Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have witnessed a massive increase in popularity over the last several years. A survey of nearly 11,000 Americans found that 36 percent of people used a ride-sharing service in 2018, which was a 15 percent increase from 2015.
Rideshare providers are popular, and for good reason. They help keep the roads safer and more accessible by offering a relatively affordable alternative to taxis and lessening drinking and driving. Rideshares also come in handy if you’re commuting to large cities or other places you are unfamiliar with and would rather someone else take the wheel.
Unfortunately, the one thing that people rarely discuss when using rideshare services is safety. Rideshares can get into accidents just like any other vehicle on the road. What do you do if the driver gets into an accident while you are riding in the backseat? Can you pursue legal damages for your injuries?
An Uber driver car accident is not something that you should take lightly. If you are injured because of the negligence of another driver, you are entitled to fair compensation. The damages you receive from an Uber driver accident can cover the high costs of medical bills, missed time from work, and emotional damages related to the accident.
Were You in an Uber Driver Accident?
Uber is one of the premier rideshare companies in the United States. It currently serves more than 75 million active riders across the world and has completed more than five billion rides—the majority of which went without incident.
However, there are far too many examples of situations in which the Uber was involved in an accident. Some of those cases included a passenger who was injured or killed while receiving a ride to another destination.
What happens if your driver gets into an accident while you’re using a rideshare? In general, the financial responsibility falls upon the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. Therefore, if the driver of the rideshare is determined liable for the accident, the victim needs to file a claim against the driver’s insurance.
At-Fault Driver Insurance Complications
Unfortunately, receiving compensation for your injuries does not always go smoothly if there are kinks in the road to justice. The best-case scenario is that the driver of the rideshare has car insurance coverage that applies to your injuries.
Consequently, a driver with a commercial insurance policy or personal car insurance policy with a special provision should have the coverage to provide financial relief for your injuries. However, discussions with another car insurance provider do not always go well, which is why passengers of a rideshare may want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Sadly, there are many cases in which a rideshare driver lacks a commercial insurance policy or a personal car insurance policy that is designed to cover third-party passengers. The “business use exception” is a common problem in personal car insurance policies that avoid the insurer having to payout the injured victim.
Third-Party Liability Insurance
While not every rideshare driver carries their own commercial insurance policy or has a personal insurance policy with an exception for carrying passengers for a profit, Uber and Lyft currently offer their drivers private third-party liability insurance coverage.
The current third-party liability insurance coverage through Uber and Lyft is designed to cover up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident. Additionally, ride-sharing companies offer uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage for drivers that are unable to cover the damages through their policy. However, the insurance only applies if the responsible driver of the accident is unknown or lacks car insurance. Regardless, the third-party liability insurance from the rideshare company only takes effect after the individual insurance of the at-fault driver is exhausted.
You are entitled to compensation for your injuries after an Uber accident, but many roadblocks may delay a financial reward for months or even years. If you fear resistance as you pursue damages, it is wise to contact a personal injury attorney at Stewart & Stewart. We have represented passengers in rideshare accidents and can help you receive timely and fair compensation for your injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Rideshare Company
Your last resort (if you’ve exhausted all other options) is to file a lawsuit directly against the rideshare provider. Uber and Lyft do not consider their drivers employees, but rather classify them instead as independent contractors.
There is a reason for this designation, as it holds the rideshare company less liable if there is an accident. Employees typically have more rights compared to independent contractors, which makes it far more complicated to settle an insurance matter in the event of any injuries.
Since Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors, the company is traditionally not liable for the negligence of its drivers. Consequently, it is difficult to find a court of law that will hold a rideshare company solely responsible for your injuries and damages.
Regardless, an Uber driver car accident may leave you able to receive compensation through its UIM coverage or liability coverage. Going directly after the rideshare company is the last resort for a reason, but a skilled lawyer can help you navigate this difficult terrain.
Create a Strong Defense with Stewart & Stewart
Stewart & Stewart has represented victims of auto accidents for years, and our skilled team is ready to put our experience to work for you. Contact Stewart & Stewart at 1 (800) 33-33-LAW or online to speak to a personal injury attorney today. We can review the details of your case and analyze the different legal options you may want to pursue. The initial consultation is offered completely free of charge and with no obligation.