Rideshare services are incredibly popular, and most people have taken at least one rideshare service. Uber and Lyft are the most popular, but there are certainly other rideshare companies across the country. But what happens if an accident involving a rideshare vehicle occurs? Who will ultimately be held responsible? Here, we want to discuss liability issues that arise after an accident with an Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare vehicle.
Determining Liability After a Rideshare Accident
When an accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle occurs, it is crucial to determine liability. The reality is that these incidents will be investigated just like every other vehicle crash on the roadway. A police officer will typically come to the scene of the incident, and evidence will be gathered. There will be a police report, and hopefully, individuals at the scene will gather their own types of evidence, maybe using their cell phones or getting the names and contact information of eyewitnesses.
Regardless of who is involved in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, liability will be determined, and the at-fault party will be responsible for paying compensation. However, it can be confusing if the rideshare driver was responsible for causing the crash.
Rideshare Insurance Periods
If an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare driver is responsible for causing an incident, we will need to turn to the insurance “periods” to determine how compensation is paid out.
Period Zero – Driver on Personal Time
Uber and Lyft drivers use the same vehicle for their personal driving as well. When a rideshare driver is not online with any of the rideshare apps, then their personal insurance will be responsible for covering any accident they cause.
Period One – Driver is Online, No Request
When an Uber or Lyft driver signs into their respective app to work, meaning they are online and ready to accept passengers, different insurance policies kick it. In Period One, the driver has not yet received a ride request. During this particular time frame, both Uber and Lyft do have supplemental insurance policies, but the policies will only kick in to pay for other vehicles or passengers if the rideshare driver causes an accident, and the minimums of this policy will mimic the required minimums under state law.
Period Two – Driver On-Duty, Ride Request
During Period Two, this means that a driver is signed into work, has a ride request, and is on the way to pick up the ride request. During this process, Uber and Lyft both have $1 million liability insurance policies that will pay for any property damage or injuries in an accident caused by the rideshare driver. Both Uber and Lyft also provide collision coverage to pay for damage to any other vehicles involved.
Period Three – Driver Has a Passenger
When a driver has completed their trip to pick up the passenger, and the passenger is on board, the $1 million liability insurance policy still applies, as does collision and comprehensive coverage.
No matter how you have been affected in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, you need to reach out to a skilled car accident attorney and determine how to recover maximum compensation for your losses. An attorney will examine every aspect of the claim, look very closely at the actions of the rideshare driver, and help you either get an insurance settlement or take your case to trial.