Zipcar is a service provides members access to rental vehicles at neighborhood locations all throughout Chicago. Many people use the Zipcar service in urban areas were owning a car or truck is not necessary to get around, due to mass transit systems.
Zipcar.com operates their “get-around” vehicles in urban areas across the United States, including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Zipcar members can reserve cars for a couple of hours or rent for the day.
The ride-sharing program is more cost-effective for many Zipcar members than car ownership with affordable pricing and payment using a smartphone connected to a credit card. Members can select different size vehicles for their needs without any commitment but must sign a waiver with the company to assume liability if they cause an accident.
However, many driver’s lack the experience necessary to operate a vehicle in dense traffic, making the rideshare company’s program dangerous to other motor sharing the road.
An Illinois Zipcar Accident Attorney Can Help You Recover Compensation Following a Collision
Were you injured by a Zipcar driver? If so, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has helped clients recover compensation for their injuries throughout Chicago for a long time.
Contact our law offices now at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. Our experienced Chicago car accident attorneys can answer your questions and provide options on how to move your case forward.
Zipcar Accident FAQs
What Happens if You Damage a Zipcar?
If you had a Zipcar accident and struck a vehicle, stationary object, pedestrian, or bicyclist, you are legally responsible for the first $1000 of liability to the vehicle. All other damage is covered by the insurance provided by the rideshare company.
The company will reduce the damage fee or waive the fee if you purchased their premium optional damage protection coverage.
Is Zipcar Insurance Enough?
The vehicle ride-sharing service offers standard and premium insurance to Zipcar members that are available with every rental. However, an article by the New York Times revealed that the company’s catastrophic insurance might not be sufficient to cover all damages.
A lack of sufficient insurance could cause the renter to pay out-of-pocket when involved in a catastrophic accident.
What Happens if You Don’t pay Zipcar?
Zipcar will notify members who do not pay a parking ticket, accident citation, or other legal fee and charge them a thirty-dollar processing fee. Also, Zipcar will charge the members credit card on file to cover all penalties including the ticket amount, late fees, using their credit card on file.
Zipcar reserves the right to suspend the driver’s membership or charge other finds should the credit card be denied, or other tickets remain unpaid.
Can I sue Zipcar?
If you are involved in an accident with a Zipcar driver who was at fault for causing the crash, filing a lawsuit against the rideshare company might not be the only option. You might have the legal right to file a lawsuit or compensation claim against the driver at fault for the collision.
Can I let Someone Else Drive My Zipcar?
Zipcar only allows active members to drive their vehicles. However, any member on the same account can unlock and drive the rideshare car.
The company asks that all other members on a separate account only drive the vehicle while the renter is inside the car.
Do Zipped Cars Have Cameras in Them?
Zipped cars are not equipped with cameras but can detect the car’s location while on the road and when parked. However, the location information data is obtained only after the time limit has passed when the vehicle was to be returned to its assigned parking spot.
Problems Associated With Zipcar
The following must be considered about Zipcar and the type of services it offers its customers.
- This service is tailored to people who only drive on occasion. It is well known that having more experience makes you better at anything you do.
- Since Zipcar serves those who do not drive very often, it is more likely that its customers might not be as skilled as drivers who drive regularly.
- Those not familiar with their vehicles are at an even more significant disadvantage. People using this service move from car to car and continually adjust to different cars’ features, which can be distracting.
- Zipcar determines its liability insurance caps. The company currently offers drivers insurance on the vehicles they drive, but the liability coverage provided is capped at $300,000 per accident. Drivers under the age of twenty-one are insured at an even lower cap.
- Younger drivers receive the state minimum coverage. Zipcar has implemented this policy to reduce its overhead at its younger drivers’ expense might injure in an accident.
- Drivers have no idea whether the vehicles they are driving are safe. While Zipcar is in control of maintaining and inspecting its fleet of cars, it is easy for large companies to cut corners. It is also possible for drivers not to report problems they have with their vehicles.
Not knowing there are problems with the vehicle could cause the driver to get into a collision because the brakes, steering, or other critical systems are in disrepair.
- The company assumes that the Zipcar member was following the traffic rules at the time of the accident and assume all liability If they are found legally responsible for causing the crash.
People find that Zipcar offers limited insurance coverage for younger drivers. While $300,000 is not enough to cover catastrophic injuries and ongoing medical bills, it is sufficient in most cases.
Drivers under the age of twenty-one will have bare minimums, making pursuing compensation after an accident challenging.
How do I Pursue a Case With a Zipcar Driver?
Unless there were problems with the vehicle, your claim would be filed against the driver. Zipcar’s insurance company would represent the individual and choose to negotiate a settlement or take the issue to court. There is not any real difference in how you would pursue this type of claim than any other lawsuit.
There is one caveat. If you can prove that Zipcar is responsible for the accident, you can file a lawsuit against the company for damages. You would need to prove that a mechanical defect or lack of maintenance procedures were responsible for the accident.
Zipcar is aware of the risk because the company announced it took out an insurance policy that covers up five million dollars per accident if the company is ever found liable.
The following are some mechanical problems that could be responsible for an accident.
- Failing brakes – Few things are worse than needing to stop and find out that you cannot. The drivers in these situations should not need to assume liability for Zipcar’s failure to provide safe vehicles to drive.
- Faulty tires – Whether it is over-worn tread or a tire blowout, Zipcar should be held liable if one of its vehicles’ tires are not up to par. During rainy or snowy conditions, the tread on a vehicle’s tires makes all the difference in stopping ability.
- Broken turn signals or taillights – The inability to signal might lead the driver to believe others on the road know their intentions when this is not true. Without the ability to warn other drivers that you are stopping or turning, you will be more likely to be involved in an accident.
What are My Rights if I am Driving a Zipcar?
Our accident lawyers advise you to understand your rights before getting behind the wheel of a carshare company’s vehicle. All carsharing and rental car companies, like Zipcar, Uber, Lyft, Car2Go, and Hertz, mandate all their drivers have auto insurance coverage with a low deductible if the ride-sharing driver is found liable for an accident.
Zipcar and other carsharing services will also try to defer as much liability onto drivers as possible to avoid absorbing financial liability.
If you are in a car accident in Illinois that is the result of a lack of vehicle maintenance, you could seek damages against Zipcar. You can obtain financial compensation to cover the cost of your property damage, medical expenses, time off from work, pain, suffering, and more.
Hire a Chicago Zipcar Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a Zipcar accident, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help. Our team of award-winning Chicago car accident attorneys has the experience and resources you need to give your case its best chance.
Contact our personal injury law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our Chicago auto injury lawyers will answer your questions and review your legal options with you to make an educated decision on how to move forward.
If we cannot secure compensation for you, we guarantee our services will be free of charge. All discussions with our auto accident injury attorneys remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
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