Since ride-sharing apps have exploded with popularity, many have begun to rely on them for transportation. Some users have gone so far as to forego purchasing or leasing a car in favor of basing their commutes off these apps.
While using these apps, we may not always think about the possibility of ever getting in an accident. We may even think that companies like Uber and Lyft will be liable if an accident were to occur. However, this is rarely the case.
Since ride-sharing drivers are technically independent contractors rather than employees of the ride-sharing company, the companies themselves are often not liable for an accident involving a driver.
Uber and Lyft do provide accident coverage for up to $1 million for injured passengers. This coverage only applies, however, when one of their drivers is logged into the app and is currently carrying the passenger. It also only usually applies if the driver’s coverage is insufficient.
Both Uber and Lyft require all drivers to have their own insurance, and since the drivers are private contractors, they will be the ones who are liable for your injuries if the accident was their fault. For you, the passenger, it means that it will be the driver’s insurance that will foot the bill for any injuries you sustain, unless their insurance is insufficient, in which case the company’s coverage will kick in.
Complications of liability
When you get into an accident while driving, there are usually only two parties that could be at fault: you and the other driver. However, if you accident happens while using a ride-sharing application, there are a few more complications to the equation. There’s the liability of the two drivers, but also the ride sharing company, and yourself.
If you’ve been injured while using a ride-sharing app, it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer experienced in this subject matter. The specifics of dealing with insurance companies in these cases can be tricky to navigate, and insurance claim adjusters may not always have your best interests in mind, as they are working to settle claims quickly and agreeably with their companies’ bottom lines.