Ridesharing has become exceedingly popular in recent years. Instead of hailing a cab on the street, you can schedule a ride from an app on a smartphone. Companies like Uber and Lyft have capitalized on this convenience, outpacing traditional taxi services.
However, with the increasing popularity of ridesharing apps, questions about liability naturally arise. Drivers for Uber and Lyft offer rides for passengers in their own cars and work for these companies on a contractual basis. This means that their vehicles are insured through personal policies, instead of company policies.
So, how does this affect car accident claims? Are individual Uber and Lyft drivers liable in the event of a car accident, or does the company bear responsibility?
If you are involved in a car accident, then you may be entitled to compensation if the other person was at fault. To receive this compensation, you would begin by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. However, things get tricky if the at-fault driver was on the clock for Uber or Lyft when the accident happened.
Because Uber and Lyft drivers use their personal cars to make money, their insurance may not cover the accident. This is because personal insurance policies cover vehicles used primarily for personal use. Using a car for commercial purposes may violate the terms of the driver’s policy. If so, the insurance carrier will deny the claim.
Fortunately, Uber and Lyft have taken measures to address this issue.
What Are the Requirements for Uber and Lyft Liability Insurance?
When a rideshare driver is at fault in an accident, Uber and Lyft offer liability insurance. This insurance will cover injuries and damages sustained in a car accident for everyone involved, except the driver. This means that Uber and Lyft will financially cover the damages or injuries other drivers, passengers or pedestrians sustain. However, there are different levels to what this liability insurance covers.
If a rideshare driver is at fault for an accident while on the clock, but before they have accepted a ride, then the following policy applies:
- Up to $50,000 per person injured
- $100,000 total injury liability
- $25,000 property damages liability
These rates increase to $1 million if the Uber or Lyft driver has accepted a ride request and is on route to pick up the passenger. The increased rates also apply to accidents where the rideshare passenger is in the car.
It is important to note that this liability insurance is only available after the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance carrier has denied the claim. In order to receive compensation in an accident, a claim must first be filed with the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance carrier. Once it has been denied, you can take the issue up with Uber or Lyft.
Hurt in a Rideshare Accident? Contact Our San Jose Uber Accident Lawyer
Dealing with the aftermath of an Uber or Lyft accident can be tricky. Liability and insurance policies are not as straightforward as they are in a normal car accident.
State laws may also complicate matters. For example, in California, rideshare drivers must either have a ride share endorsement or a commercial insurance policy for their cars. This will affect the way your claim will be handled.
If you have been in a rideshare accident in California, then you should speak with an attorney about your case. Our San Jose Uber accident lawyer can point you in the right direction and help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia today at (408) 752-5834 for a free initial consultation, or send us a message through our online form.