Who is Liable in a Ride-Sharing Accident?

Brian News

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have exploded in popularity over recent years, with millions of rides now being given each year, resulting in billions of dollars in revenue as well as cash for drivers. However, when you have regular people using their own cars to provide this transportation, accidents and insurance coverage can become a lot more complex. Third parties often have to get involved, which makes the process confusing compared to a normal car accident. It’s important to note, however, that most rideshare companies themselves skirt liability by claiming they merely set up an agreement for people to meet and exchange service-for-fee, thus positioning themselves as a tech company and not a transportation provider in order to avoid responsibility to pay.

To help you sort through the difficulties, our latest blog discusses how these accidents work and the process for obtaining compensation, depending on your circumstances.

For Passengers

Passengers who are traveling in an Uber or Lyft vehicle have probably the best protection of any party involved in one of these accidents. When drivers have accepted a fare and have a passenger, Uber and Lyft both provide each of their drivers with up to $1 million in supplemental secondary coverage. What this means is that you’ll still have to file a claim against the driver’s insurance company for your injuries, but when that amount gets used up you’ll have the ability to then file a claim with the rideshare company to have the rest of your expenses and losses covered, provided the losses don’t exceed that $1 million threshold. Be sure you notify both your driver’s insurance and the rideshare company about the accident in order to get the claims process rolling, and retain an attorney for help with legally securing the compensation you deserve.

For Drivers

As stated previously, Uber and Lyft offer drivers up to $1 million in supplemental liability coverage, provided you have accepted a fare and currently have a passenger. That being said, these companies also continue to protect their drivers between fares as well, though the amount drops to $100,000.

Furthermore, these policies are secondary, which means they only take effect when your own primary insurance policy (in other words, your normal car insurance) surpasses its limits. You are still required to carry your own insurance, and that means you need to be careful about whether or not your policy will cover you while you are operating “for hire,” such as driving for Uber of Lyft.

For Those Involved

What if you’re involved in an accident and the other party was driving for Uber of Lyft? There are factors that will complicate things, but generally you could follow the same procedure that an Uber of Lyft passenger would. File a claim against the other driver’s primary insurance and contact the rideshare operating company to inform them about the accident. It’s also strongly advised you retain representation from an attorney who can make sure your rights are preserved and your best interests are pursued throughout your accident case.

For more information or to get assistance after you have been injured in a rideshare accident, call Bahe, Cook, Cantley & Nefzger, PLC today at {F:P:Site:Phone}!