What If My Uber or Lyft Driver is in a Car Accident?
Ridesharing has become an everyday occurrence, especially in major metropolitan areas, such as Washington, D.C. According to reports, around 14 million Uber rides occur daily. And Uber is not the only ridesharing company in town thanks to Lyft. Most Uber rides are uneventful, but sometimes a ridesharing trip can end in a crash. If a passenger is hurt, the passenger will want to recover damages. However, the path to receiving compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering is not always straightforward. Injured Uber and Lyft riders will have to figure out the right way to make a claim based on who was at fault, when the collision occurred, and the ridesharing driver’s insurance.
Filing a Claim Against the Uber or Lyft Driver’s Insurance
If an Uber driver causes an accident that leads to passenger injuries, their private insurance ideally should cover some of the damages if they have a commercial insurance policy. If the driver only has a personal policy, the driver could invest in paying for special provisions that cover passengers when they are operating as a business. If they have not invested in a special provision, their insurance will likely deny the claim because they were engaged in a for-profit venture when the incident occurred. At this point, the injured passenger may move to file a claim with the ridesharing company’s insurance instead.
Filing a Claim Against a Ridesharing Company’s Insurance
Uber and Lyft carry insurance that covers up to $1 million in damages per accident. However, this type of third-party liability insurance only comes into play after the driver’s insurance has either denied a claim or paid less than the total damages. Plus, the ridesharing company’s insurance will need to know that the driver was on the clock when the crash occurred. For instance, if a Lyft driver had not officially indicated the ride was taking place and a passenger was hurt, Lyft’s insurance will not cover the incident. It does not matter that the passenger was already in the car.
Filing a Claim Against a Different Driver’s Insurance
What if the accident is not the fault of the ridesharing driver but a different driver? Passengers should then file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. If the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured, the passenger’s own insurance may pay for part or all the damages.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Uber or Lyft
The last resort for any passenger hurt while riding in an Uber or Lyft could be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company itself. These types of lawsuits are challenging because ridesharing drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees. However, in some unique cases, a personal injury lawsuit against the corporation could make sense.
DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Advocate for Those Injured in Ridesharing Accidents
As with many societal advancements, the law has struggled to keep up with all the legal aspects involving ridesharing vehicles. If you have been injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, please contact the DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King to discuss your options. Located in Washington, DC, we serve clients throughout DC and Maryland. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation.