Car sharing is a growing practice in urban areas, offering a practical, convenient, and environmentally friendly alternative to owning a car. But with 39,957 car accidents in Los Angeles County in 2022, all car-share app users need to know what to do after a crash.
Taking the right steps post-collision, including working with a car-sharing accident attorney, can protect your rights and help you receive compensation when another driver is at fault.
What is Car Sharing?
Car sharing is a service that allows people to rent cars for short periods, often hourly or daily. This convenient option is ideal in cities like Glendale and Sacramento, where owning a car can be expensive and impractical.
Users join a service and then book vehicles through an app or website, picking up the car from a designated spot. Top car-sharing apps in the U.S. are:
- Zipcar, known for its wide availability and membership-based access
- Turo is a peer-to-peer service that lets car owners rent out their personal vehicles
- Getaround is a platform for community-based car-sharing
Car sharing is a practical solution if you don’t own a vehicle or have temporarily lost the use of your vehicle, whether due to regular maintenance or repairs after an accident. Car sharing offers the convenience of using a vehicle only for the time you require, ensuring both flexibility and cost-effectiveness compared to long-term rentals.
Who’s Responsible for Damages in a Car-Sharing Accident?
In car-sharing accidents, responsibility for damages can vary. Usually, the car-sharing service includes certain insurance coverage, but it might not cover all damages.
For example, Turo provides various Protection Plans for guests (those renting the car), allowing them to minimize financial liability for physical damage. Their Premier plan offers comprehensive coverage, eliminating personal expenses for reported physical damages, except for mechanical or interior damage.
The Standard plan limits the renter’s out-of-pocket costs to $500 for physical damages, applicable after other applicable insurances have been used.
In cases where another driver is at fault for an accident, their liability insurance is typically expected to cover the damages. Users may also need to use their auto insurance, depending on the specific coverage provided by the car-sharing service and the circumstances of the accident.
General Steps to Take After a Car-Sharing Collision
If you experience an accident while using a car-sharing vehicle, following certain steps to safeguard your rights is important. Follow this basic checklist in the event of a crash:
- Seek medical care. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, consulting a doctor immediately ensures you receive appropriate care. This step also provides documented evidence of your injuries for insurance claims, whether through a car-sharing service or with the other driver involved.
- Exchange details with the other driver. Request the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance details. This information is necessary for the insurance process and any legal follow-up.
- Obtain a police report. Contact the police to file a report. This provides an official record of the accident and is usually required when notifying the car-share app. Obtain a copy of the police report for your records.
- Gather evidence. Capture images of the accident scene, including all cars involved, any damages, and the nearby area. Your attorney can use this evidence for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
- Contact an attorney. Speak with a knowledgeable car-share attorney in California. The Shirvanian Law Firm can guide you through the car-share app process for reporting the incident, determining who is responsible for paying your damages, and helping you seek compensation.
- Report the accident to the car-sharing company. Inform the car-sharing company immediately. Follow their designated accident procedures.
Notify the Car-Share Company
Consult with an attorney before reporting the accident to the car-sharing company. This step can safeguard your entitlement to compensation and ensure that all necessary documents for the claim are accurately completed.
Each car-sharing service has its own protocol for reporting an accident. For your guidance, here are the general procedures to follow for the top three car-sharing companies.
- Open the Turo app and navigate to your list of booked trips.
- Select the current trip and look for an option to report damage.
- Provide as many details of the accident as possible, including the police report number and any photographs of the damage you can provide.
If you get into an accident while driving a Zipcar vehicle, take the following steps:
- Contact Zipcar by phone at 866-4ZIPCAR to report the incident.
- Collect photos of the damage and fill out a police report.
- Provide the date, time, and place of the incident.
- Include the names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers of all persons involved in the crash.
- Zipcar will email you instructions on filling out an incident report. Follow these instructions, complete the form, then send it to Zipcar.
Once you submit your incident report to Zipcar, the company will lock your account while investigating the incident.
If you get into an accident while driving a Getaround vehicle, follow these steps:
- Report all claims via the in-app form.
- For current trips: Open the app, go to “Trips,” tap “Report a new claim,” near “Extend” and “Car Key.” Complete the form and submit it.
- For completed trips: Open the app, select the trip from “Trips,” and scroll to “Trip Inspection.” Tap “Report a new claim” near “Start” and “End” Trip Inspection.
- Fill out the form with as much detail as possible and submit it.
Hire a Glendale Car-Share Attorney After a Crash
Having the right legal support can simplify the claims process if you’ve been involved in a car-sharing accident. The Shirvanian Law Firm can assist you in reporting the incident, determining liability, and securing fair compensation.
Contact our team today for a free consultation to discuss your case and review your legal options.