Did you know that there are about 3.9 million Uber drivers around the world? There are a lot of rideshare drivers that work for competitor companies like Lyft as well.
Because of the popularity of driving with a rideshare app, it’s possible to get into an accident with a rideshare driver.
Are you at fault no matter the circumstances? Can you sue Uber or Lyft?
Keep reading to learn what to do if a rideshare driver hits you.
Rideshare Business Model
Uber and Lyft are the most prominent rideshare apps. Similar to taxi services, Uber and Lyft don’t hire drivers or own, operate, or control cars. Instead, drivers reach out to start a contract with these companies.
Customers download the Uber or Lyft app and arrange for a driver instead of hailing a taxi on the street.
Understanding the rideshare business model can help if you get into an accident with a rideshare driver.
Hit by a Rideshare Driver?
If you are hit by a rideshare driver, who is at fault? How is fault determined?
In any car accident case, you’ll bring a claim to your insurance company and must establish liability and damages to get compensation. The best way to do this is through Angeleno Accident Lawyers.
When a driver is driving for money through a rideshare app, the claims process gets complicated. The driver’s personal car insurance policy won’t cover the accident unless the driver has a commercial policy or a ride-sharing endorsement.
A driver’s insurance contract will specify that the driver can use the vehicle for personal use. Ride sharing doesn’t count as personal use.
If you attempt to file a claim through the driver’s personal policy, the provider will deny the claim if the accident occurred while the driver was transporting a customer.
This problematic scenario has forced Uber and Lyft to offer liability insurance to their drivers. This policy comes into play when the driver’s carrier denies the claim.
However, the driver must submit the claim to their own insurance carrier first.
In short, you can hold Uber or Lyft financially responsible if you are in an accident with one of their drivers. The same is true if you get injured while riding in a rideshare vehicle.
How Does Rideshare Liability Insurance Work?
To help protect drivers after a rideshare accident, Uber and Lyft have adopted similar policies. The liability coverage varies depending on when the accident occurs:
- Period 0: The driver is not logged into the rideshare app
- Period 1: The driver is logged into the rideshare app but hasn’t accepted a ride request
- Period 2: The driver is on the way to pick up an accepted trip
- Period 3: A rider is in the car
The rideshare apps provide no coverage for period 0 because the driver’s personal policy will cover damages.
If a driver is at fault during period 1, the rideshare liability coverage works for up to $50,000 per person that was injured but $100,000 total injury liability per accident.
Liability coverage increases to $1 million for period 2. For period 3, liability coverage is also up to $1 million, plus uninsured motorists’ coverage and limited coverage to the vehicle.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
What you do after being involved in a rideshare accident will affect how the claims process goes. Car accident lawyers can help you through the steps to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
The first thing you’ll want to do after an accident is to get information from the people involved. This includes contact information, names, and insurance details. You can ask witnesses for their contact information as well.
Next, document the accident scene with pictures. The more evidence you have of the vehicle damage and other things relevant to the accident, the better. Try multiple angles to level up your evidence.
Call the police from the scene of the accident so that they can create a police report. This is required by law in some states if the car accident causes property damage or bodily injury.
Any accident involving a rideshare driver, whether minor or not, should be officially investigated by the police. The report will help you back up your claim when you file for compensation.
Can You Sue a Rideshare Company?
After an accident involving a rideshare driver, your first thought might be to sue Uber or Lyft.
You can try to argue that the company shares a level of blame for a vehicle accident. However, this is a murky strategy.
Rideshare companies have maintained that their drivers are independent contractors rather than employees. There are legislative efforts to attempt to classify drivers as employees.
If these efforts pass in the courts, Uber and Lyft likely won’t be able to shield themselves from the independent contractor argument.
The AB5 California law protects Uber and Lyft drivers by making it more difficult for rideshare companies to argue that their drivers are not employees. Hire Los Angeles car accident lawyers if you want to fight your case in court.
Because rideshare liability insurance is available, attempting to sue a rideshare company is typically an unnecessary option.
Rideshare Accidents in No-Fault States
If you live in a no-fault state, you are required to carry personal injury protection. This covers you and any passengers in your car for medical expenses and loss of income regardless of the at-fault party.
Some of the no-fault states are:
- New Jersey
If you are hit by a rideshare driver in a no-fault state, you are required to turn in your own insurance before pursuing a claim against the other driver.
In a lot of cases, compensation is available through your insurance so you don’t have to file a lawsuit.
Understanding Rideshare Accidents
If you’ve been hit by a rideshare driver, a police report will help identify fault in the situation. An Uber or Lyft driver who is at fault is protected through liability insurance through the rideshare company.
Depending on whether you live in a tort or no-fault state, you could have to use your own insurance to pay for the damages and injuries from the accident.
Use this guide to understand what to do after a rideshare accident and don’t forget to come back for more articles like this.