Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become popular in the public transportation space. Uber and Lyft have become a safe and affordable way of getting home after a night out or ideal for people without vehicles or individuals looking to avoid the hefty expenses that come with car ownership.
When you board an Uber or a Lyft vehicle, you’re essentially entrusting the driver with your health and life. While the drivers are properly vetted and expected to deliver on their mandate, they are sometimes involved in accidents.
In the event of an accident, Uber and Lyft complicate car accident claims. There are numerous legal questions raised relating to liability when ride sharing services are involved in an accident. A major controversial issue is who is responsible for the accident claims: the company or the car owner?
Uber and Lyft claim to have million-dollar liability insurance policies to cover their customers but still consider drivers as independent contractors, further complicating the issue of liability. If you’ve been involved in a car accident while boarding Uber or Lyft, you’re likely to be embroiled in a protracted legal battle as you seek compensation to cover your injuries.
Types of Accidents Involving Ridesharing Services
There are four main types of accidents involving ridesharing services:
- Injured driver: Involves the driver suffering injuries resulting from car accidents that occurred while working as a contractor for a ridesharing service.
- Injured passenger: A passenger suffers injuries while riding in Uber or Lyft.
- An injured third party with an active driver: This involves a third party, such as a pedestrian, being hit and injured by an Uber or Lyft driver when transporting passengers.
- An injured third party with an inactive driver: This involves a third party being struck by an Uber or Lyft driver who wasn’t carrying a passenger at the time of the accident.
Uber/Lyft Liability Coverage
Both Uber and Lyft offer liability coverage of their drivers. The liability coverage is dependent on particular terms, including the conditions in which the accident occurs. The liability coverage is as follows:
Period 0: It’s applied when the driver is involved in an accident while not logged into the Uber/Lyft app. In such situations. Uber/Lyft doesn’t offer liability coverage.
Period 1: It’s applied in an accident situation where a driver is logged into the app, but a passenger has not yet accepted a ride request. In Period 1 liability coverage, an accident that is the driver’s fault, up to $50,000 per person injured in an accident, and $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
Period 2: Applies when a driver has accepted and is on the way to pick-up a passenger. In such a situation, Uber/Lyft pays up to $1 million in liability coverage.
Period 3: Applies when a passenger is being dropped off. Liability coverage ranges up to $1 million and comes with limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car and uninsured motorist coverage.
What to Do After an Uber/Lyft Accident
Suppose you’ve been involved in an Uber/Lyft accident. In that case, the first thing to do after the accident is to collect the names, contact information, and insurance of everyone involved in the accident. You can also take pictures of the accident scene, but don’t share it on social media. You can also call the police to the accident scene to investigate the accident as soon as possible and come up with a police report to back up your car accident claims.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft After an Accident?
Yes! It’s possible to sue a rideshare company, especially if the ride sharing driver was responsible for the accident. Therefore, if you’ve been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, it’s best that you seek legal representation as soon as you can. While Uber and Lyft complicate car accident claims, an experienced car accident attorney can help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.