What Happens if You are in a Car Accident with a Taxi or Ridesharing Service?
What happens if you were in a car accident with a taxi or ridesharing service? Because of the additional parties involved in these types of crashes, they are a little more complicated than a typical crash.
We spoke a little about the topic of taxi and ridesharing car accidents before but did not dive into the details of what happens.
Below we explore what happens in a few different scenarios with ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, as well as taxis.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE IN A CAR ACCIDENT WITH A TAXI?
We want to discuss two different scenarios here. The first is if you are a passenger in a taxicab, while the second is if you were the driver of the other vehicle. For this article, we assume you are not at fault for the accident.
A taxi hits your car
Like any other car accident, you need to prove the cab is liable in the case. However, because taxis use a car as their primary means of making money, they are more apt to fight the settlement longer and harder than a traditional driver.
Also, many taxis use the taxi company’s insurance. It adds another layer of bureaucracy in your lawsuit.
Working with a taxi company to recover your funds takes time and effort.
For example, Scott Van Maldegiam shared an interesting story about a cab that hit his car. The damage was minimal, and no one was hurt. The unusual thing was the cab driver got out of the car, checked out the accident, and then drove off from the scene of the crash.
Fortunately, Scott got the cab driver’s license number as well as the testimony of the witness to the crash.
He added this information to the police report. He used the police report to file a complaint about the taxi company and driver with the city and to have the taxi company pay for the damage to his car.
However, it is a lot of back and forth to get this done. That is why if you are busy, it is best to let a professional do this. Do you want to spend your entire day tracking down reports and other papers?
A passenger injured by a taxi
While the liability of the case might vary, you can file a third-party car insurance claim against the taxi driver and another driver. Let the insurance companies sort out the liability.
California is an at-fault state, which makes at least one party responsible for the accident and your claim. Until then you are caught in a game of chicken between the parties and insurance companies until everything gets sorted.
The challenge is many insurance companies hem and haw until the last minute to pay a suit. Alternatively, they might try and convince the other insurance company to pay more of the settlement. That way, they spend less money on the claim.
Passengers get caught in the middle of this game of chicken. The other component here is their delay tactics discourage some passengers from waiting for the settlement money.
Finally, too many passengers in the settlement dilute the monies you receive. At this point, if you want to recoup the entire amount, you need to go after the taxi driver and company.
The odds of not finding having adequate funds is low though. For example, San Diego requires a $350,000 minimum liability policy for all taxicab companies. Based on the actuarial analysis, 99.61% of all crashes cost less.
WHAT HAPPENS IF AN UBER OF LYFT HITS YOU?
An Uber or Lyft hits your car
Uber and Lyft offer insurance in addition to the driver’s policy for up to $1 million in accident coverage.
However, Uber requires drivers to pay a $1,000 deductible while Lyft has a $2,500 deductible. The challenge is drivers even during the best hours only earn $18.91 per hour after expenses. They might not have enough to cover the deductible.
The key is to collect standard documents like:
- Other drivers’ contact info
- Insurance company info
- Crash Scene Photos
- Witness Statements (if available)
- Police Report
Similar to taxis, passengers often get stuck in the middle working with Uber and Lyft. The rideshare services’ insurance often covers the settlement because the drivers’ insurance does not cover claims related to Uber and Lyft rides. Most insurance companies prohibit driving for profit in their policy terms.
Furthermore, Uber and Lyft consider the driver’s contractors. The matter is a substantial legal issue in a crash. Legislators and enforcement agencies are still defining who is liable and what everyone’s financial responsibility is.
The final problem victims face is ride-sharing services are hard to contact without an attorney. They avoid speaking with passengers about a case.
DO YOU NEED HELP WITH A RIDE-SHARING OR TAXI CAR ACCIDENT?
The law gets a little muddled with taxi and ride-sharing services. Therefore, if you need a San Diego personal injury attorney who can understand the law and how to help you get the settlement you deserve let us know how we can help.
Call Levinson Law at 760-642-5475 for a free consultation to review your case.