Unsure of what happens when an Uber or Lyft driver hits your car? In some ways, these collisions are no different than any other motor vehicle accident, but there are differences primarily related to insurance issues.
While rideshare drivers must carry their own car insurance policies, Uber and Lyft provide their drivers with additional coverage in some cases. Whether or not rideshare insurance is available could be an important factor in your pursuit of compensation.
Understanding Liability in a Rideshare Accident
When it comes to determining who is at fault for an accident, the fact that the other driver involved in the crash was serving as a rideshare operator does not change that calculation. An individual is typically liable for a car accident if the collision occurs due to their negligence.
If you were injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, the same four elements of negligence apply just like with any other car accident. To hold them accountable, you must demonstrate that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- The other driver breached that duty of care.
- You suffered injuries due to that breached duty.
- Your injuries resulted in compensable damages.
You have the right to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a rideshare driver if their negligence leads to a vehicle collision. However, you do not have the ability to file a lawsuit directly against the rideshare company in most cases.
The law does not treat rideshare drivers as employees of Uber or Lyft, which means the companies are not responsible for the negligence of their drivers. Filing a lawsuit against these companies might not be an option, but there could be other ways to hold them accountable for an accident.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Coverage
Both Uber and Lyft are required to provide their drivers with liability insurance coverage, but the policy limits that apply vary depending on the circumstances.
It is also important to remember that these company policies are considered secondary, meaning that they only apply in cases where the driver’s individual policy limits are exceeded. As such, the cost of a major accident can be substantially higher than the minimum coverage levels that the driver is required to purchase.
The level of coverage offered by Uber or Lyft depends on two factors: whether the driver was logged in to the app and whether the driver was actively transporting a passenger. The presence or absence of these factors determine the amount of coverage you qualify to receive.
Off-Duty Uber or Lyft Drivers
If an Uber or Lyft driver is not actively using the app or seeking a ride, they are considered off-duty. This inactivity means the rideshare company does not offer any insurance coverage if they are involved in a crash.
Drivers Seeking a Rider
Rideshare insurance kicks in when the driver activates the mobile app and begins searching for a passenger. When a driver is seeking a passenger but has not yet picked one up, the rideshare companies offer:
- $50,000 for bodily injuries for each person
- $100,000 for bodily injuries for each accident
- $25,000 for property damage for each accident
This level of coverage continues until the driver turns off their app or picks up a passenger.
Drivers with Passengers
Once a driver picks up a passenger, the highest level of insurance coverage kicks in. At this point, Uber and Lyft offer up to $1 million in liability coverage per accident, as well as up to a $25,000 deductible for contingent comprehensive and collision insurance. Uninsured and underinsured coverage could also be available.
Damages You Can Collect in a Claim Against the Uber or Lyft Driver
Getting hit in any accident can lead to a lot of physical and financial hardship. You shouldn’t have to take care of these expenses on your own, especially if you aren’t to blame for the accident.
You may be able to seek damages for:
- Car repair or replacement
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Future lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
When You Sue for Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If we find that filing a personal injury lawsuit is the most suitable legal route for you to take, we must comply with New York’s statute of limitations, otherwise known as the filing deadline. Typically, CVP § 214 enforces a three-year time limit to bring your case.
Get in Touch with the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP After an Uber or Lyft Crash
What happens after an Uber or Lyft driver hits your car will depend on a few factors. If they were using the mobile app or transporting passengers at the time of the accident, you could be entitled to pursue a claim on the rideshare company’s insurance policy.
For a better understanding of your rights in this situation, call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at (516) 358-6900 and obtain a free consultation with our staff member.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900