If you experienced a car accident in a Zipcar, you might have questions about who is liable, what car insurance is available to pay for losses, and how to get compensation for your injuries. Unlike in a traditional car accident, the driver does not own a Zipcar.
With Zipcar, you apply online to join the Zipcar ride-sharing network. You book a vehicle by the hour or day, drive the car, then return it to the place where you got it.
Who Is Liable in a Zipcar Accident
Even though Zipcar is a non-traditional car driving experience, many of the same legal principles of standard car accident cases apply when determining who is responsible in Zipcar cases. Liability will depend on the facts of the case, whether you are a driver or passenger in a Zipcar, an occupant of another vehicle, or a pedestrian. As your personal injury lawyer, we will evaluate these four factors to establish who should pay for your injuries:
Duty of care
The Zipcar driver owes the same duty of care to other people on the road as any other driver does. For example, the Zipcar driver has the duty to operate the vehicle in a safe and cautious manner.
Breach of the duty of care
If the Zipcar driver does something that violates the duty of care, they are negligent. Examples of negligence include driving while intoxicated, speeding, and distracted driving.
If the Zipcar driver’s negligence was a cause of the accident, the facts satisfy the causation element of liability. For example, if the Zipcar driver passed out while driving because of intoxication and, as a result, plowed into your car, their breach of the duty of care caused your accident.
The Zipcar driver’s negligence must have caused your injuries. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury when the Zipcar crashed into your vehicle, for example, the facts satisfy the damages requirement of liability.
Liability Insurance Zipcar Provides
Zipcar provides different levels of liability insurance to pay for bodily injuries and property damage to third parties (in other words, not the Zipcar driver), depending on the driver’s age, and the date the driver joined Zipcar. The types of third-party liability insurance coverage Zipcar provides with the cars people rent from them include:
- If the driver is under the age of 21, the coverage will be the same as the minimum coverage required in the state where the accident happens.
- If the driver is 21 or older and joined Zipcar before March 1, 2015, the company will provide a combined single limit (CSL) of $300,000 per accident.
- If the driver is 21 or older and joined Zipcar on or after March 1, 2015, the company will provide liability coverage of $100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage.
If the jurisdiction where the accident happened requires personal injury protection (PIP), Zipcar will provide the minimum amount of this “no-fault” coverage the state mandates. Unless they pay for an optional damage fee waiver, drivers have to pay Zipcar a $1,000 damage fee for every accident.
Insurance Policies for Damages in a Zipcar Accident
Pursuing a claim for compensation can be daunting enough in a traditional car crash, but when you are dealing with a car accident in a Zipcar, it can be helpful to have a lawyer sort through all the possible insurance policies that might help to pay for your losses. In a Zipcar wreck, there might be multiple insurance policies that could help you, such as:
- Zipcar’s liability policy that covers losses when the Zipcar driver is at fault
- Zipcar’s general business liability insurance
- The Zipcar driver’s personal auto insurance
- Your auto insurance (through PIP, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist coverage)
- Your health insurance might help with some of your medical bills unless the policy excludes health care services for motor vehicle accidents.
How to Get Legal Help After a Zipcar Accident
We will investigate the Zipcar accident, gather the evidence to prove your case, and look for insurance coverage that can pay your losses. We will use:
- The police report to establish who was at fault in the wreck
- Your medical records to show the extent of your injuries and what you had to endure as a result of the accident
- Your employer’s documents to calculate the amount of income you lost because of the wreck and recuperation time
- Vocational experts to determine the monetary value of your disability or decreased earning potential
- Other experts to testify as to your need for long-term care and assistance