These days there is an app for everything. In fact, with the touch of a button, you can borrow someone else’s car. This is known as car-sharing, and it is growing in popularity in major cities, such as Washington D.C. After all, it offers residents a convenient way to get around without the stressful components of car ownership. There is no insurance purchase required and no maintenance fees. You simply have access to a car when you need it and where you need it.
Car-sharing services like Maven, Turo, and Getaround take ridesharing one step further. Unlike ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber, you’re not relying on a driver to take you places. They also differ from traditional rental car companies because you’re not required to rent a vehicle by the day. Instead, you simply rent someone else’s vehicle by the hour.
But what happens when you get into an accident while car sharing? Who pays for the damage to the vehicle and who pays for your injuries?
Coverage Options When Using Car Sharing Vehicles
All three major car-sharing companies offer different options for insurance coverage. These options should be taken into consideration before you rent a vehicle.
- Turo – insurance coverage is available to both the owner of the vehicle and the driver. Hosts and renters can choose to either basic, premium, or standard coverage to protect their vehicle. With either the premium or standard package, $1,000,000 in primary liability coverage is included without a deductible. With the basic plan, there is a $3,000 deductible.
- Maven – insurance coverage is provided up to the minimum requirements in Washington D.C. But that minimum at the time of writing this blog is very low: $25,000 in personal injury liability coverage per person injured. The driver is responsible for all damages to the vehicle up to the deductible. You may also be responsible for damages if you drove recklessly or did not follow the program rules.
- Getaround – eligible drivers themselves are fully covered for the duration of their trip with Getaround’s $1,000,000 comprehensive and liability coverage. If the renter is responsible, there is a $1,000 damage fee per incident. If the car is valued over $75,000 or if it is considered a classic car, then the renter will be charged a $2,500 damage fee.
As you can see, depending on the car-sharing service you use, and the insurance plan you choose, you could be facing different liabilities after an accident.
What to Do After a Car Sharing Accident
If you rented another person’s car and are involved in an accident, it is important to know what steps you can take to protect yourself and your claim.
- Call 911 – it is important to report the accident, no matter how minor, to the police immediately.
- Seek Medical Help – even if you believe that you are uninjured, it is important to be evaluated by an experienced medical professional immediately.
- Exchange Information – exchange contact information, insurance cards, and driver’s license numbers with the other driver, as well as any potential eyewitnesses.
- Gather Evidence – if you are able, snap pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, and any other important details.
- Contact Carshare Company – you are required to report the accident to the carshare company or your host within 24 hours to ensure eligibility for coverage.
Determining Liability After a Car Sharing Accident
Car sharing is relatively new, and as such, establishing liability may be more complex. While filing a claim for an accident in a car-sharing vehicle may be similar to filing other types of accident claims, your level of responsibility may change depending on the amount of coverage you have.
As such, it is important to have an experienced and skilled Washington D.C. car accident attorney on your side from the very start. Your attorney will be able to review the coverages provided and determine the best course of legal action.
Contact Our Experienced Washington D.C. Car Accident Lawyers
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our Washington D.C. car accident attorneys know that carsharing accidents are complex. As such, injured accident victims need a law firm on their side that can fight for their rights to full compensation after a carsharing accident.
Contact our law firm by calling (202) 742-1500 or (888) 625-6635 or filling out our confidential contact form. We offer a free initial consultation for all injured accident victims and can help you choose the legal path that is best for you. Call today!