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How Insurance Works in Uber and Lyft Accidents

Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft have changed transportation for today’s Americans during vacation travel and transportation within their local communities.

Since the rise of the rideshare industry, the use of public transportation has decreased, resulting in more traffic on the roadways as people rely on individual rideshare vehicles to get to their destinations. Some studies indicate that overall traffic accidents have increased by three percent nationwide due to Uber and Lyft vehicles adding to roadway congestion.

Most Uber and Lyft journeys transpire uneventfully and end with the passenger safely at their destination, but when an accident occurs, navigating a car accident claim for damages quickly becomes challenging due to the tiered structure of insurance in place for rideshare vehicles.

Often, it takes an experienced Uber/Lyft accident attorney to investigate, document evidence of liability, and file a claim against the appropriate insurance policy.

Are Uber and Lyft Liable for Damages After a Rideshare Car Accident?

Both Uber and Lyft purposely maintain their status as app-only companies that do not directly employ drivers but instead produce a product used to connect independent contractors with passengers. This helps these companies distance themselves from liability for an Uber or Lyft accident.

In the vast majority of cases, rideshare companies cannot be held liable for a victim’s car accident damages. Instead, both Uber and Lyft compel their contracted drivers to carry special rideshare insurance in addition to their personal vehicle auto insurance coverage.

How Does Rideshare Insurance Work?

Uber and Lyft drivers carry rideshare insurance that provides an amount of coverage depending upon the period of the rideshare, or what the rideshare driver is doing at the time the accident occurs. This insurance covers both passengers inside the vehicle and motorists in other vehicles involved in a collision with a rideshare car as well as pedestrians injured by a rideshare vehicle. Uber and Lyft car accident insurance works under the following structure:

  • Period 0:

When an Uber/Lyft driver drives their vehicle for personal use, their personal vehicle insurance policy is in effect, providing up to $30,000 in bodily injury per person, up to $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.

  • Period 1:

Once the driver turns on their rideshare app and actively awaits a passenger booking, the first level of rideshare insurance is in place with $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person or $100,000 total as well as $25,000 in property damage coverage.

  • Periods 2 and 3:

When the driver has a passenger assigned and is on their way to pick up the passenger (period 2), and then throughout the rideshare trip with the passenger until drop-off (period 3), the second level of rideshare insurance is in place. This coverage provides up to $1 million in bodily injury coverage and property damage per accident

Uber and Lyft also offer additional comprehensive and collision coverage for their drivers, but this coverage is optional.

What Damages Can I Recover in an Uber or Lyft Accident?

Uber and Lyft accident insurance provides compensation up to the limits of each coverage period for damages such as the following:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future income loss and/or diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any other non-economic damages that might apply like disfigurement or loss of enjoyment of life due to disability

A rideshare accident attorney carefully calculates damages to maximize the amount you can recover in a claim against an at-fault Uber or Lyft driver.

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