Personal Injury Lawyer
Ride-sharing is convenient for many but controversial for some, with questions raised about its safety. For better or worse, however, services like Lyft and Uber are extremely popular and are likely here to stay. The increased numbers of ride-sharing vehicles on the road make it more likely that you may be involved in an Uber or Lyft collision at some point, whether as another driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian.
If you are injured in a ride-share crash, you are still entitled to seek compensation for damages. However, the claims process can be a bit more complicated.
Relationship Between Drivers and Companies
Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees of their respective services. Rather, they are independent contractors. They usually drive their own cars rather than those owned by the ride-share companies, and they do not receive any specialized training.
For these reasons, the liability borne by Uber or Lyft themselves is negligible or non-existent. In other words, do not harbor any notions of suing Lyft or Uber and tapping into the millions of dollars that these companies rake in every year. Except in very rare and specific circumstances, you do not have a case.
Extra Insurance Coverage
Uber and Lyft do require their drivers to carry special insurance coverage that takes effect when their app is turned on and the driver is using the vehicle for business. However, the amount of coverage varies depending on whether the driver is seeking a fare or has one already lined up.
If the driver has the app turned on but has not yet agreed to take a fare, you are entitled to less insurance coverage if you are involved in an accident with the driver. If you sustain bodily injury in the accident, you can receive up to $50,000 in damages. If there are multiple injuries, however, there is a cap of $100,000 in bodily injury damages per accident, meaning that your award may be decreased.
However, if you are in an accident with a ride-share driver who either has a passenger in the car or is en route to pick one up, the amount of liability coverage available through the special insurance policy is $1 million. This also applies to your injuries/property damage if you were a passenger in the car.
The extra coverage only applies when the driver is using his or her vehicle for work. When the app is turned off and the driver is using the vehicle for personal use, his or her regular insurance policy will apply.
The special circumstances that apply in ride-share accidents can be difficult to understand. Fortunately, a car accident lawyer in Charlottesville, VA has the necessary experience to help you. Contact a law office for more information.
Thanks to MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and rideshare accidents.