The popularity of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft cannot be denied, and I do not see them going away any time soon (and competition is growing). Smart, cheap, easy to book transportation is a convenience many can’t live without now. Accidents UBER Rideshare
But using these rideshare services brings up some interesting legal questions.
Insurance – If you get hurt in an accident as a passenger who is liable?
Uber has 3-part insurance to cover not only their drivers, but also their passengers. When “waiting to pick up clients Uber drivers are covered by their own auto insurance, and with contingent liability coverage, Uber covers up to $50,000 per injury for a total of $100,000 and up to $25,000 for property damage in many states. The Uber driver needs to inform their insurance company that they are doing Uber work or the coverage may not apply. When not picking up and transporting passengers Uber drivers are under their own insurance. When carrying passengers, the vehicle and occupants are covered by a $1 million liability coverage policy and an equal uninsured/underinsured coverage policy.
Also, the insurance coverage may be effective, but you may not be able to sue Uber for damages based on the actions of its drivers, especially when they’re not actively carrying passengers. There has been speculation that the insurance policy as written may not provide the coverage you think it does. Remember Uber considers their drivers as independent contractors and may not see themselves liable for the actions of these contractors. The courts have a different view of this.
But even with the fair pricing many try to make a “better deal” under the table. Some drivers are known to share their personal phone numbers with regular clients and take a lesser payment in cash and skip using the “Uber” service. In the case of an accident with an injury, passengers will only be covered under the limits of the driver’s insurance. The costs of medical care and compensation for other losses will quickly make that small amount of savings for each ride seem light not so much of a good deal.
If using one of these services, it would be wise to make sure they prove that they have proper insurance on the vehicle and are properly licensed to drive. I have in my own experience known many of these so drivers from these rideshare companies that I would not trust to transport goods let alone a sacred human life. The vetting process used on some of these drivers by some of the ride share companies, I have often found to be less than thorough.
Also, the insurance coverage may be effective, but you may not be able to sue the rideshare company for damages based on the actions of its drivers, especially when they’re not actively carrying passengers.
So, what do you do if you are in an accident with injuries with a driver contracted with a ride sharing service?
As soon as possible, after you seek medical attention, contact an attorney experienced in these types of cases. You will want to have an experience individual, fighting on your side while you recover. You do not want to fight the insurance companies alone!
Whether the injury causes temporary or permanent disability, you may need compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. To recover adequate compensation, you will need representation from an experienced attorney.
At Tindall Law Firm, LLC, we fight to recover damages for car accident victims in Connecticut. Attorney Tindall has personally handled several cases involving taxi drivers and ride share drivers and brings 20 years of experience specializing in personal injury and worker’s compensation. Attorney Tavis Tindall has the knowledge and skill to hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses. For a free consultation with a Waterbury car accident injury lawyer, please call 203.755.0018 or contact us online.