I was injured by a ridesharing driver; whose insurance will apply to my claim?
Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become wildly successful in recent years, rapidly surpassing taxis in popularity as vehicles for hire. While ridesharing services offer a convenient means of transportation, these vehicles have also been involved in accidents at high rates. A new study from the University of Chicago and Rice University found that the rise of ridesharing services has increased traffic deaths by between two and three percent across the United States since 2011. This equates to some 1,100 deaths each year. When you are injured by a ridesharing driver as either a passenger or the occupant of another vehicle, it can raise an array of insurance issues. Our Los Angeles ridesharing accident attorneys discuss what insurance coverage is offered by ridesharing companies and when you may not be covered.
Uber and Lyft’s Liability Insurance Minimums
Ridesharing companies require that all drivers carry a certain minimum automobile liability insurance policy. The policy must meet at last the minimum state requirements. Additionally, the California Public Utility Commission requires that ridesharing companies carry a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy. However, this policy will only apply at certain times during the ridesharing driver’s ride.
When an Uber driver has the app open and has pressed “Go,” as he or she waits for a ride, Uber will provide insurance coverage in the amount of $50,000 for bodily injury, $100,000 per covered accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This insurance will kick in if the driver’s personal policy does not provide coverage or the policy’s limits are less than these amounts.
Once the driver has accepted the ride, the ridesharing company’s $1,000,000 liability will take effect. This policy will cover injuries caused to passengers, people in other vehicles, or pedestrians. Lyft and other ridesharing companies have similar policies. While $1,000,000 may seem like a lot of coverage, those with serious injuries may quickly surpass this sum if they find themselves unable to return to work or burdened with medical bills.
Ridesharing accidents can present complications, especially when accidents occur while the driver is waiting for a ride or has just completed a ride. Starting January 1, 2020, the California Assembly passed a measure reclassifying rideshare drivers as employees. This should increase the responsibility of ridesharing companies for injuries caused by drivers, but litigation may still ensue as the courts clarify important liability issues. Anyone in Los Angeles injured by a ridesharing driver will want to contact our ridesharing accident attorneys for experienced assistance in pursuing just compensation following your accident.