Over the past years, Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies have made a huge impact on transportation. For some, it is the best and most affordable way to get around.
These Uber/Lyft drivers are encouraged to be safe, but also incentivized to be quick and efficient with trips so they can get more fares. This push for more fares occasionally leads to more accidents.
What should you do if you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver? Here’s a look at the next steps for both an Uber/Lyft passenger and a driver/occupant of another car involved in a crash with an Uber/Lyft driver.
The major ridesharing companies provide $1 million policies that cover a driver who has an accident while carrying a passenger. Drivers often have the information for passengers to use for insurance claims and to pass along to a legal representative, but sometimes a passenger might not remember to get it during the accident. Most of the specifics (name of the driver, license plate, make/model, route, etc.) are all provided automatically through an app because of the service.
Since these ridesharing companies are under the spotlight, they are usually proactive when dealing with passengers who were hurt while being transported by one of their drivers. Nonetheless, it is still recommended to always contact a ridesharing personal injury attorney to advise and/or handle any specifics with Uber/Lyft about insurance claims, settlements and more.
For bystanders and other drivers, sometimes they won’t know right away that the accident actually involves an Uber/Lyft driver. Since the drivers use their own vehicles, nothing initially really stands out. This is just one reason why these accidents are a little bit trickier.
Options can change depending on whether the Uber/Lyft driver is actively working at the time of the accident. If the driver is simply driving, but not logged in on the app and available to accept new passengers, the liability falls on his/her own personal insurance which can be as low as $50,000 per person. Uber and Lyft are not responsible for drivers when they are off duty because they are independent contractors.
On the other hand, if the accident happens while the Uber/Lyft driver is logged in on the app, there is $1 million in personal injury coverage. It applies whether the driver is transporting a passenger or is simply available to do so. The key is whether the driver is logged in on the app, which can be proven in litigation if there is a dispute about it.
Ridesharing companies aren’t going anywhere. If anything, these types of accidents will become more common as these companies become more popular. The good news is that as the ridesharing business grows, so does the expertise in dealing with the inevitable accidents.
At Traut Firm, we have been focused on vehicle accidents since 1978. While ridesharing accidents raise a few new coverage issues, there are still a lot of similarities to more standard accidents. Ridesharing companies know that ongoing bad publicity can damage them so when their drivers are in the wrong, they are often more reasonable than insurance companies covering standard drivers.
If you, or someone you know, have been injured in an accident involving a ridesharing service (such as Uber or Lyft), our legal team is ready to fight for you. Call Jim at 714-698-4750. You can also contact us online. Please don’t worry about the cost and don’t be nervous. A consultation is free and confidential.