Rideshare apps can be highly convenient until an accident during your ride causes an injury. A Lyft or Uber ride injury may leave you unable to work and wondering how to pay your bills.
Although rideshare claims may follow the same rules as those for other vehicular accidents, knowing when those rules apply can be tricky.
When your driver is at fault
Under California law, livery companies are responsible for employees’ negligence. Still, many people fail to realize that Lyft, Uber and other rideshare drivers are independent contractors driving for transportation network carriers. The California Public Utilities Commission requires network drivers to carry auto insurance when actively using the apps. The degree of coverage depends upon when an accident occurs between the moment a driver accepts a ride and a passenger exits the vehicle. Rideshare companies must provide up to $1 million in coverage when the driver’s insurance is inadequate. However, the coverage does not apply unless the driver is on the app.
When a third party is at fault
When someone other than your driver is responsible for an accident that causes your injuries, you may recover damages through a third-party auto insurance policy if you know the at-fault driver’s identity. However, the rideshare company’s coverage may apply if you cannot identify the responsible driver or that person’s auto insurance is insufficient or non-existent.
You may also file a third-party personal injury lawsuit to recover a broad range of damages when your injury is extensive or involves circumstances, including:
- Another driver’s deliberate recklessness
- A municipality’s poor road maintenance
- A vehicle’s manufacturing defect
Ridesharing is generally safe but not an accident-proof way to travel. Recovering damages following a rideshare injury can be complicated but worth the effort.