Accidents involving ride-hailing services
Ride-hailing services like, Uber and Lyft are new to Vancouver. These services are quickly becoming a popular way to get around town. The advantages for using a ride-hailing service is that the driver arrives quickly, the service is economical, your location is completely trackable from pick up to delivery, and there are personal safety and emergency options within the app. But what happens if you and a ride-hailing driver are involved in an accident?
It is important to note that ride-hailing vehicles are personal, not fleet vehicles, and the drivers are considered contractors not employees. This means that the insurance coverage is different. This difference is where things can become complicated in the event of a serious accident. A Vancouver personal injury lawyer can help you determine what you should do if you have been involved in an accident involving a ride-hailing service.
Driver qualification and insurance
In British Columbia, drivers must meet the qualifications for becoming an Uber driver. They must carry basic car insurance and must disclose to ICBC that they will be using their vehicle for ride-hailing purposes. In addition to their personal insurance, drivers are insured by the ride-hailing provider‘s private insurance policy. The commercial insurance policy covers the driver from the time they accept a fare until they deliver their passenger to their destination. Most importantly, personal vehicles used for commercial purposes such as, carrying a passenger for a fee, voids many insurance policies in the event of a collision involving damage to person or property. What do you do if the ride-hailing driver is inadequately covered or not insured properly at all?
After an accident what should you expect ?
What should you know if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident? Always seek immediate medical assistance for any injuries. Collect all the information from every vehicle, driver, and witness to the accident. Until fault is assigned you will not know who is responsible for the insurance claim. Remember, it may be difficult to get information after you have left the scene. If you are unsure, take photos of the vehicles and plates, driver’s licenses and insurance documents of each person involved, and ask for phone numbers. As a commercial passenger you will be considered a witness in the accident and may be asked to provide a statement. It is a good idea to write down your understanding of the event for future reference.
Always seek medical attention for yourself immediately following the accident. Often, injuries may not be present right away. Delaying a visit to the doctor may impact any possible injury claim. Finally, a Vancouver personal injury lawyer can advise you how to proceed with your claim if your injuries are serious.
How do I file a claim if I am involved in an accident?
This is where things can become complicated. Typically, claims go through the party at fault’s insurance policy, regardless if you are a passenger of a ride-hailing service, or the driver of another vehicle. A separate private insurance policy, held by the service provider, covers the ride-hailing driver when they are working.
Questions to ask a lawyer after an accident
Can you file a claim with Uber as well as the driver’s private insurance in the event of a catastrophic accident? Does the ride-hailing driver carry adequate insurance or just the minimum required? What if there are long term medical expenses, or lost wages? Will there be enough insurance to cover your needs? How do you file a claim against the ride-hailing service accident policy? These questions are important, and we encourage you to ask an experienced personal injury lawyer for assistance. Wishart Brain & Spine Law offers a free consultation for this reason. Contact us today for help.