Uber and Lyft dominate the ridesharing scene, commanding a whopping 99% of the U.S. market. And, with the number of Americans choosing this mode of transportation, the chances of a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver continue to rise.
The question is, how can you recover damages if you’re the victim of one of these accidents? Who picks up the tab for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages that you incur?
Several factors can influence which insurance company will ultimately pay and what the coverage limits are. We’ll outline the various options in this article. The good news is that yes, you can likely recover damages in this situation.
Uber and Lyft’s Insurance Options
For the purposes of this article, we’ll group Uber and Lyft together. Their policies are nearly identical, though there could be minor variations.
What’s important to be aware of is that ridesharing companies will provide different levels of insurance, depending on what the driver is doing.
1. Off Duty: The driver is off duty when their app is off. They may be driving around on personal business, but they are not waiting for anyone to request a ride. In this scenario, the driver’s personal insurance policy goes into effect. Neither Uber or Lyft would be held responsible because the driver was not performing any duties for the company.
This scenario is often the least favorable for your situation because the driver’s personal coverage tends to be less comprehensive than the insurance carried by the ridesharing company.
2. On-Duty: Here, the driver has logged into their app, and they’re available to accept requests for rides. Because they are logged in and willing to transport passengers, they are classified as on duty. If an accident occurs during this time, it’s covered by Uber or Lyft’s insurance. However, the policy that goes into effect is basic limited liability coverage.
3. In Transit to Passenger: Once the driver has accepted a ride request and has begun traveling to the pickup destination, insurance coverage shifts to a $1 million policy. This covers other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians who are injured by an at-fault Uber or Lyft driver.
4. Transport: The $1 million policy remains in effect until the driver arrives at the passenger’s destination and drops them off.
Possible Accident Scenarios
Once you understand the different types of insurance policies that can be applied based on the Uber or Lyft driver, you’ll next need to figure out from whom you’ll seek compensation.
Scenario 1: An Uber or Lyft Driver Collided with Your Vehicle
If you’re driving in your own vehicle (or you’re a pedestrian or bicyclist), either the other driver’s insurance policy will cover the damages, or you could recover from Uber or Lyft’s insurance. The distinction will be determined by whether the driver was on or off duty.
Scenario 2: An Uber or Lyft Driver Caused the Accident While You Were a Passenger
In this situation, you’ll be able to recover directly from Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy. Keep in mind that the driver has to be on duty for this coverage to apply. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure the driver has logged into the app.
Scenario 3: You Were a Passenger in an Uber or Lyft Vehicle, and Another Driver Caused the Accident
Because another driver, not your Uber or Lyft driver, was responsible for the accident, it will be that driver who you will seek to recover from. If that driver has no insurance or limited insurance, you may be able to pursue your claim with Uber or Lyft. A personal injury attorney can advise you here.
Discuss Your Uber or Lyft Car Accident with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Trying to figure out who is responsible for compensating for your injuries in a ridesharing accident can get complicated. Plus, with multiple parties involved, it’s possible that Uber and Lyft, both multi-billion-dollar companies, will seek to avoid liability or try to reduce the amount of compensation that goes into your pocket.
At the law offices of Bryan Garrett PLLC, it’s our job to help you navigate these scenarios and fight for maximum compensation. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.