Who is Liable if You are Injured in a Ridesharing Accident?
Who is Liable if You are Injured in a Ridesharing Accident?

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have gained popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. These app-based services allow people to easily get a ride to their destination for much less than the cost of a cab. All you have to do is open the app on your phone and request a ride.

However, with so many drivers operating for these ride sharing services, accidents are inevitable. If you are injured while using a ridesharing service, who is liable for the accident?

Ridesharing Drivers are Contractors, Not Employees

First off, it’s important to understand that Uber and Lyft do not consider their drivers to be employees. These ridesharing companies are known as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). Instead, drivers are considered independent contractors.

Uber or Lyft drivers are required to carry personal auto insurance in order to contract with the company. However, if the driver was providing a ridesharing service at the time of the accident, his personal auto insurance policy will likely deny a claim. Driving-for-hire is usually an exclusion listed on personal auto insurance policies. If the driver does not have a commercial auto insurance policy, he is most likely not covered by his personal insurance policy while driving for Uber or Lyft.

What Kind of Insurance Covers Uber and Lyft Drivers?

So what kind of coverage to Uber and Lyft drivers have? After facing several lawsuits over their insurance policy, Uber added liability insurance for drivers when the app is turned on. Once a driver is actively using the Uber or Lyft app to provide rides, the companies’ contingent liability policies provide coverage to the extent the driver’s personal auto insurance does not provide. The maximum for this contingent liability insurance is $50,000 for an injury and $30,000 for property damage.

Uber then provides a higher level of coverage when the driver accepts a trip. Thus, when a passenger is in the vehicle, Uber and Lyft cover you with their $1 million per person commercial liability policy. The policy covers a maximum of $2 million for all passengers.

What if an Uber Driver Hits your Vehicle?

If you were driving and an Uber or Lyft driver crashed into your vehicle and caused your injuries, you may also be able to receive compensation. However, you will have to prove that the Uber driver’s negligence caused your accident. Just like in any other car accident claim, liability must be established before damages can be awarded. This is why it is important to find an experienced personal injury attorney to help you prove that your injuries are a result of another driver’s negligence.

If the Uber driver was not logged into the app at the time of the accident, the driver, not Uber, would be liable for the crash. Thus, you would be dealing with the driver’s personal auto insurance company for a settlement. However, if the driver was working as a contractor for a ridesharing company when the accident occurred, Uber or Lyft would likely be at least partially liable for the accident and your injuries.

In theory, liability in these accidents can be determined by whether or not the Uber driver was currently providing ridesharing services. But in practice, it might not be so simple. Because these companies have only been around for a few years, the laws governing liability in ridesharing accidents can be confusing. If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, don’t try to handle it yourself. The experienced attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group can help you understand your rights and hold the appropriate parties responsible.

“If you are injured in a ridesharing accident, our firm can help determine who is liable for your injuries and get you the compensation you deserve,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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