Rideshare programs are cropping up in nearly every major city in the country, and even many minor cities are seeing an influx in these transit options. Most work on a similar concept – an individual who wishes to get from Point A to Point B by vehicle can contact a rideshare entity, request a ride, and be met with a vehicle to transport them within a short period of time. Most companies that provide rideshares are appealing to today’s tech-savvy commuter by creating responsive apps, text-capable requests, and email options to obtain a ride anywhere that they service.
Rideshares have become a popular alternative to taxis because they often face less stringent legal requirements to operate than taxi cabs, a fact that may let rideshares charge cheaper fares to their customers than taxis. But potential clients should understand that the reduced regulation of these vehicles may mean that their safety is at risk if they end up the victims of a car accident.
Car accidents can happen when you are riding in any vehicle, but if they happen to you while you are in your own car, you will know what level of protection you possess. You chose your own insurance company, your own insurance levels, and even the type of coverage that you maintain so although an accident is an unfortunate incident, you can rest assured that your rights will remain secure. But what happens when you are in a rideshare vehicle? Are you confident that you will still be covered in the event of a crash?
Right now, different rideshare companies provide different types of insurance for the vehicles used under their names. If you are a victim, you may be at the mercy of these insurance companies to determine whether you have the right to relief and, if so, what your injuries are worth. Utilizing the skills of a personal injury attorney can provide you with the representation that you need so that an insurance company cannot treat you unfairly or ignore any obligation they may owe to you, but even with an attorney, you must take action within a time period specified by law or your rights will be lost.
Many in the Phoenix area do not realize that ridesharing only became legal earlier this year. At that time, the state legislature passed a new bill that became effective this summer which allowed for the legal use of ridesharing for money. The bill set minimum insurance requirements among other regulations for those who want to participate in a rideshare, but these basic requirements cannot guarantee safety.
While the insurance required of rideshare programs is higher than that required of a standard passenger car, it is still relatively low, and is even lower than what is required in some other states that enable ridesharing. If a car accident happens and a passenger is seriously injured, there may not be enough money to fully compensate that victim if the rideshare vehicle carries only the minimum insurance.
For now, the best way to protect yourself is to make sure you are educated about the rideshare program you choose to use. Verify that it has the necessary insurance protection to keep you safe, and it is also a good idea to carry your own insurance policy to provide benefits in the event you are in a crash and if there is not enough insurance to cover you under a rideshare policy.
If you are the unfortunate victim of a rideshare car accident in Phoenix and you sustain injuries, please call Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 to learn about your legal rights. There is no cost to you for speaking with us and no obligation on your part for making the call so do not hesitate; if you have been injured, let us help you realize what options exist so that you can get the relief that you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Derrick Coleman, Seattle Seahawks Fullback, Arrested on Suspicion of Hit-and-Run Car Accident, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 16, 2015.