Ridesharing services have increased in popularity across the country in the past years, but this has brought to attention a wave of consumers’ questions about liability when an accident occurs. These types of accidents can be complicated, and, depending on the circumstances, liability can drastically change. Additionally, ridesharing drivers are not employees of the company they are driving for. In most cases, Uber and Lyft do not claim legal responsibility for their drivers. However, major ridesharing companies still perform driver safety education, driver background checks, and motor vehicle checks. Similar to commercial carrier insurance, which is required for taxi services, both Uber and Lyft offer $1 million liability insurance but, generally the policy has some limitations as to when it applies and whom it covers.
Attorney Anita Lamar and her team can help navigate the complex field. If you have been injured while in the vehicle of a Taxi, Uber, Lyft or other ride-share business call and we can help you with a free evaluation of your case.
Regardless of the driver’s fault in the accident, claims may be fought by the rideshare’s insurance company. Also, insurance claims can be made against the driver’s personal auto insurance, which typically does not cover anyone as long as they are using their personal vehicle for commercial purposes. Uber and Lyft drivers are doing just that: using their personal car for business. An insurance company can and will cancel a policy if they found out a personal vehicle was being used for commercial ridesharing when an accident occurred. If you are riding in a covered vehicle, or you are hit by a ridesharing vehicle that was in service at that time, you should be covered by the company’s policy. If however, you are hurt in a collision with a car which is off the clock, that driver’s insurance company should be responsible but quite often denies initial claims. If you were hit by a reckless driver who was in service during that time, things will get more complicated. When the driver went into service, the rideshare’s insurance kicked in, but the company can deny claims might come up because of the driver’s recklessness. As mentioned above, the driver is considered to be an independent contractor. It can fall to the driver’s personal auto insurance to pay for the claim if he/she hurts a passenger or hits a pedestrian as a result of reckless driving. Most personal insurance policies exclude coverage if the driver was acting for profit at the time of the accident.
Sorting out liability and which insurance company or individual is responsible for covering your claims can be a lengthy and complicated process. Companies have teams of lawyers hired to ensure the company pays out as little as possible. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, it is strongly encouraged to hire your own lawyer. This will ensure you receive just compensation for your injuries and future expenses related to them. If, however, you find yourself in a taxi accident situation, you should be aware that the driver always has commercial carrier insurance, in addition to the corporate policies that limit the taxi company’s liability. Although corporate insurance carriers also tend to deny claims, sorting out the damages in these cases is much simpler and takes less time.