Lutherville, Maryland Rideshare Car Accident Attorneys
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become popular modes of transportation for many Americans. These companies offer a new and convenient way for people to get around. Some studies suggest that rideshares have started to help reduce drunk driving rates in many parts of the country. While there are clear advantages to these services, it is important to remember that you are counting on a complete stranger to drive you to your destination when you hail a rideshare. Like any motorist, rideshare drivers can be involved in car accidents. For individuals who suffer injuries as a result of the crash caused by another driver, the best option is often to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you were injured in a car crash, pedestrian accident, or other incident involving a rideshare driver, there are important considerations regarding your claim for damages. Contact the dedicated Lutherville, Maryland car accident attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP to discuss your legal options for recovering damages from the driver who caused you injuries. For more than 30 years, Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP has been working on behalf of injured individuals throughout Maryland. Call us today at 410-769-5400 for a consultation with one of our Lutherville, Maryland car accident attorneys.
Are Rideshare Services Public Transportation?
Rideshare companies fall into a category that appears similar to public transportation services. However, unlike public transportation, rideshare companies are not subjected to the same level of government regulation. Services such as trains, buses, and even taxis must comply with regulations that do not impact rideshare drivers. Drivers who operate rideshare vehicles are private citizens who choose to use their own vehicles to provide paid transportation to the public. Uber and Lyft drivers have few requirements to meet before they begin accepting fares. Most licensed drivers can choose to use their cars for Uber or Lyft. Although rideshare services offer convenience, it is important for everyone who chooses to use these services to be mindful of how these companies work. All you need to start using the services of Uber or Lyft is to download an app on a smartphone. At that point, you can be connected to any number of individuals who are willing to drive to your location and pick you up. If something does go wrong, there are often questions regarding who is liable.
Who Pays on a Claim Involving a Rideshare Service?
As mentioned, rideshare drivers are private citizens who use their own personal vehicles to offer rides to individuals through companies such as Uber and Lyft. If you are in a crash while driving your car as a private citizen, your car insurance will cover the costs associated with the damages for which you may be liable. If you injure another person, your car insurance may cover damages related to that individual’s injuries. When a commercial driver is involved in a crash, the company’s insurance will typically cover the costs rather than the employee’s personal insurance. Rideshare drivers fall somewhere in between these categories. The configuration of how insurance works to cover injuries resulting from the actions of a rideshare driver is, therefore, slightly more complicated.
When operating their cars for their own purposes unrelated to Uber or Lyft, rideshare drivers must have their own private insurance just like any other motorist on the road. By law, motorists in Maryland must carry a minimum of $30,000 for an injured person, $60,000 total for bodily injuries, and $15,000 to cover property damages caused in a collision for which that motorist is at fault. Rideshare drivers can carry the minimum policy or a greater amount, but that decision lies with those drivers. If a rideshare driver who injures you was operating his or her car for their own personal purposes, their private insurance will be relevant in your case.
Companies such as Uber and Lyft must cover their drivers with insurance coverage in the event that the driver is using their car to accept fares and transport customers. If the driver is logged into the app but has not accepted a fare or is not driving a customer, Uber and Lyft provide a policy with $50,000 in coverage for each person’s personal injuries, $100,000 for total personal injuries caused by the crash, and $25,000 for property damage. Once the driver accepts a fare and until the driver completes the ride, the policy provides a higher amount of coverage of $1,000,000. There can be situations where disputes arise regarding which policy must cover damages. If the damages are particularly serious, the different amounts might be relevant. It is important to establish which party or insurance policy should be covering damages following a crash caused by a rideshare driver.
Determining Fault in Maryland Auto Accidents
In Maryland, injured plaintiffs must show that someone else is entirely responsible for his or her injuries to collect compensation. A contributorily negligent plaintiff will not be permitted to recover under the state’s laws. In the case of rideshare drivers who cause collisions that lead to injuries for a passenger, contributory negligence is unlikely to factor into the claim. Passengers rarely contribute to the cause of a crash. However, if a rideshare driver hurts a person in another vehicle, there is a greater chance the insurer will try to paint the other driver as partially responsible.
Call Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP for Help After a Rideshare Car Accident in Lutherville
At Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP, our experienced attorneys are here to answer any questions you have after being involved in a crash with a rideshare driver. Call us today at 410-769-5400 to speak to one of our dedicated Lutherville, Maryland car accident attorneys.