Ridesharing is a modern convenience that has grown in popularity in recent years. Uber and Lyft drivers are out on the roads in numbers like never seen before. The increased use of ridesharing services has raised several new legal issues and questions. For instance, if you were injured in a ride-sharing car accident, you probably want to know what will happen after that. Whose insurance applies in these situations? Is the ridesharing driver personally liable or is the company on the hook to pay damages?
First, if you are in a ridesharing accident and the other car was at fault, then their insurance will apply. If you were in a ridesharing accident and the rideshare driver was at fault, things get a bit more complicated. Both Uber and Lyft carry a $1 million liability insurance policy. The policy, however, has some restrictions as to who is covered. Whether coverage applies will depend on things like if the ridesharing driver was actively on-duty when the accident occurred. This will be a very fact-specific inquiry and there is some room to make an argument either way in certain instances. The accident may have occurred when the driver was on duty but did not have a ridesharing passenger in the vehicle at the time. They may have been on duty and on there way to pick up a passenger but did not have a passenger in their car just yet. These are all gray areas that the insurance company for Lyft or Uber may use to argue against applying coverage. It may be a tough fight to recover from the ridesharing company insurance policy, but it is worth pursuing, especially if your other options are limited.
There is also a chance that you will be able to file a claim with the ridesharing driver’s personal auto insurance policy. If the driver was not currently “on the clock” for ridesharing purposes, you may have a good chance of successfully filing a claim with the driver’s personal auto insurance carrier. The big potential problem here, however, is that many auto insurance policies have exceptions in coverage if the driver is using his or her vehicle for commercial purposes. Driving people for the ridesharing company would be considered commercial use and coverage would not apply, especially if the driver was actively on duty for the ridesharing company at the time of the accident. In fact, the insurance company would most likely cancel the policy if they discovered the vehicle was being used for commercial ridesharing purposes.
Ridesharing car accidents have a whole other layer of complicated legal issues on top of an already stressful situation. If you have been injured in a car accident with a rideshare vehicle, the last thing you are going to want to do is go up against insurance companies looking for any way to avoid paying you full and fair compensation. The Fairfax Law Firm does not back down from a fight with these big insurance companies. We always pursue the best interests of our clients. Contact us today for a consultation.