Professionals use rideshares to get between appointments. Event-goers use them to avoid traffic. Adults use them as alternatives to vehicle ownership. Catch a ride from the JFK Memorial Plaza in central Dallas to Plano or from the airport to Lakewood at the touch of a button when you log in to your Uber or Lyft app. Both of these rideshare giants have enjoyed success since arriving in Dallas several years ago.
As popular as Uber and Lyft are in Dallas, they are no safer than other forms of transportation. In fact, some critics argue they are more dangerous because the corporations require no special licensing or training. If you suffered an injury in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, you will need a rideshare-focused personal injury attorney on your side.
Dallas car accident attorneys at Fielding Law understand the nuances of pursuing claims against Uber, Lyft, and their contract drivers. We help those injured in the Dallas area secure adequate compensation for their injuries and losses after preventable incidents.
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies work with networks of contractors instead of employed drivers. This allows them to avoid many of the insurance constraints that taxi companies and other transportation companies face. Navigating the complexities of rideshare insurance can be difficult, because company insurance will not always cover an accident, and rideshare drivers may not have the commercial insurance they need to pay job-related claims.
Texas does require rideshare drivers to carry more liability insurance than other passenger vehicle drivers. A law went into effect in January of 2016 requiring rideshare contractors to carry at least $30,000 in per-person coverage, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident. They must carry $1 million in coverage when they have a rider in the vehicle.
In general, rideshare companies provide contingency liability insurance to supplement personal driver policies as long as the driver is logged into the app in driver mode. They will provide primary liability insurance coverage for accidents that occur from the moment a driver accepts a ride until the ride ends. Various other coverages may also come into play depending on the nature of the accident.
While many states and rideshare companies have attempted to remedy the gray areas of insurance coverage for rideshare activities, many still exist. Your attorney should understand the latest laws and cases governing rideshare claims to protect your right to compensation.
In addition to insurance gray areas, rideshare users must understand that Uber and Lyft drivers are not specially trained, commercially licensed drivers. They do not undergo the same level of scrutiny to operate a rideshare business in the state. Texas requires basic background checks, but it does not require special licensing for rideshare vehicle operators. If you use Uber or Lyft, rely heavily on ratings and reviews to find drivers who will prioritize your safety on the roads.
After an accident involving a rideshare driver, record the driver’s name and all the information available through the app. Stay at the scene until after law enforcement officers create the report or until you leave with paramedics. Do not agree to any settlement offer until you discuss your rights with a qualified Dallas attorney.
At Fielding Law, we explore every avenue for recovery in car accident claims. Our team will use the most recent case findings, state laws, and insurance policies to determine liability and create a fair claim for compensation. We will use every resource at our disposal to help you after a serious Uber or Lyft accident. Talk to one of our injury attorneys about your case for free today when you contact our Dallas office at (214) 661-1537.