Does the Law Hold Rideshare Companies Accountable in Personal Injury Cases?

Massachusetts has statewide regulations on rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to enhance accountability in personal injury matters. The legislation enhances a balance that enables networking companies to perform their essential transportation work while promoting public safety.

However, pursuing compensation from these companies if you get involved in an accident can be challenging. Boston personal injury attorneys get into the details of Massachusetts regulations and how they come into play when you get into an accident while riding in Uber or Lyft.

What Are Some Concerns for Ridesharing Employees in Massachusetts?

One of the areas of concern in ridesharing regulations is the rights of workers employed by the companies. In most jurisdictions, ridesharing workers are considered independent contractors, meaning they work autonomously with few protections from the parent company where they receive their business.

Boston taxi accident lawyers explain that the relationship between drivers and ridesharing companies differs from the typical employer-employee relationship where an employer provides workers’ compensation. So, ridesharing drivers have different rights and protections than full-fledged employees.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Play Out for Independent Contractors?

When an employee gets injured while working under the employer’s supervision, the employer should be held responsible for the damages through workers’ compensation. In an independent contractor relationship, the workers can work as they see fit. They may not lay a claim against the company they work for if they sustain injuries while working.

The distinction between employee and independent contractor is complicated in workers’ compensation law. If you’re a rideshare driver who sustains injuries in an accident while on duty, contact experienced taxi accident attorneys in Boston to find out if you can hold the ridesharing company liable and how to recover compensation.

Uber Driver Injury Protection Insurance

As independent contractors, Uber and Lyft drivers may be left scrambling to cover their medical bills and lost wages after an accident. If you’re injured while working, some options for safeguarding yourself as a driver include filing a claim under Uber’s Driver Insurance Protection Policy.

However, this insurance coverage is voluntary, and enrolling in the program is at your own cost. The policy covers your medical bills and other damages suffered in an accident when traveling to pick up or drop off passengers. Taxi accident attorneys can provide more guidance on how the coverage differs from other insurance policies.

How Lyft’s Insurance Structure Factors into a Personal Injury Case

Lyft drivers are covered under Lyft’s insurance depending on when the accident happens. Their personal insurance policies (PIP) apply if an accident occurs off-app. Lyft insurance coverages are as follows:

  • $50,000 per person for bodily injuries
  • $100,000 per accident for bodily injuries
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

The insurance provides the following coverage when drivers are traveling to a pickup or drop-off location:

  • Comprehensive and collision coverage up to the car’s cash value, less a $2,500 deductible if the driver has the same policy through their personal policy
  • First-party coverage that may include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, PIP, Occupational Accident coverage, and Medpay
  • $1,000,000 at minimum for third-party auto liability

Can You Sue Ridesharing Companies for an Accident?

Collecting compensation requires you to prove the at-fault party’s negligence and show how it caused your injuries. Ridesharing companies structure their businesses to protect themselves from liability if drivers get into accidents.

If you get injured and plan to pursue damages, your claim will likely not be against the ridesharing company. If you’re at fault, you can seek compensation from your insurance company. Experienced personal injury attorneys in Boston can also evaluate the case and help you determine other parties liable for the accident.

Third-Party Drivers

As a rideshare company driver, you may do everything right but can’t control the behavior of other drivers. Other parties could act negligently on the road and engage in dangerous behavior, such as:

  • Ignoring traffic signals
  • Cutting ahead of the rideshare car
  • Speed
  • Failure to obey general traffic rules, causing an accident

The other driver could be liable for the accident and resulting losses.

Government and Municipalities

Government entities and municipalities have designated traffic-related responsibilities to keep road conditions safe and oversee traffic signals, street lighting, and other road safety elements. You can pursue a claim against these entities if you believe a dangerous condition caused your accident and the government or municipality could have prevented it.

However, pursuing claims against government entities may be more complex than from private parties. The rules are complex, and government entities may have a solid defense system. Nonetheless, you can enhance the chances of a favorable outcome if you retain aggressive taxi accident lawyers in Boston.

Vehicle Manufacturers and Inspectors

Your accident could have been due to a defective vehicle or part, and your lawyers can investigate the cause. Brake and steering failure are common malfunctions that lead to car accidents. It could be that the manufacturer or installer was negligent, but skilled lawyers can help you hold the parties liable and pursue the compensation you deserve.

A Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Helping You Navigate Massachusetts Regulations in Rideshare Accidents

The regulations governing rideshare companies can be complex, and working around them can be frustrating without the help of experienced taxi accident attorneys in Boston. There is much to evaluate, such as who is liable for the accident and how to pursue them for compensation. Remember, there are also strict filing deadlines to beat, so let legal experts help you.

Joel H. Schwartz is a leading personal injury law firm in Boston. Our team of legal experts has many years of experience in personal injury cases and can help you navigate cases involving rideshare companies. We know how the regulations work and can help you beat the system to protect your rights. Call us at 508-850-0342 for a FREE consultation.