Articles Posted in Rideshare Accidents

Especially in cities like Chicago, using a rideshare vehicle can be an accessible and easy alternative to driving. However, as rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber continue to grow in popularity, unfortunately, rideshare accidents tend to increase as well. When someone is injured while in a rideshare collision—whether the accident is the fault of the rideshare vehicle or another driver—people often wonder if they are still able to bring a lawsuit against the responsible party. In these cases, people can still bring a personal injury lawsuit, although there are a few extra factors to take into account.

Recently in Chicago, a man died after a rollover crash on DuSable Lake Shore Drive. According to a local news report, the deceased—a passenger in a rideshare vehicle—was ejected from the vehicle when another driver of a car rear-ended the rideshare car. The vehicle flipped on its side and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Because rideshare applications are still a recently new trend, there is little data on how many accidents in Illinois involve a rideshare vehicle. Despite this, when someone is injured in a rideshare, they are still able to bring a personal injury lawsuit. The plaintiff—the individual bringing the lawsuit—will need to prove that the individual who caused the accident, the defendant, owed a duty to them to drive carefully. Unlike the case above, when the rideshare driver causes the accident, this is an easier burden to prove. The plaintiff can allege that they trusted the rideshare driver to safely take them to their destination, and but for the driver’s actions, the plaintiff would not have been injured. The question, however, is whether the driver was legally “negligent” and whether their negligence was the cause of the accident victim’s injuries.

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have grown in popularity over the past decade, quickly replacing may of the yellow taxi-cabs that many in Chicago remember from their youth. By and large, the move to the rideshare model benefits consumers by offering a more convenient and often less expensive alternative to taxis. However, the prevalence of rideshare drivers on the road has begun to raise questions about who is liable in the event of a Chicago rideshare accident.

Rideshare companies boast that they maintain significant insurance policies on behalf of their drivers. However, because most rideshare drivers use their own vehicles, these policies do not provide coverage at all times. For example, according to Uber’s website, the insurance provided by the company is implicated in only two of three following situations, and the $1 million coverage is only available in one scenario.

  • If the driver is offline or the Uber app is off: Uber’s insurance will not cover the accident, and the driver’s individual policy will be responsible for coverage.

Commuters often take public transit, use rideshare apps, or hop in a taxi to avoid the dangers of a possible Illinois auto accident. However, a recent news report demonstrates that no passenger is ever completely safe, no matter how they are traveling on the road. According to a local news source, a man was killed when the taxi he was riding in collided with another vehicle while making a left-hand turn in Chicago near the 100 block of North Wacker Drive. Emergency vehicles responded to the crash, and the passenger was transported to a nearby hospital with internal injuries. The man later died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash. Evidently, the driver of the taxi and two people from the other vehicle involved were not injured in the crash.

Although the article did not mention if the passenger in the taxi had been wearing a seat belt, Illinois state law curiously exempts backseat taxi passengers from wearing seat belts. Although the law does not require backseat passengers to buckle up, it is essential for all drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt whenever a vehicle is running. Passengers in the backseat of a car should be especially diligent about wearing a seat belt, as back-seat passengers are not usually protected by airbags, and are at an increased risk of being seriously injured or killed if they are not wearing a seat belt.

When a passenger is injured or killed in an accident, several parties may share responsibility for injuries and damages related to the crash. Whether the driver of the vehicle carrying the passenger was at fault, or the collision resulted from the negligence of another driver on the road, it is almost sure that the injured passenger was not at fault. In cases involving public transit crashes, taxi accidents, or rideshare collisions, there may be several insurance companies and other parties who could be financially liable for the crash. Because of the complicated relationship between taxi or rideshare companies, their drivers, and any personal or other insurance companies representing taxi drivers as well as other drivers potentially involved in an accident, accident victims may struggle to receive fair compensation for their losses in the event of an accident.

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