Have you ever used a peer-to-peer carsharing service, either as a host or a renter of another’s vehicle?
These services offer convenience and lower rental costs for renters and a way to make extra money for the hosts.
However, whenever you make use of a carsharing service there is a risk of a crash. Even if you are not using one of these services, you could get into an accident caused by the driver of a carsharing vehicle.
Do you know how liability is assessed after such an accident? If you suffer damages, do you know how to seek compensation?
Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced attorneys discuss liability for these crashes below. If you have questions about the legal process following a car crash, give us a call today. We are ready to help you seek maximum compensation for your damages.
Free initial legal consultation. Contact us at (337) 984-8020.
What is Peer-to-Peer Carsharing?
Peer-to-peer carsharing is not the same as ridesharing. When you use Lyft or Uber, you and the driver are sharing a ride. When you use a peer-to-peer carsharing service, you are either allowing another person to drive your vehicle or you are using someone else’s vehicle to get somewhere.
With carsharing services, you are paying to rent someone else’s car. With ridesharing services, you are paying for a ride to another destination.
Louisiana Revised Statutes 22:1300.2(6) defines peer-to-peer car sharing as the “authorized use of a vehicle by an individual other than the vehicle’s owner through a peer-to-peer car sharing program.”
Why do People Make Use of Carsharing Companies?
Owning or leasing a car is expensive. You not only have monthly loan or lease payments, but you must also spend money on gas and maintenance of the vehicle (oil changes, tire rotations, replacement of worn-out components, etc.).
For some people, these costs are too much to bear. Others would rather avoid these costs and carsharing allows them to use a vehicle when they need to.
For hosts, who are the people allowing their cars to be rented, carsharing provides another source of income. They may have a vehicle they do not use much. Instead of allowing the vehicle to sit unused, they can sign up for a carsharing service and have a passive stream of income.
Insurance Coverage for Damages From a P2P Carsharing Crash
Sometimes a car crash claim involving a carsharing vehicle will be like many other car crash claims. The victim will be able to file a claim against another driver’s liability insurance. Sometimes victims will need to seek compensation from the carsharing company’s liability policy.
Coverage From Car Insurance Companies
If you were driving a carsharing vehicle and got into a crash caused by another driver, you should be able to file a claim against that driver’s liability insurance policy.
However, if you were in your own vehicle and the driver of a carsharing vehicle caused the crash, the situation may be more complicated.
When a car is part of a carsharing program, driving it is a commercial activity, which means personal liability insurance is not going to apply.
This means you cannot file a claim with the liability insurance of the at-fault driver or the owner of the vehicle involved in the crash.
Some carsharing hosts and renters may have purchased a commercial insurance policy in case of a crash. Your lawyer may be able to seek compensation from this policy if the carsharing driver caused your crash. In Louisiana, car insurance usually follows the car.
Coverage From Carsharing Companies
If you get injured in a crash involving a carsharing vehicle, you may need to seek compensation from the insurance provided by the carsharing company.
- Getaround – This company provides $1,000,000 in liability coverage, but this coverage cannot be used before other available insurance coverage. This coverage applies for an entire reservation, which means coverage applies from the time the reservation is made until the renter is finished with the vehicle.
- Turo – When you sign your car up for Turo, you can choose between five insurance plans that carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage. These policies apply to all covered damages after the deductible gets paid.
- Zipcar – Zipcar insurance is not going to kick in until other available coverage has been used. However, Zipcar only provides the minimum liability insurance required by the state.
What Should You Do After a Carsharing Crash?
If you get hurt in a crash involving a carsharing vehicle, contact the police and exchange information, including insurance information and contact information. Make sure to get the name of the carsharing company.
If you were in a carsharing vehicle, you can contact the carsharing company to report the crash. If you wait to report the crash, it is possible the carsharing company will deny your claim. However, you should avoid conversations with insurance companies before speaking to an attorney. The insurance company will be looking for any reason to deny or underpay your claim.
You also need to get to the hospital as soon as possible to evaluate your injuries and provide appropriate treatment.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat to Discuss Car Crash Damages
Car accident cases can be complex enough with the added element of a carsharing service. Victims do not need to go through the legal process alone. They can hire an experienced attorney to help them deal with the insurance company and gather evidence to establish liability.
Our services come with no upfront cost or legal obligations. The initial legal consultation is also free of charge.
Galloway Jefcoat is here to help. Call us at (337) 984-8020.