What to do if I am involved in a car sharing accident?
Car sharing has rapidly been gaining traction as an alternative to traditional car rentals, especially in major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now, even the Los Angeles Department of Transportation is getting involved by partnering with a French company to bring electric vehicles to densely populated Los Angeles neighborhoods such as Downtown, where people may not have their own personal vehicle either by choice or necessity.
As a consumer, these new transportation models certainly offer exciting alternatives to traditional vehicle ownership or rental, but what happens if you are injured in a car share vehicle accident—be it as a driver, passenger or as someone who’s been hit by one of them?
The simple answer is: any reputable car sharing company will provide commercial insurance coverage. So, if you are involved in an accident with a car share vehicle, you should be covered by the car share company’s own insurance.
Of course, things aren’t that simple. Renters who don’t read the fine print may be in for a very unpleasant surprise should they get into an accident, let alone a serious one. Many eager renters simply sign on the dotted line without thinking about the scope of coverage. In addition, renters tend to turn down offers of extra coverage.
It’s all good, unless you’re in a serious accident. The car share’s rental insurance company will try to pay out the least amount possible, leaving you to your own devices regarding any medical bills, property damage and lost wages not covered by the policy. In a serious accident, this could run into tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While many car sharing companies like to point out their high liability coverage amounts, you may have issues if you’re hit by an uninsured motorist. Does the car sharing insurance policy even offer uninsured motorist insurance? If so, what are the policy limit amounts? In the event of a catastrophic car accident, even high policy limits may not cover all costs. What if someone needs ongoing medical care and treatment? If ongoing care and treatment aren’t included, the injured party could be looking at some serious financial issues along with their medical ones.
It’s better to review your own auto insurance policy as well as the car share company’s insurance policy before renting a car from them. This is one time where it pays to read the fine print.
Also, if you’re a frequent user of car sharing services, it’s a good idea to purchase non-owner’s auto insurance. That additional policy can come in handy in case of an accident.
On the flip side, if you’ve been hit and injured by someone driving a car sharing vehicle, the insurance policy carried by the car sharing driver may not cover all of your costs either. That’s especially true in an accident with major injuries and property damage.
That leaves all injured parties, be they drivers, passengers or pedestrians in a catch 22 caught between their own insurance and the car sharing company’s where neither insurer wants to cover anything more than the bare minimum or flat out refuses to pay.
The attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm are well aware of the new alternatives to car rental and ownership that are appearing and continue to evolve here in California. They deal with all types of insurance companies and know their tactics very well. Contrary to what many consumers believe, the insurance companies only care about one bottom line: theirs.
The future is here and Wilshire Law Firm is at the forefront. Whether your accident involves car share, ride share, traditional rental or privately-owned vehicles, Wilshire Law Firm knows the ins and outs of how to proceed and make sure you receive the fair and just compensation you’re entitled to.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Wilshire Law Firm at 1-800-522-7274 for a FREE consultation. Don’t take on the insurance companies on your own, especially when it comes to such a complex and contemporary situation. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.