With the convenience of ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, more and more people are using these services as a primary means of transportation. These companies provide everything from periodic rides for special occasions, to day-to-day transportation for all kinds of people. There’s no doubt that the convenience of ordering a ride-sharing vehicle can be very attractive. But what happens when you’re involved in an accident?
You may have been riding as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft when an accident occurred. Or you may have been a pedestrian who was hit by one of these cars. Questions such as who is responsible, whose insurance applies, and how you will be compensated for injuries all become very important and essential to filing a proper claim. In these situations, it is critical to hire personal injury attorneys who understand this area of law, and have experience in these kinds of cases.
Just like any other driver, to become a contractor for Uber or Lyft, a person must carry and maintain their own insurance policy. So does this mean that this driver’s personal insurance coverage will be applied to your claim? Usually, no. Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, so in theory, that could allow the company to claim they are not responsible for accidents caused by these drivers. In fact, they often try and take this position. But this rarely works. In reality, these companies are profiting and benefiting from their drivers’ work, and are closely involved in monitoring that work. Generally, if you are involved in an accident, and your rideshare driver is at fault, the rideshare company (often Uber of Lyft) is going to be held responsible for your damages and injuries. Both Uber and Lyft carry corporate liability policies which should cover medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering, and other damages. Even in many situations where your driver is not at fault, UIM (Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist policies) held by these ridesharing companies will compensate people who’ve been injured in an accident.
Because Uber and Lyft will often fight back, it’s important to hire an attorney that is proficient and specifically experienced in ridesharing accident injuries. Larger companies often try to avoid legal liability through specific rules and regulations, and it is important to have an attorney on your side who is knowledgeable in the law and willing to fight for you. Chandler | Ross has specific experience with ridesharing accidents, and will work relentlessly to get you everything you deserve.
Uber’s insurance policy specifically dictates what coverage applies and when. If a driver has not yet “paired” with a passenger, but is online with the service, they are covered under the company’s insurance policy. Uber’s policy covers these “waiting” drivers with up to:
So even when an Uber driver is not actually carrying a passenger, Uber’s policy may still apply when someone is injured. To the contrary, when a driver picks up a passenger (or is on the way to pick up a passenger), Uber’s policy coverage changes drastically. In this situation, the policy provides at least $1 million worth of coverage per accident.
Lyft’s Insurance Policy is more complex. If a Lyft driver is online, but has yet to accept a ride, the driver’s personal insurance policy must first apply. If this insurance policy is not sufficient to cover damages and injuries, then Lyft’s corporate policy will assume responsibility.
When a Lyft driver has accepted a ride (they are on the way to pick up a ride), or they have a passenger in the car, Lyft’s corporate policy of $1 million in liability coverage will become effective.
*** Remember, $1 million may sound like a lot, but if more than one person suffers serious injury, this amount can be severely inadequate. It is important to ensure that you have counsel knowledgeable to help you recover, especially when multiple parties are involved or you are very seriously injured.
Many “gray areas” still exist in these ridesharing accidents, and the specific facts of your case may not fall into one simple type of claim. This is especially true when other drivers (other than your ridesharing driver) might be partially to blame for the accident. Issues of fault (liability) can be, and often are, challenged by ridesharing companies.
The Texas injury attorneys at Chandler | Ross can help you navigate the legalities of filing a proper claim, negotiate the complexities of a potential settlement, and file suit if necessary. We have the knowledge and experience needed to deal with the very specific legal issues pertaining to these types of cases. Whether you were a passenger or pedestrian, if you were injured by a ridesharing company (usually Uber or Lyft), we are here to help.
With offices in Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, Chandler | Ross, PLLC and our Car Accident Attorneys are well positioned to provide the most effective, experienced and highly-skilled representation possible with a convenient location near you. Our experienced Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth Uber, Lyft, Rideshare Car Accident Attorneys can quickly respond to an accident, gather necessary information and preserve evidence in order to maximize your chances of recovery. Don’t wait, and don’t compromise – contact us today to see how we can help you. In most cases, you pay nothing unless we are able to settle your case or win a verdict. Our consultation is free. Contact us now at (940) 800-2500 or email@example.com to schedule your free car accident case evaluation and consultation.