In any car accident resulting from a driver’s negligence, the negligent driver is liable for any damages the victims suffer. This is because South Carolina is a “fault” state for car insurance claims, which means that an injured victim has the right to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation from a negligent party’s insurance provider. If you are injured in a collision with a negligent driver in a personal vehicle, it is easy to know where to seek compensation for your damages – that driver’s insurance provider. But if a taxi or rideshare vehicle collides with your car, knowing the right party from which to seek compensation can be tricky, especially if the other vehicle was a rideshare vehicle. This is because with a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft, drivers’ coverage can vary according to whether there is a passenger in the vehicle or whether they are en route to pick a passenger up.
Determining Which Party is At Fault
The party whose negligence caused the accident to occur is liable for the victim’s damages. In some cases, more than one party is deemed to be at fault. Even if an injured party is found to be partially at fault for an accident, he or she may still recover compensation for his or her damages as long as he or she does not hold 51 percent or more of the responsibility for the collision. When an injured party is found negligent, his or her total compensation amount is reduced according to his or her share of the fault for the accident. For example, an individual seeking $100,000 in compensation who is found to be 30 percent at fault may only recover up to $70,000.
In order to recover compensation for your car accident damages, you must demonstrate that another party was negligent. A few examples of driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving;
- Aggressive or reckless driving;
- Drunk driving; and
- Disregarding posted traffic signs, such as red lights or speed limits.
You can demonstrate another party’s negligence through evidence like eyewitness testimonies, photographs of the accident, and the official police report for the accident. If you file a personal injury claim, an expert witness like an accident reconstruction specialist can support your claim of the other party’s negligence by creating a digital replay of the scene.
Commercial Car Insurance vs. Rideshare Insurance
If you are involved in an accident involving a rideshare or taxi driver, it is important to know the differences between how these types of drivers are insured what what that coverage means to any victims of their negligence.
With rideshare companies, drivers are required to have their own automobile insurance policies. They may opt to purchase policies specifically developed for rideshare drivers. When the app is running, drivers are covered by the company’s commercial automobile insurance policy. These differences in coverage are known as “periods,” and the periods when a driver is covered by the company’s insurance can vary between rideshare services.
Taxi drivers are required to carry commercial automobile insurance. Any company that uses vehicles as part of its business model must carry this type of insurance, which typically only has one liability limit that covers both property damage and personal injuries caused by the insured’s negligence. Rideshare drivers do not need this type of insurance because they use their personal vehicles, rather than vehicles that belong to their employers. In some cases, though, commercial automobile insurance is their only option.
If you are involved in a collision with a rideshare or taxi driver, be sure to exchange insurance information with him or her before leaving the scene of the accident. Ask if he or she has a commercial or rideshare policy or if he or she was covered by his or her personal policy when the accident occurred.
Work with an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
If you are injured in any type of car accident, whether it involved a rideshare driver, a taxi, a bus, or just another passenger vehicle, know your rights as an injured victim. You have the right to seek monetary compensation for your damages through a car accident claim. You also have the right to negotiate a fair settlement amount that adequately covers your expenses. To learn more about your rights as an injured victim and how to exercise them, speak with one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation with a member of our team.