For years we have been using taxis, but with the advent of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, the landscape of transportation has changed. These services now help people get from one point to another quickly, while not breaking the bank. It is our expectation when using these apps that the individual who will pick us up will drive us safely to our intended destination. But what happens when that expectation is not met?
Rideshare Driver Insurance
If you have been in an accident while using a ridesharing service such as Uber or Lyft, it is important to understand how these drivers’ insurance policies work. Generally speaking, ridesharing drivers are required to have state-approved personal auto insurance. In addition to that, both Uber and Lyft use a three-tier insurance policy, with different tiers used depending upon the circumstances of each case.
When the ridesharing app is off, the driver is personally liable and they would have to utilize their own personal auto insurance.
When the ridesharing app is on, and the driver is waiting for his or her customers, both Uber and Lyft use a 50/100/25 liability policy in which there is a maximum of $50,000 for bodily injury per person, a maximum of $100,000 for bodily injury per accident, and a $25,000 property damage limit. Ultimately state law governs and policies may be higher if required.
This is the tier that generally applies to most passengers. When the ridesharing app is on and the driver is either traveling to pick up a passenger or is in the process of transporting a passenger from one location to another, both Uber and Lyft provide for a $1 million liability policy that is applicable to anyone who is involved in the accident.
Additionally, both Uber and Lyft provide an uninsured motorist policy for $1 million should it be necessary.
What if I Was in an Accident?
When an accident occurs with a ridesharing company, both the company and the driver may be liable for the damages. This is dependant upon the specific circumstances of each case as well as your relationship to the ridesharing service.
Drivers may be classified differently depending upon each ridesharing company. Recovery may be dependant on whether or not the driver is considered to be an employee of the company or an independent contractor. Certain states might consider the drivers to be employees while others consider them to be independent contractors.
What About the State of Virginia?
In the state of Virginia, rideshare drivers are usually considered to be independent contractors. Should you be hit by a rideshare driver, your ability to recover for damages may be dependent upon what the driver was doing at the time of the accident (e.g. they were off-duty, waiting for customers, transporting a customer, etc.).
Ridesharing accidents like other personal injury accidents may entitle someone to the following:
- Lost Wages and Income
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Property Damage
- Punitive Damages
We Can Help
If you have been injured by a rideshare driver, understanding how to recover may be quite confusing. We can help to shine the light on the insurance policies involved, liability issues, what you are entitled to, and how you can recover. Call us today!
Posted in: Ride sharing accidents