There are many reasons why ridesharing has become such a popular asset within our communities. Last week, New Year’s Eve celebrations increased Uber and Lyft requests significantly because responsible drinkers wanted to avoid intoxicated driving and subsequent penalties like DUIs or drunk driving accidents. In addition to opting for a sober ride, people use Uber and Lyft services to avoid rental car costs when visiting a new city, to avoid the hassle of airport parking, and more.
Overall, ridesharing services have proven to be highly advantageous and cost-effective. In fact, Uber currently has more than 160,000 active drivers. But, with the increase of popularity in Uber and Lyft services, there has also been an increase in car accidents.
When a passenger is injured in rideshare car accident, who is liable for their damages and losses? Injured passengers in rideshare car accidents can suffer hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages from time off work, pain-and-suffering, prolonged physical therapy, disability, and much more. Who is responsible for compensating an injured rideshare passenger for these compensatory losses?
Continue reading to learn more about Uber and Lyft car accident insurance coverage, accident claims, and compensation recovery following a wrongful rideshare accident.
Rideshare Car Accident Liability
Because of the Uber and Lyft business models, there can be multiple insurance parties liable after a rideshare accident. At-fault parties may include the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, a third-party driver, or even a government agency.
Rideshare companies attempt to evade liability for accidents by classifying drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Fortunately, many courts are not motivated to protect rideshare companies from car accident liability. Still, in most cases, it is the rideshare driver who is deemed liable after a wrongful or negligent car accident.
Uber and Lyft Auto Insurance Coverage
Rideshare companies, including Lyft and Uber, make it mandatory for their drivers to maintain their own personal auto insurance liability coverage that meets the state minimum requirement. In addition to requiring their drivers to have their own personal liability insurance coverage at the state minimum, Uber provides a $1 million commercial insurance policy to cover drivers and passengers in motor vehicle collisions. But this coverage only applies if the accident occurs while the Uber app is active and turned on.
Although rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft require their drivers to maintain the state-mandated minimum car insurance coverage, it is possible for a rideshare driver to have insufficient coverage, and therefore, not be able to compensate victims for their damages and losses. Furthermore, many private insurance companies are unwilling to pay out victims for their damages and losses that occur as a result of a rideshare accident. For this reason, the most common liable party in rideshare car accident is the commercial insurance policy coverage.
Additional Scenarios That Might Change Liability Coverage in a Rideshare Car Accident
In the case that a rideshare driver is on duty but has no customers in their car, then causes an accident that harms someone, it is generally their own personal car insurance policy that will pay out damages to an injured victim. Companies like Uber may offer a small portion of contingent coverage, but only up to $50,000 per injured person, and up to $100,000 total per accident.
If a rideshare driver has their app on, has accepted a ride, and is on their way to go pick up a passenger (or already has a passenger in the vehicle), then a car accident occurs, the rideshare company’s full insurance coverage policy may apply.
The legalities surrounding liability and injury claims are complex, making it critical to consult an Indiana accident attorney for expert legal advice after being wrongly injured in a rideshare accident.
Are you looking for personal injury law firm in Indiana that can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after suffering damages caused by an Uber or Lyft rideshare car accident? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a no-risk, no-fee personal injury consultation with an experienced car accident attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also represent injured persons throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.
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