‘Tis the Season (for Rideshare Accidents)
The holidays are well underway, and if it seems like you can’t find a minute to stop and take a breath, it’s probably because you can’t. Last year was such a bust that many of us are trying to make the most of this year’s festivities. With Omicron gaining momentum, however, there is a no-holds-barred feeling out there that makes everything that much more energized.
One of the real conveniences that we can count on to help this holiday season is rideshares like Uber and Lyft to get us where we need to be. Abdicating the immense responsibility of driving to someone else – during the most hectic season of the year – can feel like a lifesaver, but when rideshare accidents happen, the claims tend to be as complicated as the accidents are dangerous. If you or someone you love is injured in a rideshare accident this holiday season, don’t wait to reach out to an experienced Florida rideshare accident attorney.
What’s Not to Love
The holidays have a lot to offer. If you’re not dashing around doing last-minute shopping, attending parties far and wide, and running all those last-minute errands that inevitably pop up, you’re not in the game. With all that driving around, however, comes navigating where you need to be, fighting traffic, and finding those elusive parking spots (that can seem like holiday miracles). When you hire up an Uber or Lyft with the touch of an app, you let all of that go and leave the matter to your own personal driver (even if you are only renting him or her for a half-hour or so). When it comes to rideshare rides, there is little not to love.
It’s a Jingle Bell Jungle Out There
Sure, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but with all that wonderment comes increased traffic, tighter schedules, and heightened anxiety (that the pandemic is doing little to quell). When you add this all together, it’s a recipe for traffic accidents. As more and more of us turn to rideshare companies to help us out with driving, it makes rideshare accidents that much more likely.
It is important to pause a moment and speak to the matter of rideshare drivers. The fact is that, while they are professional drivers in the sense that they get paid to drive you from place to place, they are not required to have any special skills, experience, or training in order to do so. Your rideshare driver needs nothing more than a regular old driver’s license to qualify for the job. Your rideshare driver’s level of driving skill and experience, in other words, is based on the luck of the draw, which is quite different from when you hire a cab or hop on a commercial bus (both of which employ commercial drivers).
Rideshare accidents happen, and they are often quite serious. In fact, there are a variety of factors around the holidays (and beyond) that exacerbate the matter, including:
- Holiday traffic is singularly hectic traffic. There are more vehicles on the road – at all hours – and motorists are all jazzed up (with lists, schedules, parties, preparations, gift-giving, and who knows what else).
- Rideshare drivers have a lot on their plate. For one, they are often required to drive in unfamiliar areas.
- Rideshare drivers engage in a lot of pulling in and out of traffic, which is when motorists are most vulnerable to accidents.
- Rideshare drivers must interact with the rideshare app while behind the wheel, which can serve as a dangerous distraction.
- To top things off, rideshare drivers have to spot their passengers in the crowd and find decent places to pull over in order to pick them up.
Your Rideshare Accident Claim
If you have been injured in a rideshare accident that was caused by the rideshare driver’s negligence – whether as a passenger in the rideshare or as an occupant of another vehicle – the insurance company (or companies) that handles your claim will depend upon a variety of factors. According to Reuters, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has implemented time periods that relate to stages in the rideshare process, which help guide where liability lies. These include:
- Period 3 – In Period 3, the rideshare driver is on the app and has a passenger in the vehicle en route to his or her destination. In period 3, the rideshare company’s comprehensive insurance coverage is generally in play.
- Period 2 – In Period 2, the rideshare driver is on the app, has accepted a ride request and is on his or her way to pick up the passenger. At this stage in the game, the rideshare company’s insurance coverage should cover the accident.
- Period 1 – In Period 1, the rideshare driver is on the app but has no waiting passengers. At this juncture, the rideshare company’s coverage is more limited and may not kick in until the rideshare driver’s own coverage is exhausted.
- Period 0 – In Period 0, the rideshare driver isn’t on the app, and the rideshare company’s coverage will play no role.
While insurance companies that work with ridesharing companies may concede liability, it’s vital to understand that working with a lawyer can significantly increase the amount of compensation you receive. Insurance companies are incentivized to settle claims for as little as possible and will almost certainly engage in tactics designed to get you to accept a subpar offer. Fortunately, when you work with an attorney, they will work hard to get you the compensation to which you are entitled under the law.
An Experienced Florida Rideshare Accident Attorney Can Help
The formidable rideshare accident attorneys at Iscoe Law Firm – proudly serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County – understand the gravity of your rideshare accident case and are here to help (at the holidays and well beyond). To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 800-800-6500 – we are here to take your call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.