Providence Ridesharing Accident Lawyer
More and more people are turning to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft for short (and not-so-short) rides around town, and more and more people are spending their hours driving around town as drivers for these transportation network companies (TNCs). Statistically speaking, the popularity of ridesharing services is bound to lead to an increase in car accidents involving an Uber or Lyft driver or one of the many other burgeoning TNCs. What happens if you are injured in a crash with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, or as a passenger paying for a ride? If you’re not sure where to turn after a Rhode Island ridesharing car accident, turn to the Kiselica Law Firm. Our experienced Providence ridesharing accident lawyer will take the time to understand your situation and explain your best options for recovering compensation for your serious injuries.
Are Uber and Lyft drivers more or less safe than other drivers?
Companies like Uber and Lyft draw their drivers from the general pool of licensed drivers. Drivers for rideshare services may be better or worse than the average driver; there is simply no way to tell, and the TNCs do not conduct any kind of testing or training to gauge a driver’s competence.
Hopefully, a driver who is ferrying passengers for money will drive even more carefully than usual. However, this very act itself adds complications to the task of driving. Namely, an Uber or Lyft driver is constantly having to pull attention from the road to follow navigation on the driver’s phone or to read and respond to ride requests, leading to an increased potential for distracted driving car accidents.
Another concern is vehicle maintenance. While taxi companies have in-house mechanics to regularly service their vehicles, rideshare companies rely on their drivers to take full responsibility to maintain their vehicles in good condition. A recent study of rideshare drivers in Seattle and New York City found one in six to be driving with at least one open safety recall on their vehicle, including recalls for defective airbags, detaching seat belts and sudden engine failure.
How does Rhode Island regulate rideshare companies and drivers?
The Rhode Island General Assembly has passed a number of laws regarding TNCs and those who drive for them. TNCs are required to register their vehicles with the state, prove that the vehicles are adequately insured as required by law, and obtain a permit by paying taxes and fees for each vehicle in their network.
TNCs must also conduct local and national criminal records background checks on their drivers and not use drivers whose checks reveal disqualifying information. Disqualifying information includes convictions for murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, elder assault and other forms of assault, felony drug offenses, DUI and other offenses, including registration as a sex offender.
TNCs are not supposed to utilize drivers who have racked up more than three moving violations in the prior three years, or one of a listed major violation in the last three years, including reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, DUI and more.
TNCs are supposed to have a zero tolerance policy regarding drugs, alcohol, carrying a firearm or applying for a concealed weapon permit as a rideshare driver. TNC vehicles are required to be safe and sanitary as well.
What compensation is available after a rideshare car accident in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has passed insurance laws specifically for drivers of rideshare vehicles. In addition to any insurance required as a rideshare driver, Uber and Lyft drivers must still carry their personal liability insurance as required of all Rhode Island drivers, which is at a minimum $25,000 for personal injury per person, $50,000 for personal injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Whether the driver’s personal liability policy will act as primary insurance in an accident depends on the status of the driver at the time of the accident.
Rideshare operators are required to carry additional insurance on top of their personal policy. For a driver who is logged into the app but not engaged in a prearranged ride, the driver must have liability insurance in amounts of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage, as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. While the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride, the vehicle must be covered by a liability insurance policy with limits of $1,500,000 covering death, bodily injury and property damage. These insurance requirements can be met by the driver, the TNC, or a combination of the two.
Call Personal Injury Lawyer Michael Kiselica after a Rhode Island Ridesharing Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, it may be confusing to know how to get compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. Insurance companies may give you the runaround or offer you far less than your claim is worth. Don’t let the insurance companies push you around, and don’t settle for less than you need or deserve. In Rhode Island, call the Kiselica Law Firm in Providence at 401-421-0300 for a no-cost, confidential consultation with a dedicated and successful Providence car accident lawyer.