Over the past few years, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services have become a popular alternative to conventional busses and taxicabs across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Cities like New Bedford, Fall River, Providence and Warwick host hundreds of these self-employed drivers and their are more and more popping up in suburbs and smaller cities like Taunton, Seekonk, Warren and Cranston. Whether you’re a UMass Dartmouth student catching an Uber to grab things at Target on Route 6, or a business-person needing a lift from T.F. Green Airport to any of the hotels in downtown Providence, ride-sharing may be a convenient option for you. It’s inevitable of course, that some of these newly employed drivers will occasionally be involved in car accidents. This raises the question: Who is liable for my injuries when involved as a passenger in a ride-sharing car crash?
Who Will Cover Your Injury?
Determining liability and compensation after a ride-share car accident can get complicated quickly. With many overlaps in insurance coverage, the injured claimant will most likely see multiple insurance companies passing the buck. Whether the injured party is a passenger involved in an accident or a third party driver or pedestrian who was struck by a ride-share driver, they’ll need an experienced personal injury attorney to help to determine who is responsible for paying the compensation.
Basically, ride-sharing companies, along with the insurance industry, have created a system divided into three different periods.
- Period 1: The vehicle is in use, and the ride-share app is online.
- Period 2: The vehicle is in use, the ride-share app is online, a passenger has been accepted and is yet to be picked up.
- Period 3: Vehicle is in use, and the passenger(s) is either being transported in the vehicle or is exiting the vehicle at the destination.
Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies will provide full coverage when a car accident occurs during Period 2 or 3, however it is up to the driver’s to have personal coverage for Period 1 as well as any other regular car use (i.e. commuting to work, running errands and other personal uses).
What Is A Ride-share Insurance Policy?
Since many personal auto insurance policies will not cover accidents which occur when driving for a ride-share company, these drivers need to cover themselves with ride-share insurance. Though it has been a slow transition, many of the insurance companies are beginning to come around and roll out insurance policies specifically for ride-share drivers.
Most ride-share insurance policies will offer either “gap coverage” or “extended coverage”. Gap coverage will cover a driver through Period 1 and if an accident happens during Period 2 or 3, it will fall onto the ride-share company’s policy, whereas extended coverage will cover all periods.
D+Z: Experienced Car Accident Attorneys In Massachusetts & Rhode Island
If you or a loved one have been the victim of any type of a car accident, please contact us to speak with an experienced attorney. Dussault & Zatir P.C. has lawyers on call at +1-800-542-4LAW to answer your personal injury questions. With offices in New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton, Massachusetts, as well as an office in Providence, Rhode Island, if you’ve been injured, our lawyers are here to fight for you.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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