Uber driver hit my car! The rise of ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft has rivaled the taxi industry which has had a palpable monopoly on the rideshare industry for decades. Both taxis and ride-sharing companies operate in a similar manner, where drivers own and operate their own vehicles and aren’t employees but independent contractors.
Many legal problems may arise in the event of a crash involving a ride-sharing vehicle. Each driver is an independent contractor that frees companies such as Uber and Lyft from any legal liability.
However, these companies do offer liability insurance in the event of a claim made against one of their drivers. If a claim can be made proving the fault of the crash and the damages incurred due to negligence on behalf of the ride-sharing driver, whether towards the vehicle or the person, then the injured party will be covered either by the driver’s private insurance or the ride-sharing companies’ liability insurance.
Coverage of Ridesharing apps
Although many companies offer liability insurance in the event of a crash, it also relies on different levels of coverage depending on when the accident occurs.
For example, if the driver is not logged into the app while driving in the event of a crash, then the company will provide no additional coverage. If the driver is logged into the app but has not accepted a ride request yet, then the ride-sharing company will provide coverage for the fault of the driver ($50,000 personal injury, $100,000 total liability, and $25,000 property damage.)
If the driver has accepted a ride request and is on route to pick-up, then the coverage scales to $1 million. If the driver has a rider in the car en route to the drop-off point, then the total coverage soars to over a $1 million including limited coverage of the driver’s car and uninsured motorists’ coverage.
Essential Steps After an Accident
As with any car accident, the first steps should involve obtaining the name, contact info, and insurance details of all drivers involved. The following step should include taking pictures of the accident scene and questioning nearby witnesses for help. Lastly, the local authorities should be involved, especially in cases involving bodily harm and property damage.
In cases involving a ride-sharing vehicle, filing a police report is an essential step in order to prove a claim and gain the right to large sums of money that ride-sharing companies set aside in liability coverage. An experienced attorney can help fight for the coverage in cases of bodily harm and property damage.