The peer-to-peer model of doing business has enjoyed immense popularity in recent years. For both convenience and cost-savings, more people are skipping the taxi services in favor of companies like Uber and Lyft. These companies have their advantages but also their dangers. For one, Uber and Lyft lack the thorough vetting processes of cab companies. Additionally, since the peer-to-peer model is relatively new, liability is still an evolving area of law. So what happens when you get into an accident with an Uber?
Uber and Lyft Insurance Coverage
Ride sharing companies have been successful in avoiding liability for accidents in the past but have since amended their policies to offer more comprehensive coverage. The nature of compensation will depend on whether a driver is transporting a passenger at the time of the crash. Here are some important facts:
- When an Uber or Lyft driver is off-duty, a car accident claim follows the normal procedures, with the injured party filing a claim against the off-duty driver’s personal insurance policy.
- When an Uber or Lyft driver logs into an app but is not actively transporting a passenger, the companies offer a contingent liability policy. This includes a $50,000 limit per person, $100,000 maximum per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.
- When an Uber or Lyft Driver accepts a ride request and is actively transporting a passenger, then the coverage limits up to $1 million per accident.
- If an Uber driver or passenger get into an accident with an at-fault uninsured or underinsured driver, then a $1 million UM/UI policy applies.
Denied Claims From Uber and Lyft
Uber and Lyft are huge companies that bring in big money for insurance companies. As such, they have a team of claims adjusters and agents dedicated to paying out as few claims as possible. It’s not uncommon to face claim denials from Uber or Lyft. However, it doesn’t make sense to file a claim under a driver’s personal policy, because operating a vehicle for profit is a common exclusion for policyholders.
If you have a claim denial from a personal insurance policy, Uber, or Lyft following an accident, your best form or recourse will be to contact a personal injury attorney. He or she will be best equipped to protect your best interests and file a claim against an appropriate party. Here’s how a personal injury lawyer can help:
- An insurance company will take your claim more seriously. Getting legal representation involved sends a message to insurers that can bring your claim to a speedier resolution.
- Attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They will not accept a low ball or unfair offer and will fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What to Do After an Uber Accident
If you recently sustained injury in an accident with an Uber driver, take the following actions as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation:
- Seek medical care. Don’t worry about how to pay for it or who is responsible, do what you need to make a full recovery.
- Document as much as possible. Save copies of your medical bills, take pictures of the accident scene, and collect contact information from everyone involved in the accident.
- Contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. He or she will determine the appropriate party to file a claim against and take the appropriate actions against the insurance company.
Uber and Lyft might be newer services in terms of the law, but they are still legally responsible in the event their driver causes an accident on duty. Take these steps to protect your case and trust a law firm with experience in this new field.