The rideshare trend isn’t going anywhere and only seems to increase in popularity. Residents in California use Uber or Lyft rides daily. Their reasons might be to save money from owning a vehicle, to get home safely after a night on the town, or because they don’t have a valid driver’s license. Whatever the reason, an accident that involves an Uber or Lyft driver can complicate a claim for personal injury.
Possible Scenarios for Accidents with Rideshare Drivers
Accidents that involve rideshare drivers can include any one of the following four scenarios for personal injury cases:
- The passenger is injured – When the passenger of an Uber or Lyft driver is injured while using the services of the rideshare company
- The driver is injured – When the driver of an Uber or Lyft is injured while working as an independent contractor picking up, dropping off, or going to pick up a passenger
- A third-party is injured with an active driver – When an individual who did not request the rideshare service is in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver while picking up or driving passengers
- A third-party is injured with an inactive driver – When an individual who did not request the rideshare service is in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver who is neither picking up nor driving passengers around
Each of these scenarios can happen, and there are unique factors involved for each when filing a claim for personal injury.
Deciding Who is at Fault for Damages
Determining who is liable for damages comes down to which driver was negligent and at fault. In any claim for personal injury with two drivers, the following are the possible scenarios:
- One of the drivers is entirely at fault
- Both drivers are somewhat at fault
- Neither driver was at fault due to uncontrollable conditions
Possible conditions that are uncontrollable can be related to inclement weather or a deer-vehicle collision. Determining who is at fault is the first step in deciding who is responsible for paying damages. The different forms of compensation that you might be owed for a personal injury claim can include:
- Medical expenses related to the accident such as emergency care
- Future medical costs stemming from the accident, like physical therapy
- Loss of wages while you were recovering from your injury after the accident
- Loss of earning potential if your injuries leave you permanently disabled
- Pain and suffering that encompasses both physical and emotional pain from the accident
If the accident was fatal and someone involved lost his or her life, the damages would go to their closest family after the deceased person’s surviving family files a wrongful death claim. This claim would cover medical expenses up until the individual passes, funeral costs, and costs associated with pain and suffering.
What is the Rideshare Company’s Liability for Accidents?
Uber and Lyft rideshare services both employ independent contractors rather than full-time employees. As an independent contractor, drivers don’t receive health insurance or retirement benefits, but they do make their hours and provide their equipment – meaning their car. Because Uber and Lyft employ independent contractors, they are not obligated to provide insurance coverage – but they do anyway to provide peace of mind.
When Uber drivers are waiting for a ride request, their injury liability maximum is $100,000 in total, with $50,000 allotted to each person. Uber drivers also have property damage liability up to $25,000 per accident, but the app must be turned on. If an Uber driver is en route to pick up a rider or already has picked up their passenger, the amount increases to a minimum of $1 million in total liability plus $1 million for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Lyft drivers have a similar set up to Uber for insurance coverage. The amounts are the same, but if the driver’s app is on and does not have a matched rider, their coverage is subject to change.
While many drivers have personal insurance policies, it’s not uncommon that the policy prohibits the vehicle from being used for commercial purposes. So, if the driver is using their car as an Uber or Lyft driver, their policy is null and void.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in California
Any car accident is unsettling. If you’ve been injured in a car crash with an Uber or Lyft driver, call the personal injury and car accident lawyer in Beverly Hills at Setareh Law. Our team of legal professionals is ready to provide you with expert legal representation and fight for the settlement you deserve. Our proven track record in successful case results demonstrates our ability to achieve large settlements and verdicts for our clients.
Call us today at 310-659-1826 or fill out our form online for your free consultation.