Rideshare companies, such as Lyft or Uber, have become increasingly popular within the past decade.
So, what exactly is a rideshare company? A rideshare service is when a company will hire regular drivers, who will use their personal vehicle, to get paid to drive other people to their destination. This happens through an app on your smartphone, that allows for easy, convenient, and rather inexpensive transportation. This is particularly helpful when you are in a rush or if there is a lot of traffic. You are able to go into the app and request your ride. Then, within a few minutes your driver will arrive and take you to your destination. The payment is also through the mobile app, in which you are able to leave a tip as well.
Of course, though, you are not going to want to get into a car with a complete stranger, unless you know that they have been screened with a background check beforehand. When going through the process of becoming a driver for Lyft or Uber, the company will screen them to check to see if their driving and/or criminal record is clean. If the company feels as if the driver would put their customers in danger, they will not get accepted. One criticism that Lyft and Uber have received in the past is that they do not require fingerprints. This would be useful to run through more databases, for an even more extensive background check.
Handling a car accident that you are involved in as a passenger with one of these rideshare companies can be a bit more confusing than handling a normal car accident. There are ever-changing laws regarding these companies. By law, it is required that the rideshare company provides personal, primary, auto coverage whenever the driver has the app turned on. This policy goes both ways. So, if you are a passenger and you are logged in, and using the service, you would be covered too, if you happened to be injured. Although, it gets trickier if you are not yet in the car. If a driver gets into an accident while on the way to pick you up, they are required to go through their own personal insurance before going through the rideshare company.
This type of accident is more difficult to take care of because of the third party, the rideshare company, that is involved. In some more severe cases, the passenger may have to go through the driver themselves or their insurance. If you are ever involved in this type of case that includes you being a driver or passenger using a rideshare company, it is smartest to hire a lawyer to be sure you are moving in the right direction. These types of accidents are more common than we might think. After all, they are normal drivers just like us. The accident may be caused by them getting distracted or trying to line up their next ride, or maybe even the passenger is being distracting. No matter the cause, you should always be extra cautious and take the necessary steps to get the accident resolved.
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