With the rise of smartphones and the “gig economy,” rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber have introduced a new style of transit to the world. They’ve also introduced new dilemmas and questions. For example, if you’re a passenger and injured in a rideshare accident, who’s liable for the damages? The answer is highly dependent upon the circumstances of the crash. Let’s look at the most common scenarios.
Your Rideshare Driver is At Fault
If your driver carries commercial driver’s insurance, or if their personal auto insurance includes a special provision for operating the car as a rideshare driver, their insurance would cover your injuries. However, many rideshare drivers don’t carry these types of coverage, and their personal policies will likely contain a “business use exception” that won’t cover damages from an accident that occurred when they were driving a rideshare passenger.
The good news is that Lyft and Uber have company liability policies that would cover up to a maximum of $1 million for all damages and injuries. If this amount doesn’t cover all of the damages, you’d then file a personal injury lawsuit against the rideshare driver.
But drivers for Lyft and Uber are considered independent contractors, not employees, which greatly limits the potential to hold the rideshare company liable for the actions of its drivers.
Another Driver is At Fault
In this case, you’d most likely recover any damages from that driver’s insurance plan through a third-party claim or from a personal injury lawsuit. But what happens if that driver is uninsured or underinsured? Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber carry $1 million underinsured driver policies that may apply in this situation.
What to Do at the Scene of an Accident
Whatever the circumstances of the accident, you should follow the standard steps afterwards that you would with any car crash:
- Contact 911
- Record the names of the drivers, along with car models and makes, license plate numbers and their insurance policy details
- Speak with any witnesses and gather their contact information
- Capture a screenshot of the rideshare app you were using, along with the receipt
- Seek medical care if injured or if you suspect you may suffer delayed injuries
- If injured, speak with a qualified personal injury attorney
As you can see, when it comes to recovering damages if you are injured in a rideshare accident, the details make all the difference. If you have questions about liability in situations like these, please contact us directly. We can steer you in the best direction.