Even if you have not used Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing services for getting around Baltimore, you are certainly aware of how they work. These “transportation network companies” (TNCs), as defined by Maryland law, operate through a mobile app that matches people who need rides with drivers who work as contractors through the TNC. For passengers, ridesharing offers numerous benefits, including convenience, affordability, and accessibility.
However, heightened safety is NOT an advantage of taking an Uber or Lyft. The risks of auto collisions are still very real, since there are negligent motorists all around you. Including the one sitting in the driver’s seat. If you were hurt in a ridesharing accidents, you will soon discover that the legal process is more complicated than you might expect. You can trust your Maryland ridesharing accidents attorney to handle the details, but here are four facts you need to know.
Insurance requirements apply to Uber and Lyft drivers.
All Maryland motorists are required to carry the state minimum for personal injury auto insurance. Most policies do not cover situations in which the insured transports others for hire. To fill the gap, Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services offer $1 million in insurance coverage for transportation network drivers. If you are hurt in a crash, you can file an injury claim with the TNC to recover compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses.
You must still prove fault in a ridesharing accident.
Though ride hail companies offer insurance, there is still a key element you must establish in an Uber or Lyft collision — fault. You may need evidence to prove that the TNC driver was responsible for causing the accident. It is equally likely that you will require proof that another motorist was negligent.
On a related matter, you should note that negligence principles also apply to your own conduct. If you were partly responsible for causing the Uber or Lyft accident, you may be barred from recovering any monetary damages under Maryland’s contributory negligence law.
There are three relevant periods for purposes of Uber/Lyft crashes.
Maryland’s statute on TNC services refers to different stages of the rideshare experience, which may impact accident claims. They are:
- When the operator is logged into the Uber or Lyft app and ready to accept a user’s request for a ride;
- After the TNC driver accepts the ride and is in transit to pick up the passenger; and,
- When the passenger has entered the rideshare service vehicle and is being transported to the final destination.
It is critical to retain a Baltimore County rideshare accidents lawyer.
While Maryland insurance laws do provide protection for victims of Uber/Lyft crashes. The claims process can be even more challenging than other auto collisions. An insurer aims to make profits, so the company will seek out reasons to deny your claim or pay out as little as possible. You can trust our attorneys to fight for your rights, so please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman today to set up a free consultation.