may be no coverage for your medical expenses and damages sustained due to the accident.
Do Rideshare Drivers Have Insurance?
The major Rideshare providers carry $1,000,000 policies. Rideshare drivers are supposed to carry at least the minimum insurance coverage required by their respective state. However, some auto policies will not cover damages incurred by rideshare accidents, as this type of driving may be considered driving for employment, which is sometimes exempt from certain car insurance policies. It is also not uncommon for drivers on the road to be uninsured or underinsured, even unlawfully
What Factors Determine The Settlement Amount In A Rideshare Accident Case?
While the details and settlement amounts on these types of cases are not generally released in an effort to protect the privacy of the injured parties, there are a few general factors that may influence the settlement amount of any given personal injury claim. They include:
- The history of the driver’s past driving conduct, or a history of accidents
- The amount and strength of evidence for injuries incurred during the rideshare accident
- The condition that the driver was driving in at the time of the crash (were they speeding, disobeying traffic laws, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, etc.)
- Whether or not the victim played a role in causing the crash
- The amount of insurance carried by the at-fault driver
- Whether the driver underwent an appropriate background check
- Whether proper and routine vehicle maintenance was conducted by the driver
Is There Additional Coverage For The Upgrade Vehicles For Some Of The Rideshare Companies?
All upgraded rideshare vehicles, such as UberSUV and UberBLACK are provided by partners and drivers that are commercially licensed and insured. All those transportation providers that are covered by commercial auto insurance policies are compliant with local and state insurance laws and requirements.
For more information on Common Causes Of Rideshare Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.
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