With so many people turning to ride sharing apps as the new revolutionary way of getting around, there are many questions as to what happens in the event of Uber and lyft accidents. Drivers for Uber and Lyft are not considered employees of these companies. The drivers are classified as independent contractors. Since you are in a privately owned vehicle of someone who is considered working for themselves, it is hard to know where to turn in the event of Uber and lyft accidents.
There are three general scenarios that can occur.
The first scenario is a passenger being injured where their driver is at fault. Lyft and Uber both carry a one million dollar liability insurance policy for their drivers. In this case of Uber and lyft accidents, the passenger would file a claim against this policy. This insurance is designed to pay for any injuries that are caused by a driver while they are on duty. This would also include a third party, such as a pedestrian or motorist, that is hit and injured by the on duty driver.
The second scenario would be a driver who is off duty at the time of Uber and lyft accidents. As a third party that is hit by a driver when his Uber or Lyft app is turned off, you would need to pursue recovery from the driver’s personal insurance. The companies are not responsible for an off duty driver. In some states the drivers are required to carry a minimum of $250,000 in liability insurance to cover any off duty accidents.
In the third scenario, the accident occurs while the driver has their app turned on but has not accepted a ride or picked up a passenger yet. This is the most confusing of the Uber and lyft accidents. As a third party found not at fault, who do you pursue for recovery of your losses? In this case the burden of responsibility is questionable. If the driver was performing a work-related task at the time of the accident, the company’s insurance would be legally responsible.
Legal issues in the case of ride sharing accidents can be very complex. As a passenger in the car you will generally pursue the companies insurance for your injuries and losses. It’s the cases that involve the third party that is injured at no fault of their own, that really causes the confusion. In the case of an accident you need to know who to pursue for your losses. When involved in Uber and lyft accidents, it maybe necessary to get legal help to sort out the question of liability so you can recoup your losses and get your life back in order.