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How do injury claims work in a ride-share accident?

Events like March Madness increase the chances of an Uber or Lyft collision

March and April brings March Madness -- the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men's and women's basketball tournaments. Once again, Florida plays hosts to games in each tournament. Jacksonville hosted the first two rounds of the men's tournament while Tampa will play host to the women's Final Four. Many Floridians will travel to Minnesota for the men's championship.

These tournaments attract basketball fans from Florida and all over the country to watch their favorite team and experience all that our great state has to offer. Many of those fans will use ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to get around. But what happens if you're injured in a collision involving a ride-sharing service? It depends on the facts of the situation.

All the basketball hoopla raises traffic levels

To avoid driving after too much celebrating or driving on unfamiliar roads, some fans will opt for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. These are fantastic alternatives to drawing "flagrant fouls" like traffic tickets or drunk driving. But with increased traffic comes greater risk for collisions.

Insurance will care for a driver injured in a typical car accident. But what happens when ride-sharing vehicles are involved? That scenario raises a unique set of legal issues. Your best bet is to contact a personal injury attorney who is familiar with various auto accident scenarios and how to hold the right parties accountable.

Insurance is a good defense

The good news for Uber and Lyft passengers is that ride-sharing companies should cover them in the event of an accident. Using Uber as an example, Uber drivers are required to carry their own auto liability insurance. And Uber itself also has high liability coverage. One or both of those policies may apply, depending on whether the Uber driver was between fares, en route to a pick-up or actually carrying a passenger. Likewise you are protected by those policies if an Uber car crashes into your personal vehicle.

If you are riding in an Uber or Lyft car and you are struck by another driver, you would bring a claim against that person's insurance (and possibly Uber if they were partly at fault). There is also a possibility your own auto insurance could come into play even though you weren't driving. That would only be necessary if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured. Again, these complex issues make it advisable to talk to an attorney before talking to insurance adjusters or representatives of the ride-hailing service.

Have a game plan

Teams take time to prepare for each game and fans need to game plan for a safe trip to the arena. The overall risk of an injury accident isn't high. On the other hand, the odds of bracket-busting upsets in the NCAA are low yet they happen every year. Ride-sharing services bring many benefits, but they also raise different issues in the event of a collision. The ball is in your court. Know your rights.

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