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More and more people are using apps to hail rideshare services. Currently at $61 billion, the rideshare market is expected to reach $220 billion in value by 2025. With increasing numbers of rideshare drivers on the roads, the number of auto accidents they are involved in will rise as well.

If you are injured while in the backseat of a rideshare vehicle or by a rideshare driver while in your own vehicle, who compensates you for your damages?

At Jett Legal, we understand that when it comes to accidents involving rideshare drivers, the party responsible for your damages is not always clear. If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident in St. Louis, Missouri, or anywhere from Jefferson County to St. Charles County, we can help you find out who is liable and pursue fair compensation.

What Are Missouri’s Rideshare Regulations?

Missouri law refers to rideshare companies that operate using digital apps as “transportation network companies.” Uber and Lyft are both registered, as required, to do business in the state of Missouri.

Missouri law also has rideshare regulations that companies must follow when contracting with drivers who want to work for them. These include conducting thorough criminal background checks, a search of sex offender registries, confirmation of valid driver’s licenses, a review of their driving records, and proof of auto liability insurance that meets or exceeds the minimums required for individual vehicle owners under Missouri law. Companies must also abide by certain policies such as a zero-tolerance policy for driving while under the influence of any substance.

It is important to understand that with very few exceptions, rideshare drivers are not employees of the transportation network company. Rather, they are independent contractors.

Who Can I Sue for Damages if I’m Injured in a Rideshare Accident?

The party responsible for your injuries determines whose liability insurance comes into play. That will be either the rideshare company, such as Uber or Lyft, or the driver of the rideshare vehicle.

If you are injured by the driver of a delivery van, you can file a claim against the liability insurance of the company that owns the van. That’s because it is a company-owned vehicle being operated by an employee in the agency of the company.

Since rideshare drivers are independent contractors operating their own vehicles, it would be extremely rare that you could sue the rideshare company for your damages. However, the company’s liability insurance may come into play under certain circumstances, but not others.

If you are injured by a rideshare driver while they are logged out of the app, which means they are not picking up customers, the driver’s personal auto liability coverage is on the hook for your damages. You will need to sue the driver but are prohibited from suing the rideshare company.

If the driver is logged onto the app and waiting for a ride request, their personal insurance will not cover them, unless they have special coverage for rideshare use of their vehicle. In this case, Uber or Lyft’s basic liability coverage would provide coverage of $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage.

If the driver is logged on and en route to pick up a rider or if they are transporting a passenger, Uber or Lyft’s full liability coverage is accessible, providing up to $1 million in coverage.

What Should I Do if I’m in an Accident?

As with any motor vehicle accident, you should seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t think or aren’t sure you are injured.

You need to make sure the accident is reported. If no one else involved reports it, you should. You should also write down the rideshare driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information for both the driver and the rideshare company. Document the names and contact information of witnesses, and if you are able, take photos of the scene on your phone.

Requesting and gathering relevant documents is also critical to a claim. This will include copies of the crash report, copies of your medical records and bills related to injuries you sustained in the crash, and documentation of lost wages if you are unable to work.

Most importantly, you should hire a tenacious personal injury attorney who has experience with Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare claims. Your attorney will investigate available insurance coverages, the circumstances of the crash, and gather evidence and documentation to support your claim.

UBER & LYFT ACCIDENTS ATTORNEY SERVING ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Personal injury claims linked to rideshare companies and their independent contractors can be complex, but Jett Legal has the experience with rideshare claims to help you. If you have been injured in an accident involving Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare service, you will need a knowledgeable attorney to help you navigate your claim.

Call Jett Legal to schedule a free consultation. Let’s get started on your claim. Call now.

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