Ridesharing services offered by companies like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in recent years. In 2017, around 30% of Americans “hailed” a ride from ridesharing companies to get from one place to another. With more and more people using these services, car accidents involving rideshare drivers are likely to occur. In this article, our Philadelphia car accident attorneys provide insight on frequently asked questions concerning Uber and Lyft accidents.
If you would like clarification regarding an answer or have a question that is not addressed here, please contact Marciano & MacAvoy, P.C. at (215) 608-2183.
1. What do I do if I’m in an accident with Uber or Lyft?
If you were involved in an Uber or Lyft accident – whether as a passenger, an Uber or Lyft driver, or the driver of the other vehicle – you would follow the same steps you would if you were in a car accident with a non-rideshare driver. You would want to ensure the safety of the individuals in the accident, call the police and paramedics if necessary, collect information about all parties involved, and contact a personal injury attorney if you were injured.
2. Are Uber and Lyft drivers required to have insurance?
Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry their own personal insurance that meets the minimum coverage required by the state in which they are driving. On top of that, both rideshare companies offer additional insurance that applies depending on the phase of the drive – either waiting for a ride request or accepting a request and transporting a passenger.
3. What if an Uber or Lyft driver caused an accident but was not transporting a passenger?
The type of insurance that applies when a driver is not transporting a passenger depends on whether the rideshare app was on or not. If the app was not on, the driver’s personal insurance should cover an accident that the driver caused. If the app was on and the driver was waiting for a ride request, the rideshare company’s third-party liability insurance applies, whether they’re an Uber or Lyft driver. That is, any injury or damage the driver caused to another person or their property is covered under this insurance. This insurance typically covers up to $50,000 for bodily injury, up to $100,000 per accident, and up to $25,000 for property damage. These coverage amounts vary by state.
4. What if my Uber or Lyft driver is at-fault for an accident?
If you were a passenger and your rideshare driver caused an accident, Uber and Lyft provide coverage of up to $1,000,000 for third-party liability. The amounts vary by state.
5. What if another driver is at-fault for an accident?
The at-fault driver’s insurance should cover damages resulting from an accident they caused. However, Uber and Lyft also provide uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance or their insurance is insufficient, the rideshare company’s UM/UIM insurance will provide coverage of up to $1,000,000. The coverage amount varies by state.
6. Can I sue Uber or Lyft for an accident involving one of their drivers?
Generally, you would not be able to sue Uber or Lyft if you were in an accident with one of their drivers. Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors and not employees of the rideshare companies. As such, the companies would not be liable for the negligence of the people who drive for them. You would most likely file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
If you have more questions about an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, call Marciano & MacAvoy, P.C. at (215) 608-2183 or contact us online. We offer free consultations.