You’re behind the wheel of your car. Then all at once, you are involved in an accident. While the other driver may be apologetic, there’s more to the accident scene than meets the eye. This is because the other driver is utilizing their personal vehicle for Uber or Lyft.
Who are Uber and Lyft?
Companies like Uber and Lyft provide ride services in cities across much of the United States. In the case of Uber, you will now find their services in cities across much of the world. These companies not only compete with established taxi cabs, but provide much needed transportation services to a wide range of the population.
Uber and Lyft are similar to traditional taxi cab companies in some ways, yet operate under very different rules in other respects. These two companies primarily use drivers employed by them as Independent Contractors. Drivers let Lyft and Uber know when they are available to work, so the company is able to alert them to driving opportunities via an app on their smart-phone.
Drivers pick up, drive and leave off their passengers under the umbrella of Uber and Lyft. Working drivers are given (via the smart-phone app) information on customers waiting for rides, but prospective passengers can not hail Lyft or Uber vehicles from the street as one would do a taxi. In addition, these companies do not own the vehicles that bear their emblem, operate these vehicles on their given routes or control the manner in which these automobiles are operated.
If I am hurt in an accident, whose insurance is responsible for my claim?
Ridesharing accident attorneys in Newport Beach advise that you must prove that the other driver was at fault for your injuries and property damage. Since they were negligent, their insurance policy is supposed to cover your losses. You’ll be required to provide proof of your medical issues, including current and future bills that need to be paid.
If the other driver was driving their vehicle while on their own time, then their personal insurance policy would be the one to contact. However since they were employed by Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident, they were not out enjoying the road on their own. Their time behind the wheel was under the guise of professional employment, something that needs to be covered by a commercial auto insurance policy.
Personal auto insurance policies specifically state that the driver will use their vehicle strictly for personal use. Ridesharing accident attorneys in Newport Beach explain this to mean just the driver. If the automobile contains paying passengers, the insurance company retains the right to deny accident claims.
Shared ride companies offer insurance to those who drive for them
Anticipating situations like this, Uber and Lyft offer liability coverage to drivers under their employ. This coverage is intended to kick into action if and when personal driver’s policies deny a claim. With this in mind, as an accident victim you can therefore hold these companies financially responsible when injured by one of their drivers on the job.
The liability insurance offered to drivers works in conjunction with a driver’s time on the road. It is based on the three periods of applicable employment. Depending on which period their driver is based, their liability coverage will cover them accordingly.
Period Zero – Uber and Lyft provide no coverage when the driver is not logged into their app.
Period One – At this time the driver has logged into the app, but no ride request has been accepted. Their coverage provides for accidents that are the fault of their driver. Limits are “up to $50,000 per person injured in an accident, and $100,000 total injury liability per accident and $25,000 property damage liability.”
Period Two – At this point, the driver has accepted their next trip and is on their way. Liability coverage now increases to up to a million dollars per accident.
Period Three – Now the driver is in the car, along with their paying passenger(s.) The liability coverage has increased above the one million dollars, with “limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car and uninsured motorists’ coverage.”
How do I proceed after an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver?
If your automotive accident case wasn’t stressful enough, now you’ll have to ascertain a number of facts before proceeding with your claim. This is exactly why the best advice is to work with Uber and Lyft accident lawyers in Newport Beach, instead of on your own. As a personal injury attorney in Newport Beach, they are well experienced with complex claims against corporations like Lyft and Uber.
When you work with an Uber accident lawyer in Newport Beach, they have access to investigative tools to pry open the details of the case. This includes what time period the ride share driver was operating within, as well as the limits of their company liability insurance at that exact time. A Lyft accident lawyer in Newport Beach is also there for you, as Lyft operates in much the same manner as their biggest competitor Uber.
The best advice is to contact a personal injury attorney in Newport Beach as soon as you can after your accident. This is easily accomplished with a request for a free consultation with Uber and Lyft accident lawyers in Newport Beach, either via their website at https://accidentlawyersfirm.com/ or over their toll-free telephone lines. Either way you’ll be asked specific information about your accident, so have your own insurance information and be ready to answer important questions.
Your Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Newport Beach will also ask for any photographs or video footage taken at the scene of the accident. If there were bystanders at the scene or passengers in your own car, it is beyond helpful to have their contact information on hand as well. One thing is certain, with an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in Newport Beach by your side, your chances of a generous settlement by their insurance carrier is far more likely to occur.