If you’re involved in a rideshare accident, you probably want to know whether you can receive compensation for your damages. When the driver that hit you works for Uber or Lyft, the answer depends on whether they were working during the accident. If the driver was not working, the driver’s personal car insurance policy would likely cover your damages. If the driver was on the job, Uber or Lyft might owe you compensation. The determining factor boils down to whether the driver was on the clock and which ride-share insurance coverage policy was in effect when the collision occurred.
If you’re involved in a traffic accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, especially if you’ve suffered considerable losses or property damage, you should discuss your situation with a skilled auto vehicle accident attorney who can help you understand your options. Navigating the repercussions of an Uber or Lyft driver accident can be challenging, but Henderson Law can guide you through the process.
Is Uber or Lyft Legally Liable for My Car Accident?
Generally, if a rideshare driver is responsible for an accident, one of three different policies might cover damages:
- The driver’s personal auto liability insurance;
- The rideshare company’s contingent coverage; or
- The rideshare’s primary liability policy.
California Vehicle Code 5430 requires that rideshare companies carry $1 million in insurance for death, personal injury, and property damage. The $1 million in insurance covers claims resulting from the Uber or Lyft driver’s vehicle use from the moment the driver accepts a ride request on the Uber or Lyft app until the driver completes the transaction on the app or until the ride is complete. If the driver was logged on to the Lyft app and looking to match with a rider when the accident occurred, Lyft insurance coverage contains a contingency policy that includes $100,000 in bodily injury and $25,000 in property damage per accident as a backup to the driver’s personal insurance. If the driver had a rider in the vehicle during the accident, Lyft coverage includes $1,250,000 in third-party liability coverage for accidents. If the driver is not logged on to the app, they must rely on their own personal insurance coverage to cover the accident.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft for Damages?
If your accident damages exceed Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance policy limit, you might consider suing for additional compensation. In this case, you may argue that since the ride-sharing driver was responsible for the accident, the ride-sharing company shares some responsibility for the crash. While a worthwhile argument, Uber and Lyft maintain that their company drivers are independent contractors. Traditionally, hiring independent contractors limits a company’s legal liability for any damages company drivers cause. However, California law AB5, which protects Uber and Lyft workers by affording them employee-like protections, complicates this argument. AB5’s wording makes it more difficult for Uber and Lyft to claim their drivers are independent contractors, thus opening the door to potential legal liability. Unfortunately, the law here is still unclear.
What Damages May I Recover in an Uber Car Accident?
Damages for a car accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver may include:
- Past and future medical, hospital, rehabilitation, disability, and other healthcare-related expenses;
- Past and future physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and physical impairment;
- Past economic losses including lost wages, salary or income, and property damage;
- Loss of future income because of long-term disability and permanent diminished earning capacity; and
- Punitive damages (for outrageous wrongful conduct).
After your accident, an insurance agent working for Uber or Lyft will likely call you. Henderson Law recommends that you speak to an experienced auto vehicle accident lawyer before making any recorded or written statements to the insurance company. Settling your case with Uber or Lyft before discussing the factual and legal issues with a lawyer can vastly affect the settlement outcome. An insurance company is likely to offer far less in recovery than if you retain an attorney with substantial experience in litigating against Uber and Lyft.
Henderson Law Can Help Handle Your Rideshare Accident Claim
Henderson Law has over twenty-five years of courtroom experience in car crashes. We know how to navigate Uber’s and Lyft’s insurance coverage to secure an accident victim’s total damages. At Henderson Law, we will work tirelessly to investigate your accident and preserve your claim. Reach out to us or visit us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.