Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services, otherwise known as transportation network companies, have turned passenger transport on its head.
Previously, people used public transport and traditional taxi services to get around. Public transportation is relatively inexpensive but can also be inconvenient or time-consuming. Traditional taxis are expensive and sometimes elusive.
Rideshare services are affordable, and the rideshare driver is hailed at the push of a ride request button. This convenience add purchasing additional rideshare coverage and insurance coverage, however, the additional to purchase rideshare insurance coverage comes with a downside.
Passenger and Third-Party Rideshare Insurance Coverage
Customers entering an Uber or Lyft vehicle are also entering a peculiar car insurance situation.
The rideshare vehicle and its driver must be covered by a personal auto policy; however, while a rideshare insurance policy purchased by the transportation network company protects the company and, to some extent, Uber or Lyft drivers, a passenger’s or third-party’s insurance isn’t so clear.
People presume that the rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance provider’ policy covers passengers and third parties in a collision, but carrying passengers who add rideshare coverage often invalidates a personal car insurance companies’ policy. The argument is that the vehicle should now have commercial insurance, so the former personal car insurance provider’ policy is void.
This coverage gap can leave injured parties having to fight car insurance providers for full coverage. Hiring a law firm that has experience in auto accidents is a wise first step in the fight for comprehensive commercial insurance coverage.
Transportation Network Companies’ Rideshare Coverage
The two biggest transport network companies, Uber and Lyft, offer insurance protection to their drivers, but only when their rideshare app is activated. Rideshare liability coverage depends upon the crash circumstances. Typically, the ridesharing company and driver liability insurance covers up to $1 million. If the accident is caused by another driver not covered by the ridesharing company’s insurance or an insurance policy, the rideshare company and drivers have a further $1 million in liability.
However, if an Uber or Lyft accident is serious or even fatal, costs can easily mount up to be more than rideshare coverage provides.
Drivers’ Auto Insurance Coverage
A transportation network company insurance policy covers drivers working on a trip. To be legally on the road, they must also have a personal or rental car reimbursement or commercial auto insurance, with comprehensive and collision coverage policy to cover the times when driving for other purposes. Unless deductible gap coverage is purchased, drivers are responsible for any personal policy deductible, and after accidents, personal and commercial auto insurance policy providers often raise rental car reimbursement and insurance rates.
Importantly, a transportation network company’s rideshare insurance doesn’t cover drivers’ personal car insurance policies unless they are transporting Uber or Lyft passengers. Anyone who has made a claim with an auto insurance company knows that gaining settlement can be a battle under normal circumstances, but factor in using you need rideshare insurance, personal car insurance policy or a privately insured vehicle for transporting passengers, and things can get even more complicated.
Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Here are some of the most common reasons rideshare accidents happen.
The more they drive, the more rideshare drivers make, so it is tempting to work long hours. Also, driving for a top rideshare app or delivery company is often a second job, and some drivers supplement rideshare activities by working as Amazon delivery drivers or doing food delivery for restaurants.
As rideshares are an app-based service, their drivers rely on smartphones more than most individuals–they are constantly checking for a new, waiting for a ride to request, following directions to unfamiliar addresses, etc.
In addition to smartphone distractions, the attention of a rideshare driver can be diverted by passengers engaging them in conversation or explaining which route they prefer to take.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of road accidents, and using a smartphone while driving is against the law in Georgia, which makes it an important detail in a rideshare accident claim.
Bad weather conditions make driving dangerous, but people still expect their rideshare insurance cover their drivers to get them where they need to be. While the weather itself cannot be used as the foundation of a claim against rideshare insurance companies, a driver or adding rideshare insurance company’s insurance failure to adapt to it can.
Common Injuries Sustained in Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare accidents can result in easily treated minor injuries, or they can cause severe injuries requiring expensive and sustained treatment that seriously impacts the injured party’s ability to work. In the worst cases, rideshare accidents result in death, which also permanently impairs the lives of the deceased’s dependents.
Here are some injuries commonly sustained in rideshare accidents:
- Cuts and abrasions: might be minor and easily covered by rideshare insurance payouts, or they can be serious, involving skin grafts and other costly treatments.
- Contusions: can also vary in severity, from minor bruises to life-altering head and brain injuries that will soon exhaust rideshare coverage.
- Facial and dental injuries: can require not only medical treatment but also expensive cosmetic restoration.
- Back and neck injuries: common in road accidents, these range from sprains and whiplash, which are painful yet hard to prove, to disc damage that requires extensive treatment.
- Spinal cord injuries: at worst, can lead to full or partial paralysis and a lifetime of expensive medical treatment beyond that covered by rideshare insurance settlements.
Best Practices After an Accident
If you are involved in a rideshare accident, whether as a driver, passenger, or third-party, here is what to do:
- Ensure everyone involved is as safe as possible
- Contact emergency services by dialing 911
- Report the accident to the rideshare company
- Carefully document the events of the accident as they will be necessary for any dispute over responsibility and/or compensation
Passengers of rideshare company cars and third parties claim compensation via rideshare insurance. Still, it is important to understand that rideshare insurance coverage has limits that might not be sufficient to pay for the expenses caused by the crash fully.
Filing a personal injury claim can help raise money to cover the gap between what best rideshare insurance companies will pay and what plaintiffs need. However, an Uber or Lyft driver’s status as an independent contractor who drives their own vehicle complicates things. Insurance companies that provide rideshare insurance often argue that because their drivers aren’t employees, rideshare companies share little responsibility for their actions.
Understanding Rideshare Insurance Policies
Rideshare insurance policies are specifically designed to address the unique insurance needs of drivers and passengers involved in rideshare services. These rideshare coverage policies bridge the gap between the personal coverage, auto insurance and commercial insurance, providing comprehensive coverage during rideshare activities.
Coverage Gaps and Personal Auto Insurance
One of the challenges in rideshare insurance is the potential coverage gap between a driver’s personal auto insurance policy and the rideshare company’s insurance. When drivers are using their vehicles for the rideshare car insurance purposes, their personal policy for auto insurance may not provide coverage, as personal policies often exclude commercial use. This leaves drivers who need rideshare insurance responsible for any deductible and potential rate increases on their personal policies.
Liability Coverage for Rideshare Drivers
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft offer liability coverage purchase rideshare insurance for their drivers, but it typically applies only when the rideshare app is active. The coverage varies depending on the circumstances of the accident. In situations where the accident is caused by another driver without need rideshare insurance itself, additional liability coverage may be available from best rideshare insurance companies.
Injuries and Compensation in Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare accidents can result in a range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Compensation for injuries sustained in a rideshare accident can be obtained through rideshare insurance. However, it’s important to note that rideshare insurance coverage has limits, and it may not be that rideshare coverage is sufficient to fully cover bodily injury liability and all medical expenses, resulting from the accident. In such cases, filing a personal injury claim can help bridge the gap between rideshare insurance coverage and the actual costs incurred.
Legal Assistance for Rideshare Accidents
Given the complexities surrounding rideshare accidents, seeking legal advice from an attorney experienced in handling cases involving Uber or Lyft drivers is advisable. Attorneys specializing in rideshare accidents possess the necessary expertise to navigate the legal intricacies, negotiate with various insurance providers and companies, and fight for fair compensation on behalf of the injured parties. Their knowledge and guidance can be invaluable in ensuring a comprehensive resolution to the legal and financial aspects of a rideshare accident case.
Remember, it’s essential to consult with a legal professional who can provide accurate and up-to-date advice based on the specific circumstances of your situation.
What You Can Do if You Are in an Accident Involving a Rideshare Car
Just as in any auto accident, a rideshare accident often involves injuries and property damage. These are costly in themselves, but they can also lead to loss of income at the very time it is needed for medical bills and to replace damaged property, such as in the case of the rideshare driver, their vehicle.
Insurance liability coverage will pay for some of these things, but even generous collision coverage comes with deductibles and limits. The cost of a car crash can keep mounting for years, making settling with an insurance company for an inadequate amount a big mistake.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a rideshare car accident, seeking advice from someone with experience in accidents involving Lyft or Uber drivers is a good idea. An attorney knows all the angles and, if it becomes necessary, can help you fight transport network company lawyers who are paid handsomely to help their employers avoid paying large sums in damages.
Q1: What is rideshare insurance coverage?
A1: rideshare insurance coverage or rideshare insurance cover. endorsement. Rideshare insurance coverage refers to the insurance policies that provide protection for drivers and passengers involved in rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft. It is designed to address the unique insurance situation that arises when a personal vehicle is used for commercial purposes during rideshare activities.
Q2: Does a rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance policy cover passengers and third parties?
A2: Generally, a rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance policy may not provide coverage for passengers and third parties while engaged in rideshare activities. When a driver is carrying passengers mercury rideshare insurance, their own personal auto policy policy may be considered void because add rideshare coverage, commercial insurance is expected to cover the vehicle. As a result, injured parties may need to navigate the process of seeking coverage from the rideshare company’s own commercial insurance or provider or potentially engage legal assistance for a comprehensive resolution.
Q3: What insurance coverage do Uber and Lyft offer to their drivers?
A3: Uber and Lyft offer a rideshare endorsement for insurance costs and protection to their drivers, but coverage offer rideshare insurance is typically applicable only when the full rideshare endorsement app is activated. The coverage depends on the circumstances of the accident. In general, rideshare liability coverage provided by a rideshare endorsement from Uber or Lyft can range up to $1 million for driver liability. If the accident involves an uninsured driver, additional liability coverage of up to $1 million may apply.
Q4: What are some common causes of rideshare accidents?
A4: Common causes of rideshare accidents include tiredness, distractions (such as smartphone usage), and adverse weather conditions. Rideshare drivers may work long hours to maximize earnings, which can lead to fatigue. Smartphone usage is prevalent among rideshare drivers due to app-based service requirements, increasing the risk of distracted driving. Additionally, failure to adapt to hazardous weather conditions can contribute to accidents.
Q5: What should I do if I am involved in a rideshare accident?
A5: If you are involved in a rideshare accident as a driver, passenger, or third party, follow these steps:
- Ensure everyone’s safety.
- Call emergency services by dialing 911.
- Report the accident to the rideshare company.
- Document the accident details thoroughly, as they will be crucial for any responsibility or compensation disputes.
- Keep in mind that rideshare insurance coverage may have limitations, so it’s important to understand that it might not fully cover all expenses. If needed, consider filing a personal injury claim to bridge the gap between rideshare insurance coverage and the necessary compensation. Consulting with an experienced attorney who specializes in rideshare accidents can provide valuable guidance throughout the process.