Liability in Uber and Lyft accident claims can be a complex issue. When the employee driver of a commercial driving company gets into an accident, that company is legally responsible for that driver’s actions. However, an Uber driver is not considered an employee, but an independent contractor. Therefore, liability is not always so clear cut. If you have questions about who is liable in a rideshare accident, an experienced Seattle WA Uber accident lawyer can help.
State legislation has pressured rideshare companies like Uber to provide commercial insurance to their drivers. Yet, you should take note that these rideshare liability policies do not always cover their drivers. For example, when an Uber driver is off duty and running errands, they’re not covered by Uber’s policy.
So, how exactly does Uber’s liability policy work? And, what should you expect if you’re injured in a ridesharing accident? Speak to Fielding Law Group to learn more about how we can help with your car accident claim.
How Does Uber and Lyft Liability Insurance Work?
As soon as a passenger accepts a ride, Uber’s commercial liability policy goes into effect. That same policy will cover the ride until the driver drops off the passenger. That means that as long as a driver has a passenger in their car, the driver is covered by Uber’s $1 million auto insurance policy. However, if a driver is idling or not working on behalf of the company, then that driver’s own auto insurance policy is in effect.
Things start to get complicated when a driver is on their way to pick a passenger up but then gets into an accident. While technically Uber’s policy goes into effect once a driver accepts a fare, passengers may cancel the request due to the delayed trip.
Now we’re in a fuzzy area without a clear policy in effect. Insurance companies never want to voluntarily pay for damages. Therefore, in cases like this, both insurance companies, Uber’s policy and the driver’s policy, will point their fingers at each other. They will claim the other company is liable to pay for damages. In other words, you may end up getting the run-around.
What makes things even more complicated is the fact that some insurance companies do not cover vehicles used for ridesharing purposes. So an Uber driver with that type of policy is already violating the terms of their own insurance company. Therefore, you may find yourself in a real pickle when trying to seek compensation for your injuries.
What Happens If Neither Insurance Company Will Pay?
If Uber’s insurance company refuses to pay, and the driver’s own auto insurance won’t cover the accident, what can you do? This is when you need an Uber accident lawyer on your side, who can help you understand your options.
Your first option is to fight the rideshare insurance company. In order to do so, your lawyer must effectively show that the commercial insurance adjuster illegally denied your claim. They can review the terms of the rideshare policy and prove that the driver accepted your fare. However, if the insurance company still won’t pay you compensation, your attorney can take them to court.
Your next option is to sue the driver directly. Sometimes, suing the driver will force that driver’s policy to cover any damages they caused. However, if the driver does not have their own auto insurance, this may not be your best option. Obtaining compensation depends solely on the value of assets the uninsured driver owns. Unfortunately, rideshare drivers are not exactly known for valuable assets. In this case, it’s better to force the rideshare insurance company to pay for damages.
What If I Was a Passenger in an Accident?
Put simply, passengers are covered under Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy. But there is always the question of fault at play. For example, in many states, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is liable to pay for damages caused. If the at-fault driver is driving a passenger for Uber or Lyft, then the rideshare company’s insurance policy will cover the damages for the accident. However, if another driver is at-fault, then that driver’s policy will pick up the tab instead.
Contact a Seattle WA Uber Accident Lawyer Today
Rideshare accidents involve confusing liability factors and multiple insurance companies trying pointing fingers at other parties. At Fielding Law Group, we can help you wade through these murky waters. We will analyze your case and help you hold the liable insurance company accountable for your damages. Contact us today for a consultation.