Ridesharing apps are immensely popular, and they are not going away anytime soon. As a result, both drivers and passengers are finding themselves increasingly unsure about what happens when a rideshare is involved an auto accident. As a passenger, who sort of rights do you have?
Uber and Lyft
In the U.S., the ridesharing market is dominated by Uber and Lyft. So, let’s look at their insurance policies about passengers:
Uber: When a driver is transporting a rider in their vehicle, Uber provides at least $1 million in liability coverage for damages to a third party (including the rider).
Lyft: Similarly, Lyft has a $1 million per accident liability insurance that acts as the primary coverage during the time a driver accepts a ride request until the ride has ended.
If you were injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft, regardless of who is at fault, it must be reported to Uber/Lyft by the driver. From there, you’ll expect to hear from the insurance company that covers the third-party liability. After that, the process is like any other personal injury claim. You (or the attorney you retain) will be in communication with the insurance company to reach a settlement.
The gray area of ridesharing insurance policies involves the fact that many companies treat their drivers as third-party contractors. A company is generally liable for their employee’s actions, but not those of third-party contractors. Uber, for example, continues to assert that their drivers are third-party contractors and not employees. This comes into play when an Uber driver is involved in an accident in between picking up passengers. If you are hit by such a driver while they are “in between working”, then you will not be able to pursue a claim through the company’s insurance provider.
It’s All Still New
The truth is, the rules and policies behind third-party contractors driving for ridesharing apps are still in flux. It is expected that as the ridesharing industry continues to grow, we will see more rules regulating the insurance coverage and liability.
If you’ve been hurt in a rideshare, or were in a rideshare when it got into an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Consulting with an experienced attorney such as the Car Accident Lawyer Phoenix, AZ locals trust is advised.
Experienced attorneys at Kamper Estrada, LLP can help determine if a claim should be pursued through the company, the driver’s insurance, or both.