In 2019, one third of Americans used rideshare apps or ride-hailing apps to get around.
That’s impressive considering that in 2015 the percentage of users was significantly smaller, and generalized awareness of how rideshare/ride hailing services worked was sparse to say the least.
Ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber are low-cost and convenient to use. However, if you’re in a rideshare accident as either a passenger or driver, things can become very complicated. It’s not always easy to know who’s responsible for the accident.
That’s why the Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson team are available to help. If you or a loved one are injured in a rideshare accident in Louisiana, give us a call at 337-436-6611 for a free consultation or contact us by filling out a form online.
How Rideshare Services Work
When you use a rideshare app like Lyft or Uber, you’ll choose your destination and request a ride. Before requesting a ride, the app will tell you what you’ll be charged based on current demand and distance to your destination.
Once a driver accepts your ride, they head towards your current location to pick you up. After your driver has dropped you off at the chosen destination, you’re automatically charged for the ride. The driver can then accept another job nearby.
How Rideshare Drivers are Covered by Insurance
If you use a rideshare app to get around, it’s a good idea to understand how rideshare insurance coverage works in case an accident occurs.
First, know that rideshare drivers are not employees of the company they drive for. Rather, they’re independent contractors. This means the driver’s company can deny liability when a driver is involved in an accident.
Even though they can deny liability, rideshare companies still have insurance policies to protect both driver and passenger in different situations. Both Uber and Lyft have three types of insurance coverage that kick in based on what the driver is doing.
Primary Automobile Liability/Third-Party Liability Insurance
This type of insurance provides coverage when a driver is in “driver mode,” but they haven’t accepted a ride yet. It kicks in when a driver’s personal insurance is not offering coverage.
About primary liability/third-party liability:
- There is a $50,000 maximum limit per person, a $100,000 maximum limit per accident, and a $25,000 maximum limit for property damage
- There is no deductible
- It acts as primary coverage once a ride request is accepted until the time the ride has ended in the app. During this time, there’s $1,000,000 of coverage per accident
Contingent Collision & Comprehensive (CCC)
This type of insurance provides coverage for physical damage to a driver’s vehicle in an accident.
About contingent collision & comprehensive:
- This coverage applies up to the actual cash value of the driver’s vehicle, or the cost of repairs, whichever amount is less
- There is a $2,500 deductible for Lyft
- There is a $1,000 deductible for Uber
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UI/UIM)
This type of insurance provides coverage if a driver is uninsured or underinsured and is also ultimately at fault for injury caused to passengers or other drivers.
About uninsured/underinsured motorist:
- This coverage may also apply in the event of a hit and run
- There is no deductible
- Coverage limits vary by state
Understanding rideshare insurance coverage “periods”
When exactly does which policy apply? Coverage depends on which “period” the driver is in, as Lyft puts it.
When a rideshare driver is not logged in, their personal insurance policy provides coverage.
When a driver is available in “driver mode” but they haven’t yet accepted a ride request, Primary Automobile Liability provides coverage for any accident that’s the fault of the driver (up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 total liability per accident).
When a driver has accepted a ride request and is driving to pick up their passenger, Primary Automobile Liability coverage amount increases to $1,000,000 per accident. UM/UIM and CCC also go into effect once Period 2 begins.
From the time a passenger enters the car until they are dropped off and the ride ends, coverage up to $1,000,000 remains, as well as UM/UIM and CCC through Period 3.
Accidents can happen in any vehicle, including rideshare vehicles. Know what to do in case you are involved in a rideshare accident to protect yourself.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Rideshare Accident
Like any vehicular accident, your top priority is to make sure you and everyone else involved in the accident is okay. Move to a safe area out of traffic, like the shoulder or a side street. Call the police immediately to request medical help and to report the accident.
Whether you’re a rideshare driver or passenger, you should report the accident in the app. The app support team can help you figure out what to do next. Similarly, you should also call your personal car insurance carrier to report the accident.
While you wait for local law enforcement, gather all the important information you’ll need for insurance and a lawsuit, should you decide to file one.
- Names and contact information of the rideshare driver, other drivers, pedestrians, and/or witnesses
- Other parties’ insurance information
- Vehicle information and driver’s license numbers
- Pictures of any damage, injuries, road conditions, or location of the accident
Don’t speak to anyone else involved except to give or receive this information. When talking to the rideshare app support team, the police or your insurance company, state only the facts and be honest.
File a Rideshare Accident Claim with an Attorney’s Help
If you’ve ever been in an accident, you may know how difficult the process can be to settle with an insurance company or seek compensation through a lawsuit. That’s why you need an experienced personal injury attorney who can simplify the legal process for you and negotiate on your behalf.
Furthermore, proving who is “liable,” or at fault, can be even trickier when a rideshare company is involved. It’s not always the rideshare driver’s fault.
Just as with any car accident, liability must be proven by whoever files the lawsuit and it can be unclear if the rideshare company or the driver’s personal insurance carrier handles the claim.
Let the rideshare accident attorneys at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson take on your case so you can focus on getting better. Initial consultations are always free. We take personal injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if we win your case.