An Uber/Lyft Driver Hit Me: What Now?
You were just in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver. It may be confusing as to whose car insurance will apply to your claim.
Who Pays If You are Hit by an Uber or Lyft Driver?
As in any car accident case, the person bringing the claim must be able to prove two things in order to get compensation: liability and damages.
If you were hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, you must be able to prove that someone was negligent in order to have a claim.
If the negligent party was the Uber or Lyft driver, the most straightforward course of action would be against that person, who would refer the claim to the driver’s personal insurance carrier just like most other car accident claims. But, because the driver was driving for money, the situation gets very complicated. Unless the driver has a commercial policy the driver’s personal policy will not cover. That’s because the driver’s insurance contract specifies that the driver will use the vehicle only for personal use and ride-sharing isn’t personal use. The carrier will deny the claim.
Fortunately for the injured person, Uber and Lyft responded to this untenable result by offering liability insurance to their drivers, which will kick-in when the driver’s carrier denies the claim. So, legal responsibility aside, it’s entirely possible to hold Uber or Lyft financially responsible when you’re a non-negligent person in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver.
Uber/Lyft Drivers and Car Insurance
Both Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage for their drivers, and the companies have adopted very similar policies, with coverage that varies depending on when the accident occurs:
- Stage Zero:When the driver is not logged into the Uber/Lyft app, Uber/Lyft provides no coverage
- Stage One: When the driver is logged into the app but has not yet accepted a ride request, Uber/Lyft provides liability coverage for any accident that is the fault of the driver, up to $50,000 per person injured in an accident, and $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
- Stage 2:When the driver has accepted a trip and is on the way to pick-up, liability coverage increases to $1 million.
- Stage 3:When the rider is in the car, ending at drop-off. Liability coverage of up to $1 million, plus limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car, and uninsured motorists’ coverage.
What to Do After an Uber/Lyft Accident
The first thing you should do after a car accident is get the names, contact information, and insurance details of everyone involved, and ask any witnesses for their contact information, too. Next, take as many pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and anything else relevant to the accident from as many angles as you can before you leave the scene.
You should also call the police from the accident scene. Many states have a law requiring that law enforcement be alerted to any car accident that causes bodily injury or more than minor property damage, but, in any accident involving an Uber/Lyft driver, you will generally want the accident officially investigated as soon as possible, so that you’ll have a police report that you will need to back up your claim.
If you are injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, especially if your losses are significant, you might want to discuss your situation with a car accident lawyer.
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