Rideshare Accidents - Uber, Uber-X, & Lyft
Hailing a driver has become easier than ever before. With GPS technology, rideshare apps, and a smart phone in everyone's hand, we can summon a ride on a moment's notice. While this measure of convenience is beneficial to society by its potential to prevent drunk driving, you must be aware of the ever-present possibility of being involved in an accident. This danger involves all motor vehicles driven by any driver at any time including Uber and Lyft drivers. Unfortunately, there are no completely safe options.
Data so far is either inconsistent or unavailable on whether rideshares are safer, the same, or more dangerous than regular driving. Clearly, it is safer for a sober driver to operate a car than an intoxicated one - the same applies for a tired driver. Official figures of accidents and their causes are tough to come by because the ridesharing industry, like Uber and Lyft, is so new, the laws regulating it can be patchwork, and the companies aren't forthcoming about the incidents with their drivers.
With the ease and popularity of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, it’s important to know your rights if an Uber/Lyft- related incident occurs. Common questions arise in Uber or Lyft related accidents related to whether injuries will be covered, what insurance company will provide coverage, and how much coverage is available.
As An Uber/Lyft Passenger: Both ridesharing companies offer up to $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage for passengers. This means that there will be up to $1 million coverage for damages despite who was at fault for the accident.
As A Driver In An Accident With An Uber/Lyft Driver: Make sure you obtain both the driver’s personal insurance information as well as his or her ridesharing information. Which insurance pays for your damages depends on what phase of the job the ridesharing driver was in - Uber and Lyft company policies don’t cover all situations, so a claim may need to be filed with the rideshare driver’s personal insurance.
As An Uber/Lyft Driver: As a ridesharing driver, either your personal insurance company or your insurance with Uber/Lyft will cover the accident depending on what "phase" or "period" you are in. Below is a detailed breakdown of whose insurance covers what.
Insurance Coverage Breakdown for Rideshare Drivers
Both Lyft and Uber separate their insurance coverage into distinct time periods for drivers. Each of these time periods has different insurance coverage.
Offline: When the driver is offline, he or she is only covered by the driver’s personal insurance policy. If you aren’t logged in on Uber or Lyft, you are considered off the job so any claims are covered by your personal automobile insurance.
App is On:While you’re online with Uber and before you accept a request, you are covered by the rideshare company's insurance policy for liability to a third party. Coverage is at least $50,000 in injury liability per person with $100,000 in total liability per accident and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident. The rideshare company maintains this automobile liability insurance on its driver's behalf if they do not maintain applicable insurance of at least these amounts.
On way to pick up a passenger: When the rideshare driver is en route to pick up a fare the rideshare company's insurance covers the rideshare driver's liability for damages to any third party such as another driver, pedestrian, or property in case of an accident when the rideshare driver is at fault. The coverage amount is at least $1 million of total liability coverage. UM/UIM covers any occupant of the rideshare vehicle in case of an accident where another party is at fault, but does not have insurance or is underinsured - also covering hit and run accidents where the at-fault party cannot be identified. The coverage amount is $1 million of total coverage for bodily injury.
Rider is in car: When the driver has accepted a fare, has already picked up the passenger, and is heading to the passenger's destination, then the rideshare company's insurance coversliability for damages to any third party such as the rider(s) in the vehicle, other drivers, pedestrians, or property in case of an accident when the rideshare driver is at fault. The coverage amount is at least $1 million of total liability coverage. The company's UM/UIM covers any occupant of the rideshare driver's vehicle in case of an accident where another party is at fault but does not have insurance or is underinsured. This also covers hit and run accidents where the at-fault party can not be identified. The coverage amount is $1 million of total coverage for bodily injury.