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Who’s at Fault for Rideshare Car Accidents in Tennessee?

Car accidents in an Uber or Lyft prompt question of liability in riders, drivers, and insurance companies in Tennessee.

Uber and Lyft passengers should be asking themselves a few important questions these days:

If I'm in a car accident with an Uber or Lyft driver in Tennessee, who's responsible for any damage? The driver, or the company? How is coverage provided after the accident? Will any damage done to my car be compensated for?

In the following article, we'll discuss this issue in detail so that you know exactly what to do if you're involved in a Tennessee car accident with someone driving an Lyft or Uber vehicle.

What is a ridesharing service?

Most insurance companies have yet to tailor existing coverage policies to account for the fact that ridesharing is a commonly used method of transportation nowadays. Ridesharing is a mode of transportation in which drivers pick up passengers just like a taxi service, except with different methods and price structures.

Popular ridesharing services include:

Passengers who need a ride can use a smartphone app to schedule a driver at the time they specify. They can choose from different types of vehicles — for instance, a compact car or an SUV — depending on comfort level or number of people riding.

Because of the convenience of this service, in which passengers can get rides fairly quickly and easily without a wait, many people are now opting to use ridesharing services over regular taxi services.

Who's at fault in a ridesharing accident: the company or the driver?

What if you're driving your car and are hit by another driver who happens to be an Uber or Lyft driver? The first thing to know is that the drivers for these companies are considered contractors for the company. This is similar to what regular taxi companies do.

As with any car accident, to receive compensation for damage to you or your car, you must file an insurance claim and prove that the other driver was at fault.

So the question remains:

Who is responsible for the accident claim? The driver of the car, or the company they work for?

First, Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies have a legal requirement that all their drivers must have liability car insurance. However, most personal car insurances will not cover the driver when they're driving for a rideshare company. So that's why Uber and Lyft cover their drivers with liability coverage while their drivers are working for them up to an amount of $1,000,000.

The driver must be logged into the app to receive coverage from Uber or Lyft. Coverage varies depending on where and when the accident occured, as well as whether or not the driver had accepted a call through the app or not and had passengers.

Anyone who has been in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver should call the police immediately in order to have a police report written up. This is the best way to determine fault and to support your ensuing claim.

If your insurance company or the rideshare company refused to pay, then consulting with an experienced Tennessee car accident lawyer immediately. There are many intricacies involving some rideshare accident claims, and a knowledgeable attorney will be able to help steer you through the process.

Contact Gilreath & Associates today for a free consultation.

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