Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services are a popular alternative to taking a taxi. While taxi companies are responsible for negligent driving by their employees, however, rideshare drivers are self-employed. They are accountable for their own mistakes. Fortunately, the law requires Uber and other rideshare companies to insure passengers against car accident injuries. Rideshare passengers will nearly always be able to make a claim for compensation after they identify which driver (or drivers) caused the accident.
A passenger’s claim for compensation is made against the company that insures the driver who caused the accident. When both drivers are at fault, the passenger may need to bring a claim against the insurers for both drivers. Uber and lyft accident lawyers investigate every rideshare accident to determine whether one or both drivers should be held responsible for causing the passenger’s injuries.
Compensation for Injuries Caused by Uber Drivers During a Ride
The law requires Uber and other rideshare companies to provide insurance that protects passengers when a careless rideshare driver causes an accident. The insurance takes effect when the driver turns on the app and begins looking for fares.
Full insurance benefits are available while the driver is transporting a passenger. Those benefits include a one-million-dollar policy limit. That bodily injury limit is usually adequate to pay full compensation for injuries that are not catastrophic. When the one-million-dollar policy limit is inadequate, a personal injury attorney will look for additional sources of compensation. The driver’s personal auto insurance and the passenger’s underinsured motorist coverage are among the insurance policies the passenger’s lawyer will want to explore.
Compensation for Injuries Caused by Negligent Drivers Who Collide with Uber Drivers
Sometimes an Uber driver is not at fault for an accident. If the driver is stopped at a red light and the vehicle is rear-ended, the passenger’s accident injuries were caused by the driver who collided with the Uber driver.
When the rideshare driver is not at fault, the Uber passenger will make a claim against the other driver’s insurance. If the driver is uninsured or does not have sufficient policy limits to pay full compensation, the passenger can make a claim against Uber’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Uber must provide that coverage as a condition of operating.
Compensation for Injuries When Both an Uber Driver and Another Driver Share Fault for an Accident
If there is a dispute as to whether the Uber driver or the other driver caused the accident, an Uber accident lawyer might make the initial claim against the company that insures the Uber driver, since that driver will probably have the largest policy limits. Uber’s insurer might then pursue the other driver’s insurance company for a contribution to the settlement.
The lawyer might follow a different strategy if most of the fault resides with the other driver or if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit. Bowing to pressure from insurance industry lobbyists, the legislature abolished the doctrine of “joint and several liability.” That doctrine let injury victims recover full compensation from either of two negligent parties who were jointly at fault for an accident. The law now requires negligent parties to pay compensation in proportion to their share of the fault. That change in the law often forces an injury victim to sue both negligent drivers if a jury might find that they are both at fault.
Whether to make a claim against one or two drivers and whether to sue both drivers sometimes presents a question of strategy. Personal injury lawyers use their wisdom and experience to advise injury victims about the best strategy to follow when more than one driver caused an Uber passenger’s injuries.