How Are Uber and Lyft Car Accidents Different?
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are as common as taxi companies in many cities. While they are convenient and affordable, drivers for these services get into accidents just like anyone else. When one of these incidents happens, the insurance claim process is different in some important ways.
The first steps are the same as in any other accident. Make sure that everyone involved gets medical attention if needed. Once that's taken care of, you want to make sure you have contact information on the other parties involved. You'll also need a copy of the accident report from law enforcement. If you have the opportunity to take pictures of the accident, including the vehicles and surroundings, the photos can be valuable later. You should not speak to anyone, including insurance companies and attorneys for another party, until you have legal counsel for yourself.
How Are Uber and Lyft Accidents Different From Other Accidents?
The major difference between Uber and Lyft accidents and other accidents is the source of recovery. Drivers for Lyft and Uber are covered by a commercial insurance policy. The driver and passengers are covered as long as the app is activated. However, coverage amounts vary based on whether you were a driver waiting for a passenger, a passenger, or a driver actively carrying a passenger.
- While a driver is actively carrying a passenger, they are typically covered for up to $1 million.
- If you are a driver looking for a passenger and your app is on, you are covered by a lesser liability insurance policy. The coverage level is usually around $50,000. If your app is off at the time of the accident, your personal insurance is responsible.
- If you are a passenger and your driver is at-fault for the accident, you are covered by the commercial policy.
- If you are a passenger and another driver is at-fault, that driver's insurance will be responsible. If the coverage is insufficient, the Uber or Lyft policy on under-insured motorists may cover the gap.
Before you sign on as a driver for Uber or Lyft, contact your personal insurance company and make sure your policy allows for this. You should also read the fine print carefully on the Uber and Lyft website to make sure you understand the coverage in each instance.
If you are involved in an accident as a driver or a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, contact an attorney who specializes in these cases. Medical expenses, vehicle damages, and lost time from work can add up. Experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help you make sure that you are treated fairly.
Thanks to our friends from Cohen & Cohen for their insight into Uber and Lyft accidents.