If you were injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft-related accident, you will generally be covered by their commercial liability coverage.
You may be able to file a claim against Uber/Lyft if you were injured as a result of a rideshare driver, as well. Fortunately, these companies have a $1 million commercial policy and if damages exceed the drivers’ personal insurance coverage, Uber/Lyft’s commercial policy may cover the difference.
Furthermore, if responsibility for the accident was in the hands of another driver, you may file a claim against the at-fault driver. However, in the event that the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured, Uber/Lyft’s UM/UIM policy typically will cover the damages up to $1 million per accident.
3.1What if the Uber/Lyft driver was responsible?
If an Uber/Lyft driver injures a driver or passenger in another vehicle, any injured parties will have a claim against that rideshare driver. In these cases, liability will depend on whether or not the rideshare driver:
- Has the app turned on and is already waiting for a passenger.
- Does not have a passenger and does not have the app turned on.
- Is already carrying a passenger or is en route to pick someone up.
These are important considerations, because if a rideshare driver has the app turned off, then any accident he or she is involved in at that time will be treated like any normal car accident. Furthermore, insurance coverage in these cases is strictly limited to that rideshare driver's personal insurance coverage.
However, if an Uber/Lyft driver does have the app on and is also waiting for a ride, contingent coverage with limits of $50,000/$100,000 will apply. And if a rideshare driver has a passenger in their vehicle or if they have already accepted a rider and are picking up the rider, the rideshare company’s $1 million commercial coverage goes into effect.
3.2 What Is Ab-5?
Both Uber and Lyft have taken aggressive action towards keeping their drivers enlisted as independent contractors. This strongly works in the company’s benefit, as the driver would be at fault for any wrongdoings while on the job.
However, there have been many news reports about rideshare drivers engaging in sexual misconduct, driving while intoxicated and even being involved in physical altercations. Though these billion dollar rideshare companies have taken a strong stance against the California Bill AB5, their efforts have been in vain as it now understood that rideshare drivers ARE employees.
California is in the process of enforcing its AB 5 bill and the rules regarding rideshare drivers’ employee classification are changing dramatically. According to this new law, many of California’s independent contractors, including everyone from rideshare drivers to exotic dancers, are considered as employees.
Therefore, if there is an accident involving personal injury and property damage, the ridesharing company may be held responsible. If you were involved in an accident and you are unsure of your rights or whether you should file a claim, it is crucial that you contact the experienced Uber/Lyft attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers to help understand your rights.