It’s likely that you’ve not only heard of both Uber and Lyft, two very popular transportation mobile applications, but that you’ve also used them. Whether you needed a ride to the airport, a designated driver after a night out or wanted to avoid the tedious task of finding parking in the city, these ride-sharing apps are affordable and convenient methods to help get you to any destination.
But what happens when your Uber or Lyft driver wrecks? While car accidents are inconvenient, confusing, and sometimes life-changing, circumstances are even more baffling when you don’t know your rights. Specifically, if you’re in a ride-share collision, are you protected?
Are Passengers Protected in an Uber or Lyft Car Accident?
While you don’t need to worry about property damage following an Uber or Lyft car accident (if you’re a passenger), you may need to consider a personal injury attorney, depending on the nature of the crash.
Though ride-share companies (i.e. Uber and Lyft) do provide supplemental insurance coverage to their drivers, there are stipulations to be noted. For example, this supplemental insurance is only in effect when the app is on; therefore, when the app is off, a driver is only covered by his or her own personal automobile insurance.
Unfortunately, therein lies the problem, as most ride-share drivers do not have policies that cover commercial accidents. What does this mean, exactly? The driver’s insurance provider has an opportunity to deny any injuries you may have sustained during or because of the wreck – but only if you’re in the car while the app is off, which rarely occurs.
Here’s how it breaks down: When a driver has the Uber app switched to “off,” he or she is only covered by their own, individual policy. Yet, once a ride has been accepted, a higher level of coverage (from Uber) becomes active. This higher level of coverage is only active while the trip is in progress, or until the rider reaches a destination.
Lyft is a little bit different, in the sense that the company has a one-million dollar per incident excess liability coverage, which is required from certain states. This policy is designed to only deal with claims revolving around liability issues.
Uber has recently updated their policy, providing more coverage, following a handful of accidents which ultimately led to lawsuits. Before this policy took hold, riders had to potentially worry about securing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.
But what does this mean for other motorists or pedestrians on the road who are hit by an Uber or Lyft driver?
Are Other Motorists or Pedestrians Protected in an Uber or Lyft Car Accident?
If you’re on the road, whether you’re a motorist, pedestrian or bicyclist, and you’re hit by an Uber or Lyft, the ride-share company will be held responsible for the wreck – but only if the driver is on duty (i.e. transporting a passenger). Like the terms listed above, if a driver is “off duty” and at fault for the accident, then the driver will be held liable, meaning his or her insurance will pay for damages or injuries sustained during the crash.
Contact Harlan Law Today
There is nothing fun or convenient about a car accident. Yet, when the crash involves an Uber, Lyft or other type of ride-sharing driver, the situation can become even more chaotic and confusing.
If you or someone you know has been in an Uber or Lyft car accident, contact Harlan Law today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Let the professionals help you get past this difficult time in your life.