With Halloween and the holidays right around the corner, people are using rideshare apps more than usual, as they go bar-hopping, try to figure out how to get everyone from one place to the next, or simply don’t want to deal with trying to find a parking spot during some of the busiest times of year. Convenient as rideshare apps may be, staying safe and knowing who is liable in the event of an accident can be challenging.
Here is what you need to know about what to do if you get into an auto accident while using a rideshare app, such as safety concerns involving these apps, who can be held liable in an accident, and more.
Factors Affecting The Safety Of Using Rideshare Apps
It used to be that we were cautioned against getting into strangers’ cars, but now, we pay strangers to take us places. As nice as it would be to trust that rideshare apps are safe, there are still hazards involved with using them.
- Distracted driving. Rideshare drivers need to monitor their mobile devices to see where they are taking you and what to do. This can distract them from the road. Other distractions can include conversing with passengers, drinking and/or eating while driving, changing the music to passenger preference, and more.
- Impaired or reckless driving. Drivers may operate their vehicles under the influence or without a care for traffic laws, putting everyone’s safety at risk.
- Driver fatigue. Drivers may work long hours in order to make more money. This can lead to fatigue, which can negatively affect their driving.
- Driving in unfamiliar locations. Rideshare app drivers often go where they’ve never been before. This can cause them to be more easily distracted and more prone to errors, which can lead to accidents.
- Looking for passengers. Rideshare app drivers need to try to find their passengers, which can be challenging, especially in busy areas. This looking around can lead to accidents.
- Poor vehicle maintenance. Since their job involves their car, rideshare app drivers must ensure that their vehicle is safe to drive. Failure to do so increases the risk of malfunctions and accidents.
- Poor road conditions. If the roads the rideshare app driver is driving on are not maintained, this can impact the safety of all in the vehicle, such as if there are deep potholes or major cracks in the road.
- Violence. Rideshare app drivers may be violent to passengers. While background checks should prevent this, sometimes rideshare apps do not do their due diligence before hiring new drivers.
Who Is Liable In These Auto Accidents?
Liability with auto accidents depends on a wide array of factors. Seeking the representation of a personal injury attorney will make navigating the complexities of liability and your options much easier.
Multiple parties may be found liable for an auto accident. In certain cases, you may be able to file a suit against the rideshare app itself. Rideshare drivers and the companies themselves are required to carry auto liability insurance in order to provide coverage for those injured in auto accidents.
You may file a lawsuit against the rideshare app itself if the company acted negligently and said negligence contributed to your injuries. Such examples of negligence include: not conducting a thorough background check on the driver, not conducting assessments of the driver’s safety behind the wheel, and more. If the rideshare company knew or failed to check if a driver had a history of reckless driving or serious traffic violations and hired them anyway, you may be able to hold them liable for the accident.
Liability can also be complicated by whether the driver was in the app or not, whether they’re on route to pick up a passenger or transporting a passenger, and more.
Other potentially liable parties include:
- Another driver who caused the accident, rather than your rideshare app driver
- Manufacturers of defective vehicle parts
- Those who failed to maintain roads.
- And more.
It’s important to work with a personal injury attorney in order to determine liability in an auto accident so that you can achieve the compensation and justice you deserve.
What Should You Do If You’re In An Auto Accident?
Whenever you’re in an auto accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine, that could just be because of the adrenaline pumping through your veins. It can take weeks or even months to notice symptoms from injuries resulting from an accident, such as with brain injuries.
If you don’t seek medical attention, you may not receive the treatment you need in order to prevent complications. If you wish to pursue legal action, having medical records that prove that your injury resulted from the accident makes the process much smoother.
You will also want to contact the police, gather the information of those involved in the accident as well as that of any witnesses, and take pictures and videos of the accident, if possible. From there, you’ll want to call a personal injury attorney.
In our previous blog, Your Insurance Adjuster Is Not On Your Side: Why You Need To Be Wary, we covered why you should consult with a personal injury attorney prior to working with your insurance.
Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney?
Whether you’ve been injured in an auto accident while using a rideshare app or have otherwise sustained injury at the fault of someone else, the personal injury attorneys here at LeBaron & Jensen are here for you. We provide free case consultations and do not charge a fee until we win your case. There’s no need to worry about navigating your case on your own with our dedicated lawyers on your team. We do everything in our power to ensure that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to learn more about our personal injury services and how we can help you achieve fair compensation.