Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have become vastly popular throughout the nation, including in the state of Illinois. Along with that increased popularity is an increased incidence of accidents involving rideshare company drivers.
Given the parties involved in these accidents, it may be difficult to collect damages. Doing so depends on who is at fault and the role you played at the time.
Lawsuits Depend on Your Role
There are three parties that may be involved in these accidents: drivers, passengers, and third parties.
If you are the driver in the accident, you might collect damages if someone else is at fault. If you were at fault, you’d likely not be able to collect damages, and you might only get insurance coverage through your own personal policy.
If you were transporting a passenger or on route to pick someone up through your ridesharing app, you’d most likely be covered by your company’s insurance. On the other hand, if you were driving on your own time, you’d have to rely on your own policy.
If you are a passenger involved in a ridesharing vehicle accident, you’d likely be covered by the company’s insurance if it was the driver’s fault. If a third party was at fault for the accident, however, they would be the ones held liable.
For third parties, such as other drivers or pedestrians, damages could be sought if the Uber/Lyft driver was at fault for the accident. If they were using their car as a personal vehicle at the time, you’d be stuck with their personal insurance company for the payout, but if they were transporting a passenger, you might be able to draw on the company’s insurance instead.
Rideshare Company Insurance Policies
It’s worth noting that rideshare companies have limits on their insurance policies, and they may not apply to all situations. Since Uber and Lyft consider their drivers to be independent contractors, they’ll often deny any responsibility for their drivers’ actions. That said, they do provide insurance coverage on their drivers in case an accident occurs.
Coverage when on the job
For drivers who are currently on a trip with a passenger or going to pick someone up, up to $1 million in liability insurance plus a $1 million uninsured/underinsured policy may apply. That means if they’re involved in an accident, their company’s insurance will likely be able to cover the costs.
Coverage between fares
If the driver is using the app but not on a trip, they’d be covered by their own insurance plus Uber’s contingent liability policy, which provides limited amounts of coverage for injuries and property damage. However, if they’re not using the app, they are covered only by their own personal policy.
Determining Who’s Liable
In these accidents, it’s important to determine exactly who is liable for the accident. If the Uber/Lyft driver is at fault and was taking a fare at the time, then damages may be paid through the company’s insurance. On the other hand, if another party was at fault, liability will fall on them.
It’s often difficult to recover damages for these accidents, which is why a personal injury attorney is absolutely essential. If you’ve been in a rideshare vehicle accident, contact our attorneys for a free consultation.