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How Illinois protects those hurt in a rideshare vehicle

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Those involved in car crashes when someone else was driving generally understand that there should be insurance to protect them. Illinois state law mandates liability coverage that will apply to the costs generated in a typical car wreck. The affected parties can take action in civil court if there isn’t enough coverage to pay for their losses. 

However, sometimes the rules for obtaining compensation are different because the situation is unusual. A ride in a for-hire vehicle is a perfect example. Many people occasionally use rideshare services as a way to travel safely after a party or while visiting an area with which they are not very familiar. 

Rideshare services are a cost-effective transportation alternative. Unfortunately, passengers can get hurt because of a crash. Illinois lawmakers have recently taken steps to address that particular public safety concern.

Companies now have more accountability to passengers

There is already some degree of protection available for passengers injured during a crash when in a Lyft or Uber vehicle. The companies treat drivers as contractors, a strategic choice that limits the businesses’ direct liability for crashes caused by drivers.

Both companies have sizable liability insurance policies that can apply to passenger injuries while in a rideshare vehicle, but they have fought to avoid additional responsibility. The new Act eliminates the prior exemption that protected rideshare drivers and companies from the same liability that common carriers, like taxi companies, have to their clients. 

Additionally, state law now requires that the companies prioritize sobriety among the drivers with zero-tolerance programs and provide means for passengers to file complaints about issues during rides. 

Who pays depends on fault and timing

There is no one correct answer regarding the party financially responsible for a rideshare crash. The liability may shift depending on the circumstances. It might be the other vehicle, not the rideshare vehicle, that was to blame for the crash. 

When the rideshare vehicle is at fault, whether or not someone was still in route to their destination will influence who pays. The rideshare driver will typically have a policy that applies before they start the trip and after they technically end the drive in the app, and the company policy applies during the trip. 

Reviewing the details of when the crash occurred and who caused the collision can help someone injured in a rideshare crash determine the best way to pursue compensation for their injuries and other losses.