Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft have become a popular mode of transportation in this day and age. A passenger requests a pick-up, and the application matches an available driver, who retrieves the passenger for a quoted rate and drives him/her to their chosen destination.
But what happens when a car accident occurs? If you suffer an injury in a crash involving an Uber or Lyft driver, or while riding one of these cars, who is responsible?
When You Are the Passenger
If you’re a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, your injuries will most likely be covered by the respective company’s insurance. Both rideshare companies carry third-party liability insurance, which pays up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident.
Generally, these policies take effect after the ridesharing driver’s own insurance has been exhausted—that is if the driver carries an applicable policy. But as a passenger, you are covered under this type of liability policy, only when the ridesharing driver is at fault for the accident. On the other hand, if the ridesharing driver isn’t at fault for the crash, but another driver is, then you would attempt to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver.
When You Are Driving
If you’re driving another vehicle, or are a pedestrian, and get hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, determining liability can be more difficult. Although rideshare companies cover drivers when they’re “on the clock,” determining the definition of that statement can be tricky.
If the driver is offline, which means the app is completely turned off, they are covered only by their personal car insurance. The only exception to this—as far as Lyft drivers are concerned—is when a motorist rents their vehicle from General Motors (GM). In such a case, GM’s insurance policy covers the driver when the Lyft app is turned off.
When a driver is online, but has yet to accept a trip, both companies have insurance policies which cover $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. When a driver accepts a trip, then that’s when the $1 million per accident policy kicks in. Furthermore, there is a $1 million policy for uninsured or underinsured drivers.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can help you navigate through the complexities of the laws regarding rideshare accidents. At Foley Griffin, LLP we can guide you through the uncertainty of these types of car crashes. With more than 20 years of experience, our Nassau County personal injury attorney understands how to recover the compensation you deserve.
For more information, contact us and request a free consultation today.