Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way people travel, offering convenient and affordable transportation options. However, like any other mode of transportation, rideshare vehicles are not immune to accidents. If you are involved in a rideshare accident, it’s essential to understand your rights and the legal options available to you. At Kruger & Hodges, we have extensive experience helping rideshare accident victims in Wilmington, Ohio, and the surrounding areas. In this article, we will discuss important information about rideshare accidents in Ohio, including accident statistics, liability, insurance policies, compensation eligibility, common causes of accidents, and how we can help.
Ohio Accident Statistics
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were 1,131 accidents involving taxis, limousines, and rideshare vehicles in 2019, resulting in 748 injuries and 7 fatalities. These accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including driver error, reckless driving, distracted driving, and vehicle malfunctions.
Who is Liable in an Uber and Lyft Accident?
If you are involved in a rideshare accident, one of the first questions you may have is who is liable for the damages. Liability in rideshare accidents can be complicated, as it depends on several factors, such as who was at fault for the accident, whether the rideshare driver was on-duty or off-duty, and whether the driver had a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Uber and Lyft are required by Ohio law to conduct background checks on their drivers to ensure that they are qualified to provide rideshare services. Both companies conduct background checks on potential drivers through a third-party company. These checks typically include reviewing the driver’s driving history, criminal history, and sex offender registry.
For Uber drivers in Ohio, the company uses a third-party background check provider called Checkr. According to Uber’s website, Checkr searches national, state, and local databases, the National Sex Offender Registry, and a federal criminal database. The background check also includes a review of the driver’s driving history and social security trace.
Lyft uses a similar third-party background check provider called Sterling Talent Solutions to conduct background checks on its drivers in Ohio.
Both companies also require potential drivers to provide additional documentation, such as proof of insurance and vehicle registration, before being approved to drive for their platform.
In Ohio, rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees, of Uber and Lyft. This distinction can have significant implications for accident liability. In general, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are not automatically liable for accidents caused by their drivers. Instead, liability usually falls on the driver or other parties who may have contributed to the accident.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Requirements
If you are involved in a rideshare accident in Ohio, it’s important to understand the insurance policies of Uber and Lyft. These policies can provide coverage for various types of damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
When a rideshare driver is on duty and has a passenger in the vehicle, Uber and Lyft provide the following insurance coverage:
Liability coverage: Up to $1 million in liability coverage per accident for bodily injury and property damage.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Up to $1 million in coverage per accident if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage: Up to the actual cash value of the vehicle with a $1,000 deductible.
When the driver is on-duty but does not have a passenger in the vehicle, Uber and Lyft provide lower levels of coverage, including liability coverage of up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and up to $25,000 in property damage coverage.
When the driver is off-duty, their personal auto insurance policy will generally provide coverage in the event of an accident.
Who May Be Eligible for Compensation
Victims who have been injured in a rideshare accident in Ohio may be eligible for compensation if they can demonstrate that the accident was caused by the negligence or fault of the rideshare driver or another party. This may include:
Rideshare passengers: Passengers who are injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft may be eligible for compensation. They may also be eligible for compensation if they were getting in or out of the rideshare vehicle at the time of the accident.
Other drivers and passengers: If the rideshare driver was at fault for the accident, other drivers and passengers involved in the accident may be eligible for compensation.
Pedestrians and bicyclists: If a rideshare driver hits a pedestrian or bicyclist while driving, the victim may be eligible for compensation.
Family members: If a family member is killed in a rideshare accident, surviving family members may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim.
It is important to note that eligibility for compensation may depend on the specific circumstances of the accident and the evidence available.
How Kruger & Hodges Can Help
In addition to the legal aspects of the claims process, Kruger & Hodges can also help you navigate the medical and insurance aspects of your case. We have experience working with medical professionals and insurance companies to ensure that you receive the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a rideshare accident, do not hesitate to contact us. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not collect a fee unless we win your case. Our experienced attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the maximum compensation available for your injuries and losses.