Experienced Attorney Represents Victims of Rideshare Accidents in the D.C. Metro Area 

Strategic trial lawyer seeks full compensation from powerful global corporations

A rideshare app seems like a great idea: with a click of your smartphone, you can have a driver appear at the curb, wherever you are, and take you where you need to go. Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing whether these drivers are competent or if their vehicles are completely safe. Thus, as rideshare service has exploded in popularity over the last two decades, so has the number of injury accidents blamed on rideshare drivers. Complicating matters further is the fact that insurance coverage for rideshare drivers fluctuates depending on circumstances. For all of these reasons, if you are injured in a rideshare accident, you should retain the best available legal counsel. At The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith in Gaithersburg, you get a knowledgeable attorney with the skill and experience to pursue full compensation even against powerful global corporations like Uber and Lyft.

Who is liable for a rideshare accident?

If you get into an accident caused by a cab driver, the cab company is liable under the legal principle of respondeat superior. That Latin phrase means, "Let the master answer", and applies in most situations where an employee, in the course of employment, acts carelessly to cause harm. The principle applies in bus accidents where a bus driver's mistake causes a crash. However, rideshare drivers are not employees of the rideshare company. They are independent contractors, so company liability depends on the precise circumstances of the accident.

Insurance coverage in rideshare accidents

Decades ago, a few instances of high-profile accidents involving rideshare drivers causing the wrongful death of innocent parties began to circulate. The companies attempted to deny responsibility, and the drivers didn't have enough insurance or personal assets to cover the damages. This controversy led to major rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft adopting a multi-tiered system of insurance coverage.

When a driver is operating his own vehicle on his own time, his own insurance is the only available coverage. But when the driver accesses the Uber app, company coverage might apply, depending on the circumstances. The driver may be:

  • Waiting for ride request — When the driver is logged into the app and is open to receiving riders, their own insurance is still the primary. If, for some reason, the driver's insurance doesn't apply, the company provides:
    • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
    • $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
    • $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
  • Heading to pick up passenger — At this point, company insurance provides:
    • $1 million third-party liability coverage
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
    • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to actual cash value of the car with a $1,000 deductible
  • Driver has passenger and is bound for the destination — When a passenger is already in the car, the company insurance provides:
    • $1 million liability coverage
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
    • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage; up to actual cash value of the car with a $1,000 deductible                                

Given the potential losses for a severe injury, the issue of insurance coverage can be pivotal to your case.

Filing a claim for a rideshare accident

It's hard enough to deal with one insurance company after a car crash. With a rideshare accident, you could have to file claims with multiple providers, which include:

  • The driver's personal insurance carrier
  • The rideshare company or its insurer
  • Your own insurance company

Navigating all this red tape can feel challenging, especially while you are recovering from an injury. Retaining a reliable injury attorney can give you peace of mind during this trying time. They can help you decide which steps to take.                                 

Contact a knowledgeable Maryland attorney for a free rideshare accident consultation 

The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith in Gaithersburg represents clients injured in rideshare accidents. To schedule a free consultation, call 301-760-7460 or contact me online.

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  • Gaithersburg Office


    257 Market Street W,
    Suite 100,
    Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878

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