What Are the Ridesharing Laws in Massachusetts?
Ridesharing services have become popular in Massachusetts, requiring the government to regulate the sector more strictly. Under the ridesharing laws, drivers must have automobile liability insurance coverage. The insurance compensates ridesharing accident victims for property damage and bodily injury.
The coverage also includes uninsured motorist coverage. It covers accidents that may occur while the rideshare accident is on a trip. Drivers must also have personal injury protection (PIP). However, Boston personal injury attorneys note that the policy only comes into play when the driver is on the app, traveling to pick up a client, waiting for a ride request, or en route with a client.
What Are Some Challenges in Ridesharing Accidents in Massachusetts?
Insurance coverage and liability issues have been common for many rideshare accident lawyers in Boston. The requirement for drivers to have $20,000 per injured driver, $40,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage is often insufficient to compensate victims in serious accidents. Lawyers have had to fight for additional compensation from the ridesharing companies.
In other cases, insurance claims were denied because drivers failed to inform insurance companies that their cars were being used for commercial purposes. Ridesharing companies would deny liability on claims that the drivers were independent contractors or because there was no passenger in the vehicle when the accident happened.
New Ridesharing Bill That Alleviates the Challenges
The law requires transportation network companies (TNC) to carry $1,000,000 in commercial auto insurance coverage for third-party liability. The coverage also provides for uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury and contingent comprehensive and collision, up to the car’s actual cash value.
The new law eliminates the possibility of an insurer denying coverage because a driver failed to notify the company that the car was being used for ridesharing. It also ensures that passengers and pedestrians are covered in an accident during a trip.
However, passengers assaulted by rideshare drivers may still find it difficult to sue the rideshare company directly, mainly if the 2-step background check was used when screening the driver. If you are a victim of an assault by a rideshare driver, consult skilled rideshare accident attorneys in Boston for legal guidance on pursuing justice.
How is Liability Determined in a Rideshare Accident?
Determining liability in ridesharing accidents starts with differentiating the relationship between the driver and the app. Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, and the app is typically not the driver’s employer. Rideshare companies often use this distinction to deny liability in their legal defense when a driver causes an accident.
Thorough investigations by experienced rideshare accident lawyers in Boston, the following parties can be held liable for a ridesharing accident:
- Ridesharing drivers
- The at-fault driver
- Ridesharing company
- Vehicle manufacturers
What Are My Rights If Injured in a Rideshare Accident?
If you get injured in a paid ride on any rideshare vehicle, you can be eligible to pursue compensation from your driver if they’re found liable for the accident. The $1 million policy protects you and ensures you receive compensation for the injuries and other damages.
If another driver is liable, their insurance company would be implicated. If they’re uninsured or underinsured, your driver’s underinsured or uninsured liability coverage will kick in to cover your losses.
If Injured as a Pedestrian
Thousands of pedestrians are injured and sustain life-changing injuries in car accidents annually. Bicyclists and motorcyclists also often suffer the same fate, and most of them may not know what to do if the accident involves a rideshare vehicle. If you sustained injuries caused by a rideshare vehicle as a pedestrian or cyclist, you need to fight for your right to be compensated.
The first step is to consult rideshare accident lawyers in Boston to assess your case and help you build a strong compensation claim. Massachusetts laws require rideshare drivers to operate a car with the same ordinary care and skill a prudent and reasonable driver would.
They must not drive under the influence, speed, or drive while distracted. Your Boston rideshare accident attorneys can help you prove the driver’s negligence. They can also help you pursue more compensation from the rideshare company if the driver’s insurance can’t adequately compensate you for your bodily injury and property damage.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Rideshare Accident Claim?
Once you file a compensation claim against the negligent rideshare driver, the other driver, or the rideshare company, your lawyers will evaluate your case to determine the damages you’re eligible to recover. These may include:
- Emergency room costs
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Cost of prescription medication
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Reduced or lost earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
The actual settlement amount you receive depends on several factors, such as the extent and impact of your injuries. Retaining aggressive rideshare accident attorneys in Boston can boost the chances of recovering the maximum compensation your case is worth. They can also ensure you file within the statute of limitations to prevent your case from being dismissed.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Helping You Overcome Rideshare Insurance Challenges
Being in any accident can be traumatic because you can sustain life-altering injuries. Pursuing compensation can be challenging, and the situation can get more complicated if a rideshare vehicle is involved. Navigating rideshare insurance laws in Massachusetts can be difficult, but skilled personal injury attorneys can help you fight for what you deserve.
Joel H. Schwartz P.C. is a personal injury law firm with knowledgeable rideshare accident attorneys. We are well-versed in personal injury laws in Massachusetts and can help you navigate the nuances of such cases to protect your rights. Call us at 508-850-0342 to schedule a FREE consultation.