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Who Is Responsible in Rideshare Auto Accidents?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,Companies like Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and other ridesharing companies are quickly taking over the industry that taxi companies once dominated. These companies rely on mobile technology, private contractors, and powerful algorithms to keep their costs down. But, what happens when a driver from one of these ridesharing companies get in a car accident?

Difference between Ridesharing and Taxis

In Illinois, taxi companies are well regulated and must be licensed to do business. Part of the licensing requirements is proof that the company insures its drivers. Ridesharing companies maintain that they are not taxi services and that no taxi regulations apply to them.

Drivers for rideshare companies drive their own private cars. These cars are not usually marked and do not have numbers like most taxicabs do.

The drivers themselves are not employees of the rideshare companies and they have no special training or licensing requirements.

Insurance Issues

While some ridesharing companies do offer insurance for passengers or others injured while a driver is transporting passengers, this insurance is usually supplemental to the driver’s own car insurance. However, some car insurance policies specifically do not cover damages in driver for hire situations.

The insurance situation gets even murkier in cases where the rideshare driver is on the way to get a passenger, but is not currently transporting a passenger, and gets in an accident. Is the driver working as a driver for hire at that moment? Does the supplemental insurance from the company kick in?

The answers to these questions have not been fully worked out.

How to Protect Yourself

If you are in an accident as a passenger, or as another driver, with a car driven by a rideshare driver, it is crucial that you get as much information as possible at the scene. This includes not only exchanging insurance information, but also getting any information about the rideshare company policy and the driver’s company identification number.

Before taking part in a rideshare program, you should examine your personal auto insurance. Make sure you have enough coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers. Your policy may cover you, even if you are a passenger in a rideshare service driven car, or even as a pedestrian.

If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to speak with a tough and experienced Lake County car accident attorney to review your case. Call the law firm of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 today to schedule a consultation. You may only have a brief time to make your claim.


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