Ride sharing has become a popular way to get around, and with good reason – it’s convenient and often cheaper than traditional forms of transportation. But what happens when there is an accident that involves a ride share vehicle? Who is liable in ride sharing accidents? This article will discuss who can be held liable in ride share accidents involving a ride share driver and help you understand who is responsible in the event of an accident.
Filing a personal injury claim against a ride share company is not an easy process, as major ride share companies usually have the resources to fight claims. In these types of cases, it is important to have a car accident lawyer by your side to help you during the process. In Florida, get in touch with ride share accident lawyer Jared Spingarn. Jared is well-versed in ride share laws and can help you fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
The Matter of Fault
In general, the liability of a ride sharing accident depends on who is at fault in the accident. For instance, if a ride share driver collided with another vehicle and was found to be at fault, then they may be liable for any damages and injuries caused by the ride share accident. On the other hand, if another person or entity is at fault, their insurance may be liable for the damages.
Thus, when it comes to liability in a ride share accident, there are three possible parties who can be held accountable: the ride share driver or the other driver involved, the ride sharing companies, or an outside party. Who is liable often depends on several factors, such as – who is found to be at fault, who was the driver of the ride share vehicle, who owned the car that was involved in the accident, and who provided insurance for the vehicle.
Determining Liability in a Car Accident Involving a Ride share Driver
Ride share companies like Uber and Lyft have policies in place that cover passengers and drivers when an accident occurs. When an Uber or Lyft driver gets into an accident, the ride share company’s policies often provide liability coverage for medical expenses, property damage, and other related costs if the driver is insured or covered by the company’s insurance policy.
However, not all ride share companies offer this type of coverage, so it’s important to check with your specific provider before getting into a car with them. Generally, the ride share company’s insurance policy will provide coverage for medical expenses and property damage up to a specific limit, often $1 million dollars or more.
In addition to the ride-share company’s insurance policy, the Uber or Lyft driver involved may have their own personal auto insurance policies that can cover any damages or injuries caused during an accident. But the question of which car insurance will be used for a car accident involving ride share drivers is mainly based on the timing of the accident. Typically, the insurance company of the ride share company, as well as that of the Uber or Lyft driver, will verify the details of the car accident before providing insurance coverage.
When will transportation network companies be held liable?
To determine when a ride share company may be held liable, you must first understand how Uber and Lyft, as well as other ride sharing companies, categorize their drivers. Unlike traditional taxi companies, a Lyft or Uber driver is often considered an independent contractor. Independent contractors are not employed by the ride share company but instead use their own personal vehicles to transport passengers.
Thus, in the event of an accident involving ride share drivers, the first factor to be determined is whether the ride share driver was working for Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident. There are several situations when the ride share companies’ liability insurance will kick in, as seen below:
When the Uber or Lyft driver is actively working as a ride share driver, logged into the app, and waiting for a ride request:
In this situation, Uber and Lyft drivers are working as independent contractors because they are logged into the app and waiting for a ride request. Thus, any auto accidents that occur during this time must be covered by the liability insurance of Uber and Lyft. The following amounts are covered by these companies’ insurance policies:
- $100,000 per accident to cover medical costs;
- $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person involved in the ride sharing accident;
- $25,000 for property damage liability caused by the ride share vehicle.
When the Uber or Lyft driver is actively working as a ride share driver, logged into the app, and is either carrying a passenger or traveling to pick up a passenger:
When an Uber and Lyft driver is carrying a passenger, the insurance coverage of the ride share service automatically increases to cover accidents. This is because Uber and Lyft are responsible for the well-being of their passengers. The amounts covered by these companies’ insurance policies in this situation are the following:
- At least $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage that should cover property damage and bodily injury liability.
- In cases where the other party does not have a personal insurance policy, under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage applies. This also applies if the accident involves a hit-and-run situation.
- If the Uber driver’s insurance includes comprehensive coverage, Uber’s same coverage also applies with a $2,500 deductible.
- At least $1,000,000 of third-party liability coverage per accident;
- Uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage;
- Comprehensive and collision coverage with a $2,500 deductible amount. The limit of the amount is up to the value of the ride sharing vehicles and the actual repairs needed.
When will Uber or Lyft drivers have to use their personal insurance coverage?
In some Uber and Lyft accidents, the ride share driver’s personal auto insurance policy may be used to cover the damages caused by the accident. These circumstances are when:
- The driver is not logged into their app and does not have any passengers;
- The other party involved in the accident does not have sufficient coverage for all of the damages caused, including medical bills;
- The Uber or Lyft driver’s personal auto insurance has higher coverage limits than that of the ride share service.
It is important to remember that regardless of who is liable in a ride-sharing accident, it is essential to contact law enforcement and an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive compensation for any damages caused in the accident. If you have been involved in a ride sharing accident, the team of experienced attorneys at Jared Spingarn’s Law Firm can help guide you through each step of your case and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
What other types of coverage are available for ride share accident victims?
In addition to the liability coverage provided by Uber and Lyft, there is also supplemental or optional insurance available to drivers. These include personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, rental car insurance coverage, and uninsured motorist and under-insured motorist protection.
For passengers who are injured in a ride share accident, they may be eligible for coverage under the driver’s policy. It is important to note that this coverage only applies if the passenger is injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle. But for Florida residents, PIP coverage is a requirement for vehicle owners, so you may be able to file an insurance claim under your policy regardless of who was the at-fault driver.
If you have been involved in a ride sharing accident, you must contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney for help with your case. Jared Spingarn’s team of experienced attorneys can help you understand the complex laws surrounding ride sharing accidents and ensure that your rights are protected. Schedule a free consultation today to learn how Jared can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take in a Ride share Accident Case
If you have been involved in a ride share accident, there are several steps you should take. By following these steps, you can better protect your rights after the accident:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to seek medical attention immediately so that any potential issues are documented.
2. Contact the Police and an Attorney Immediately
It is important to contact law enforcement as soon as possible after a ride share accident so that a police report can be filed. You should also contact an experienced attorney from the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, who can help you understand the applicable laws and ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
3. Gather Evidence at the Scene
Take photos of any damage caused in the accident and get contact information from all parties involved, including witnesses. This evidence can be used to support your claim for damages if necessary.
4. Report the Accident to Uber or Lyft
All ride share companies have a policy in place for accidents and you should report the incident as soon as possible so that they can investigate.
5. Do Not Accept an Offer from the Ride share Company or its Insurance Company
It is important to understand that any offer made by the ride share company may be inadequate to cover your medical bills and other expenses, so you should not accept it without consulting with a lawyer first.
Who is liable in ride-sharing accidents? It really depends on the situation. Who was at fault? Who has insurance coverage? Who is covered under the ride-sharing company’s policy? These questions must be answered to determine who is liable for damages related to a ride share accident. It is important to contact an experienced attorney who can help you understand the applicable laws and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Jared Spingarn’s team of experienced attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of a ride share accident case and ensure that your rights are protected.
>> If you’re involved in a ride share accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.