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Who is liable in a ridesharing accident?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2020 | Car Accident

Ridesharing service apps like Uber and Lyft continue to grow in popularity around the globe. Since 2015, the amount of Americans that had used rideshare apps had more than doubled by 2018.

Apps like Uber and Lyft conveniently allow you to hail a ride to your exact location with your phone and track your drivers’ arrival. It’s affordable, eco-friendlier and often the more responsible option if you’ve had a little too much to drink.

But, as easy as using these services is, what’s difficult is determining who is at fault when a collision happens.

How compensation is determined by rideshare companies

Among other requirements, both Uber and Lyft require the drivers who work for them to have personal auto insurance that meets the minimum standards in their state. However, because these individual insurance policies may not apply to accidents that happen while driving for Uber or Lyft, both companies also offer the following rideshare insurance policies to protect their passengers and drivers:

  • The driver’s app is off: In other words, this means the driver is off the clock and not accepting rides. If you’re involved in a ridesharing accident as a pedestrian, biker or driver when the rideshare driver’s app is off, the rideshare driver’s personal policy applies to the accident.
  • The driver’s app is on: In a case where you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver and their app is on – meaning they’re working – both companies offer liability coverage if the rideshare driver’s insurance doesn’t cover it. In this case, you could receive up to:
    • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
    • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
    • $25,000 in property damage per accident
  • You’re in the car as a passenger: If you are riding as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and an accident occurs, regardless of if the rideshare driver’s insurance covers the incident or not, both companies provide the following insurance on behalf of their drivers and passengers:
    • $1,000,000 for third-party liability
    • Coverage if the other driver is at fault but is uninsured or underinsured
    • Coverage if there is a hit and run

If injury or damage happens to you or your belongings in a rideshare accident, it can be confusing to know what to do next or who you should file your claims with. Insurance companies may dispute claims or shift responsibility. It’s important that anyone injured in a crash gets the compensation they deserve so they can focus on full recovery instead of paying the bills.

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