As with other motor vehicles, drivers and passengers share the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle collision. This risk is high, particularly in cities such as Los Angeles, and riders and drivers face the physical and financial cost of such traumatic events. Let’s take a look at the issues associated with ridesharing.
What Are Uber and Lyft?
Uber and Lyft are two rideshare companies that enjoy enormous popularity. Ridesharing has become a new mode of transportation that effectively helps people move from one place to another by using their Smartphone to call for a ride. Users simply download the app. The cost of both ridesharing services varies and can be cheaper than that of a traditional taxi service.
Uber Passenger Accidents
With over six million accidents happening each year nationwide, the chances of being involved in one is substantial. Ridesharing is no different than riding in other motor vehicles. Even if the driver is cautious, it does not mean that other motor vehicle operators will practice the same degree of prudence. Since California is a fault state, the damages are paid by the insurance company that covers the motorist responsible for the accident.
In the case of an Uber/Lyft driver, the vehicle operator is expected to carry vehicular insurance that meets or exceeds state requirements. Some drivers carry commercial insurance or a personal policy with special coverage when they are engaged as a rideshare driver. Generally, most rideshare drivers do not have commercial or business insurance.
In addition, some drivers may have a business exception on their policy that disallows payment for damages if the vehicle is being used for business purposes. This means that the coverage a driver has may be insufficient to pay for losses suffered by the passenger.
Ridesharing Company Insurance
Both ridesharing companies carry third-party liability insurance in the event of an accident with passenger injuries. The insurance covers personal injuries and property damage for up to $1 million per accident. In most cases, the coverage will begin to pay for the costs after the driver’s insurance exhausts itself, assuming the rideshare driver is at-fault for the accident. So, as a passenger, you are covered for any damages you may experience.
How Ride Share Insurance Works When the Uber/Lyft Driver Is at Fault
There are three variables that decide if insurance coverage will be paid to an injured party and how much. They are:
- The driver is not logged into the Uber/Lyft app: When the Uber/Lyft driver is not logged into the apt, neither company will provide coverage.
- The driver is logged into the app: In such cases, the driver is logged into the app but has not yet accepted a passenger request. The companies will pay $50,000 per person for injuries, $100,000 per event and $25,000 for property damage.
- A driver has accepted a rider request: Once the driver accepts a ride request, both Uber and Lyft will pay up to $1 million in damages.
Insurance Coverage When the Uber/Lyft Driver Is Not At-Fault
When an accident is not the fault of the Uber/Lyft driver, it is necessary to collect compensation from the responsible party’s insurance carrier, provided they have one, or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, the responsible driver does not have car insurance or a minimum amount of coverage.
This can be compensated by Uber/Lyft underinsured, uninsured automobile insurance with up to $1 million coverage per accident. It will kick in only if the at-fault driver has little or no insurance or is unknown such as in a hit and run accident. If the insurance coverage provided by the ridesharing companies is inadequate, a lawsuit can be filed against Uber or Lyft to obtain the needed compensation.
What a Passenger Should Do After an Accident in an Uber/Lyft Vehicle
As with other motor vehicle accidents, information garnered at the scene of the accident is essential to obtain the compensation you deserve. Here are several things you can do:
- Obtain contact and insurance information from anyone involved in the accident.
- Identify and obtain contact information from witnesses to the accident.
- Take photos of the accident site, the vehicles that are involved and anything else related to the collision.
- Call the police.
- Obtain a copy of the police report and the responding officer’s name.
- Contact your insurance carrier.
- Call your attorney if you have one.
How a Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyer Can Help
Having a car accident lawyer as an advocate for your rights after a negligent driver hurts you increases your chances of obtaining the compensation you need. The attorney will have the experience and resources to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident thoroughly. He or she will document your injuries and the financial costs associated with them, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
After accumulating the facts of your case, the attorney will evaluate it as to the amount of compensation you deserve. They will also help in negotiation toward a just settlement or take the case to civil court. The attorney will also make sure that the time you have to file is strictly adhered to, ensuring that the case can be heard. If the statute of limitations is exceeded, you will be unable to file a claim in the case. In California, the majority of cases have a two-year time limit.
Free Case Review for Your Uber and Lyft Car Accident Injuries
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft ridesharing vehicle, please reach out to the Law Offices of David Azizi for a free review of your important Uber injury claim. You can contact us online or by calling (800) 991-5292.