Why are ride share accidents so complex?
By GNGF Design/Development on October 22nd, 2020 in
Uber and Lyft offer independent contractor drivers the opportunity to offer rides on their own time. Because there is not a normal employee-employer relationship, the ability to bring claims directly against Uber and Lyft is complex. Because drivers carry their own insurance and are also covered by Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies, there are significant legal questions of whose insurance will apply to cover your losses and at what times. Because of these complexities, it is advisable to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer at Harmonson Law Firm to help you untangle these important legal questions following a ride share accident.
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and your driver is involved in an accident that is not his or her fault, then you would file a claim against the at-fault driver as you normally would if another driver hit you as a result of negligence. If the other driver happens to be uninsured or their insurance is insufficient to cover your injuries and damages, and if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own insurance policy, your next step would be to file a claim under your own insurance. If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured and you either exceed your own uninsured/underinsured policy limits or you don’t carry that coverage, then your next step would be to file a claim against Uber or Lyft.
If you are driving a vehicle that is hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, and that driver is at fault for the accident, you would first file against the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance. If the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance was not sufficient to fully cover your injuries, you might next file against your own insurance—assuming you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If all those avenues are exhausted, then if the Uber or Lyft driver had passengers at the time of the accident or they had their app open and were on their way to pick up passengers, then you may be able to file a claim against Uber or Lyft. As you can see, ride share accidents can be difficult to sort out.
What happens if my Lyft/Uber driver was responsible for the accident?
In many cases, accident liability can be shared between multiple parties. It’s important to retain the services of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate this complicated process. With our guidance, you can recover damages that facilitate your physical and financial recovery. The first question to be answered when you are involved with an Uber or Lyft driver who negligently causes an accident is whose insurance will compensate you for your injuries.
Here is a summary of how Uber or Lyft’s insurance may apply to a claim involving an accident with one of its drivers:
- During Period 0, if the driver is not logged into the app, then there is no Uber or Lyft coverage. In that case, the driver’s own insurance should apply.
- In Period 1 when the driver is logged into the app but has not yet accepted a ride request, Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage for any accident that is the fault of the driver, up to $50,000 per person injured, and $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
- In Period 2 when the driver has accepted a trip and is on the way to pick-up, liability coverage increases to $1 million.
- Period 3 is when a rider is in the car and is at the drop-off, there is liability coverage of up to $1 million, plus $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage.
How the Harmonson Law Firm Can Help
It can be extremely frustrating to deal with determining who should pay for your injuries and damages when a ride share vehicle is involved. Having a highly skilled personal injury attorney as your advocate following a ride share accident can make a huge difference in the outcome of your claim. An attorney from Harmonson Law Firm will know which insurer to file against and whether you can file against Uber or Lyft for damages stemming from your ride share accident.
At Harmonson Law Firm, we are one hundred percent dedicated to our clients and to helping good people hurt in bad accidents. We are compassionate, experienced, and knowledgeable and have been helping people in tough times for many years. The Harmonson Law Firm offers individual attention and specialized strategies for our clients. If you’re in need of a ride share accident attorney, contact us today. Please note that nothing herein is meant as legal advice specifically related to your case.