When we get on the roads in our own vehicles, we know the dangers. We could be in a car accident just backing out of our parking spots or driving to work. We all know it could happen, and given enough time, we likely will all be in an auto accident, eventually. Though, what we may not realize is that it can happen in a rideshare too.
Rideshare car accidents
For the better part of a decade, rideshare applications sold themselves as safe and easier alternatives to driving and taxis. They promised driver vetting, quick and simple car request and convenience. After all, we just need a smart phone, and with a few swipes, a driver will be waiting at our door. What they neglect to mention is what happens if one is involved in a rideshare car accident.
What is the difference?
In practice, a rideshare car accidents and a normal car accident are very similar. Liability is determined the same. All parties are supposed to have insurance, but the major difference is the ways insurance liability is determined.
For rideshare app riders, when a car accident occurs, they are covered by the rideshare application’s own commercial liability insurance, like Uber or Lyft’s insurance carrier. Even if the driver was at fault, the app’s insurance covers the rider.
The rideshare driver is also covered by the app’s insurance carrier, even if they caused the car accident. Though, this is generally, only true if the driver has a rideshare rider in the car. If not, most apps defer liability to the driver’s personal policy.
Personal policy versus commercial policy
Olean, New York, drivers and riders likely do not realize there is a significant between these two types of insurances when it comes to a rideshare accident. A commercial policy will cover business rides, but a personal policy may not cover business rides, unless there is a specific rideshare rider. It is these denials that often prompt attorney intervention.