Rideshare accidents frequently lead to severe bodily injuries. If you were hurt in an accident with a rideshare driver, you might be entitled to compensation. That compensation could result from an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit. In addition to the party that injured you, you could secure compensation from the insurance policy of a rideshare company.
Challenges can arise with pursuing justice following a rideshare accident. Navigating insurance policies can be complex, as can resolving civil cases. Taking on these challenges alone could put your recovery at risk. A Massachusetts rideshare accident lawyer could help you pursue the damages you deserve.
Background Information About Rideshares in Massachusetts
Like with most states, Massachusetts carefully regulates the operation of rideshare companies. Under the law, these companies are referred to as “transportation network companies.” A transportation network company—or TNC—must be registered with the state in order to operate in Massachusetts. The registration process is overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
There are three primary rideshare companies licensed to operate in Massachusetts, Uber, Lyft, and Transportation Inc. These companies must comply with the regulations and insurance requirements mandated by the state to continue operating in Massachusetts.
You Could Sue a Rideshare Company After an Accident in Massachusetts
If you were injured in an accident with a rideshare driver, your first question might be relative to whether you could sue. Unfortunately, you usually cannot sue the rideshare company.
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft consider all of their drivers to be independent contractors. Their business model is that they connect independent drivers to people who need a ride instead of hiring drivers themselves. Since the drivers are not employees, rideshare companies do not share responsibility for the drivers’ negligent driving.
A lawsuit might not be an option, but an insurance claim could be. MA Gen L ch 175 § 228 requires rideshare companies to carry robust insurance policies that could provide coverage for anyone injured in a rideshare accident. The extent of the insurance coverage provided to you by the rideshare company will depend on the status of the driver.
The Accident Happened When the Rideshare App Was Off
If the accident occurred while the driver was not using the rideshare app or transporting a passenger, the company would not provide any coverage for the accident. This is because the driver would be considered to be on a personal trip as opposed to working for the rideshare company. It is still possible to pursue an insurance claim against the driver’s individual policy.
The Accident Happened When the App Was on But No Ride Had Been Accepted
The rideshare company will provide limited insurance coverage if the driver is in an accident after activating the app but not yet accepting a new trip. While the available coverage is far less than the full value of the $1 million policy limits, it could supplement the coverage provided by the driver’s own policy.
The Accident Happened When the App Was On and a Ride Was Accepted
The rideshare companies reserve the highest level of insurance coverage for situations where the driver has connected with a passenger. In this situation, the companies offer up to $1 million in coverage for everything related to property damage or bodily injury.
Injured parties could have access to the policy’s full amount if the accident occurred after the driver accepted the ride on the app but before the customer is dropped off at the final destination.
A Rideshare Accident Lawyer Could Be More Affordable than You Realize
If you are concerned about the cost of legal representation during your rideshare accident case, understand how our firm collects a fee in these cases. Our attorneys operate on a contingency-fee basis. This means you only pay your fee if our Massachusetts lawyers collect damages on your part.
If we do not recover compensation in your case, you will never owe us anything. A contingency-fee agreement requires no upfront legal fees, meaning you could pursue justice regardless of your financial situation.
How Can a Law Firm Help After a Massachusetts Rideshare Accident?
A law firm could assist with your rideshare accident injury case in a number of important ways. Your attorney could manage every aspect of your case from beginning to end while helping you avoid the pitfalls that come with acting as your own attorney.
Some of the ways they could help include:
Advising You on Your Options
The entire process can be confusing if you have never been involved with a personal injury case before. Having an attorney that understands how to pursue a case for compensation could be beneficial following a rideshare accident. Your attorney could help you understand your chances of success as well as the potential value of your case.
Negotiating a Settlement
Rideshare accident claims frequently result in negotiated settlements. However, securing a fair offer of compensation can be difficult without the guidance of an attorney. Insurance companies are known for pushing unreasonable settlement offers, especially when the injury victim does not have legal counsel. Your attorney could ensure you are treated fairly by rejecting any offer that does not meet your needs.
Litigating Your Case
Settlements are common, but they do not all happen immediately. Some cases only settle on the eve of trial, while others never conclude with an agreement at all. When litigation becomes necessary, an attorney can be beneficial. Civil trials are complex, and attempting to pursue them on your own is risky.
Reach Out to a Rideshare Accident Attorney’s Team Serving Massachusetts
If you were hurt in a rideshare accident, you could have legal options for securing a monetary award. The damages you recover could pay for your medical expenses while also compensating you for your emotional and physical trauma. You might have developed post-traumatic stress disorder in your accident, for instance.
The team at GED Lawyers can help you navigate the legal system and pursue a favorable outcome in your case. Reach out today for a free consultation with our team after a car accident.