Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Vehicle?
Car-service and rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft have grown tremendously in popularity over the past decade due to lower fares and quicker transport times than taxi cabs.
However, even the “professional” Uber and Lyft drivers make mistakes and are often involved in what we refer to as rideshare(ing) accidents. If you have been in a car wreck as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, recovery is available for you. These companies typical hold $1 million dollar liability policies in place to protect their drivers, ride-share customers and third parties.
Our rideshare car accident attorneys at Beach Injury Lawyers have successfully resolved many Uber accidents and Lyft accidents for our injured clients. If you were hurt in an Uber, Lyft or other rideshare vehicle, call Beach Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
How are Ridesharing Accidents Distinct from Other Types of Vehicle Collisions?
The differences between rideshare accidents and other vehicle accidents are often reflected in the relief available to those who are injured and whether they can bring a suit against the parties responsible for their accident.
- Drivers Don’t Have Commercial Auto Insurance or Commercial Licenses. The standards for CDL, or commercial driver’s licenses that apply to drivers of commercial vehicles like buses and trucks, are different from those that apply to drivers of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. This leaves up the potential that they have less knowledge and experience than is required for the job.
- Ridesharing is to Link Drivers and Passengers so they can split costs. The ridesharing businesses insist that their sole responsibility is to pair up drivers and passengers so that they can split the cost of a trip. The drivers, they insist, are not workers for them. According to certain localities, they perform more like a regular taxi service.
- Ridesharing that Can Still Function Without CDL. Ridesharing employees were not required to achieve the same performance standards as CDL drivers in a variety of locations for a long time. Businesses, for instance, did not do a verification process or check for alcoholism or prohibited substance usage. Some places still hold true to this.
Companies are now required to conduct background checks as well as other tasks that would make transportation safer, such as verifying applicants’ records. Additionally, they must guarantee the accuracy of the vehicle history drivers submit, mandate that drivers show their photo and plate license number on the application, and guarantee that the software keeps an electronic copy of the route.
Those with the following convictions are ineligible for employment with ridesharing companies:
- Felony charges committed within the last five years.
- Those with a record of a sexual assault, sexual harassment, or another sexual offense.
- Charges of drunk driving or DUI, negligence driving, or leaving the scene of an accident (hit-and-run).
- Driving while CDL or license was suspended or revoked.
Ridesharing firms are obligated to conduct background checks on prospective drivers for these and other offenses at the period of application and every three years thereafter.
- Ridesharing Drivers as Independent Contractors.
Unlike traditional taxi drivers, ridesharing drivers are independent contractors. They operate outside of the scope of employment as independent contractors. Injured individuals may be affected by several aspects of their independent contractor role.
Transportation Network Corporation (TNC) insurance is mandatory and must be obtained by the operators (or the companies on the drivers’ behalf). This fills the role of the driver’s personal auto insurance if and only if drivers are actively participating in the digitized TNC networks (the app used to request a ride).
The driver’s insurance may legally decline to pay for claims if they are only using their personal insurance instead of the TNC insurance. In another sense, only TNC insurance is necessary once the operator has logged on and started driving.
The following types of insurance coverage for TNCs should be carried by the drivers:
- Basic coverage for drivers who are uninsured and underinsured
- If the operator is actively taking rides, they must have liability insurance of $1 million.
- Personal injury protection, often known as no-fault insurance, in the amount of $10,000 in the event that the driver is accessible but not functioning.
- If the operator can be hired but not currently working, the coverage amounts are $50,000 per individual per accident ($100,000 per occurrence) and $25,000 for damage to property.
Who Is Liable for Injuries Caused by a Rideshare Accident?
As the number of accidents using ridesharing services rises, more and more people will have to deal with the aftermath, including financial hardship and physical harm. Accidents using ridesharing services are not fundamentally different from other types of car crashes when it comes to assigning blame.
If the ridesharing driver is at fault for the vehicle accident, they could be held financially responsible for any harm their negligence creates.
Victims of ridesharing accidents may wonder if the firm may ever be held liable for their injuries. Yes, they might be liable on their behalf. A TNC may be held liable for an incident that occurred if it broke the law in some way, such as by failing to conduct a background check or some other type of screening.
How to Pursue an Insurance Claim?
There are three possible insurance classifications for rideshare drivers. Depending on their situation, Lyft or Uber insurance policies may or may not apply, and the maximum amount of coverage is allowed.
1. The Driver is Traveling with a Passenger
When a driver is driving a paying passenger, Uber and Lyft offer the greatest maximum insurance coverage. The ridesharing businesses in question provide $1,000,000 in liability protection in such situations. If you were involved in an accident when a rideshare driver seemed to have a passenger, you might seek a claim under Lyft or Uber insurance.
2. The Driver Isn’t Using the Ridesharing App
Neither Uber nor Lyft’s policy covers drivers while they are driving their cars for personal purposes outside of the ridesharing apps. Companies claim that drivers who actively seek customers are not working in a representative capacity. In the case of a car accident with the rideshare driver who is not working at the time, you may have to file a claim with the driver’s private auto insurance.
3. The Driver Is Presently Trying to Find a Passenger
A ridesharing driver may still be insured by the firm even if they are not currently driving a passenger. The only way to get this protection is to actively use the application to locate riders. Both Uber and Lyft provide bodily harm coverage of up to $50 thousand per individual and $100,000 per incident in this scenario. As for damage to property, insurance covers up to $25,000. Both the rideshare’s passengers and any third parties hurt by the driver could potentially file a claim under this policy.
When I Get Into A Rideshare Accident, What Should I Do?
If you’re not critically hurt and don’t need to be sent to the hospital right away, stay where you are until you find out what’s going on. Gather everyone’s names, numbers, and identifications. The information you seek from the rideshare driver includes their license number, full legal name as it shows on the license, insurance details, and email address. Obtain a duplicate of the official police report as soon as possible. Any accident within a city that results in death, serious bodily injury, or property damage in excess of $500 shall be reported to the police. A police statement can be a crucial piece of proof in establishing the specifics of an accident and, by extension, liability.
It would be helpful to interview any witnesses who may have seen what happened. Gather as much information as you can on them, including how to reach them. Consult a medical professional as soon as possible after collecting this information. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other forms of severe damage may not present any outward signs or symptoms right away. You need to get checked out by a doctor just in case you’ve sustained any kind of injury. Do what the doctor tells you to do.
Unlike other types of accidents, ridesharing accidents can be more complicated; therefore, it may be a good idea to consult an attorney. We at Beach Injury Lawyers have the recourses and experience needed to get our clients the best possible settlement for their injuries. Contact Us Today