Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft provide valuable services to communities nationwide. They are generally easy to use, affordable, and arrive quickly, especially relative to taxi services. They also keep our communities safe by acting as a resource for people who are too drunk to drive home safely.
As ridesharing services become more ubiquitous, however, accidents involving such vehicles also increase. If you get hit by someone driving an Uber or are a passenger in a Lyft that gets hit by another car, you may be at a loss for what to do. Who is legally responsible for the accident? And whose insurance company will pay for your injuries? Though determining liability in a ridesharing accident can be tricky, there are resources you can turn to for help. The attorneys at Klein Frank, P.C. in Boulder are innovative and thorough legal advocates with decades of experience winning big for clients in car accident cases. If you’re at a loss for how to handle your ridesharing accident case, we will get the job done.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling (303) 448-8884 or write to us online.
Who Is Liable in a Ridesharing Accident?
It depends. Establishing liability in a car accident case can be extremely straightforward—or not. Certain aspects can complicate matters, such as having multiple drivers involved in one accident or an at-fault driver who doesn’t have insurance.
Yet, if you have been hit by an Uber or Lyft driver or were injured while a passenger in a rideshare, you must be able to prove that someone involved in the accident was negligent in order to have a personal injury claim.
As in any car accident case, you must prove two things in order to receive compensation:
- Liability, or who was at fault
- Damages, or how you were injured
Hiring an attorney can help you definitively prove both. We will collect evidence and work with leading experts to determine the cause of your crash, who was at fault, and the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Uber & Lyft’s Insurance Policies
If the negligent party responsible for your accident was an Uber or Lyft driver, you must first refer your claim to their insurance carrier (all rideshare drivers are required to have insurance). However, because the rideshare driver was using their vehicle to make a profit at the time of the accident, their insurance claim will likely be denied.
This happened often in the early days of Uber and Lyft, so both companies responded with a similar solution. Uber and Lyft offer liability insurance that kicks in after the driver's insurance carrier denies the claim (rideshare drivers still have to submit the claim to their personal insurance carrier first). This third-party liability insurance coverage pays up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident. Both companies also offer $1 million uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage in case the driver who caused your accident wasn’t an Uber or Lyft driver and doesn’t have insurance.
However, Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies only apply under certain conditions. The coverage varies based on when the accident occurs.
The applicable timeframes are as follows:
- Period 0: This applies when someone who works for Uber or Lyft gets into an accident when they are not logged into the Uber or Lyft app. Uber and Lyft provide no coverage during this period.
- Period 1: If the driver is logged into their rideshare app, but has yet to accept a ride request, Uber and Lyft will provide liability coverage for any accident that is the fault of the driver. This includes up to $50,000 per person injured in an accident, $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
- Period 2: If the Uber or Lyft driver has accepted a ride request and is on the way to pick someone up, the liability coverage increases to $1 million.
- Period 3: This period refers to the time that a customer is in the car, between the time that they are picked up and dropped off. Liability coverage goes up to $1 million. Limited coverage for damage to the driver's car and UIM coverage also applies.
After an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, follow the steps you would normally take after a car accident. Then, contact the ridesharing company directly to file an accident report. You can do so for Uber here and for Lyft here.
If you find yourself in a scenario in which the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to adequately compensate you for your injuries, you can go after the rideshare company itself.
How Can a Klein Frank, P.C. Attorney Help?
If you have been injured in a ridesharing accident, we are prepared to represent you. It doesn’t matter whether your case is straightforward or complex—we are committed to assisting any accident victim in the state of Colorado.
An attorney is a great resource because they can build a case that argues for maximum compensation, stand up to insurance companies who try to bully claimants to accept a lower settlement, and take care of difficult legal procedures on your behalf.
Beth Klein and Carrie Frank are award-winning attorneys with over 60 years of combined legal experience. Together with the Klein Frank, P.C. team, we will put together a detailed step-by-step plan that will guide you through the claims process from start to finish. This way you can focus on your recovery while we handle the hard part.