Despite the fast growing popularity of rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft, different states will have different policies when it comes to dealing with accidents. Uber has a long standing $1 million dollar insurance plan. However, that doesn’t mean that this plan will cover you in the event of an accident.
When insurance companies look at liability, they generally try to place the negligence on another party. Some states release liability altogether. Understanding the different rules for drivers, passengers, third parties, independent contractors and employees can be very confusing.West Coast Trial Lawyers is the Los Angeles top personal injury law firm and we are here to help you understand any questions you may have about an Uber accident case.
UBER VS. TAXI BACKGROUND CHECKS AND SAFETY
Since the introduction of rideshare applications in 2009, the taxi driving business has taken a tremendous hit. Rideshare apps are classified as technology companies and are not restricted to the same regulations as other transportation services. Due to the app’s convenience and more affordable prices, Uber has soared to the top of the charts when it comes to transportation services.
According to a recent report, Uber has an average of 289,000 riders a day, which easily surpasses the taxi average of 277,000. There has also been a 60% increase in New York City for-hire vehicles since 2016.
Uber. There have been several publicized issues regarding Uber and Lyft lawsuits and safety. In addition to the 103 drivers that were accused of sexual assault, 31 drivers were convicted for forcible touching, kidnap, rape and even murder. Uber has faced enormous lawsuits and have settled over $10 million dollars in sexual assault and personal injury cases.
In an attempt to reduce these claims, Uber has created several in-app features, including a panic button and route tracking. Additionally, Uber conducts annual criminal and automobile checks to ensure all legal requirements are met. These background checks are operated by private, third party firms and vary depending on country and state.
Taxis. Just like Uber, all taxi drivers must pass a background test. Though the regulations are different per state, they are generally stricter than Uber’s requirements. In the state of California, in addition to passing the background test, a taxi driver must:
Enroll and pass a drug/alcohol test and participate in random drug tests
Pass a medical examination and have no physical or mental issues that could affect the safety of the passenger
Get a taxi driver permit
Attend training programs and pass defensive driving tests
UBER’S EMPLOYMENT POLICY
Your Uber driver’s employment status is an important consideration when determining fault and liability. Most states do not consider their drivers as “employees” and instead hire them as “independent contractors”. This distinction releases the company from any liability during an accident.
If your state considers your driver an independent contractor, it can become a nightmare to sue that individual. Luckily for California residents, the recent AB5 bill forces rideshare companies to enlist their drivers as employees, giving you the right to sue them directly.
UBER’S $1 MILLION INSURANCE POLICY
Uber has an infamous $1 million insurance policy that is divided into four parts. It all depends on what the driver was doing at the time the accident took place. Listed below is a quick evaluation of the different tiers:
Period 0: When a driver is riding their car for non-work related purposes, they must rely on their personal insurance policy should they get into any accidents.
Period 1: If a driver is available to pick up a ride but does not yet have a passenger, this is considered period 1. If an accident occurs, it is the responsibility of the driver and their own insurance policy.
Period 2. During the time the driver receives a ride request, Uber’s insurance policy kicks in.
Period 3. Once the rider is in the car, Uber’s insurance policy is in full effect and liability insurance, including uninsured and underinsured riding insurance, can cover liability for up to $1 millions in damages per accident.
WEST COAST TRIAL LAWYERS IS HERE TO HELP
Our personal injury attorneys will not charge you for a consultation. Our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk to prevent you from reaching out. Our qualified personal injury lawyers are highly-trained and have extensive experience with cases that are similar to yours. We are committed to helping you resolve your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, reach out to our legal team 24 hours a day by calling us at (888) 243-1195 or emailing [email protected].