Uber and Lyft Car Accidents: Are You Protected as a Passenger?
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Taxi companies everywhere are lowering fares to compete with ride sharing apps such as Uber or Lyft. Once the primary car service across the country, taxi cab service providers are finding themselves competing with new Uber and Lyft drivers flooding the streets and markets. In some cases taxi drivers are even becoming ride sharing drivers themselves, just to keep up.
Consumers who choose to be passengers in a vehicle ordered from Uber or Lyft should know just how they are protected in case of a Lyft or Uber passenger accident claim. It is important to understand this in case you unfortunately experience a car accident as a ride sharing passenger. Knowing your rights and being properly informed of how you’re protected as a consumer and passenger (in Uber or Lyft) may help make your experience with these apps more enjoyable.
Can You Sue Uber or Lyft as a Passenger?
Uber and Lyft each have their own ways to guarantee protection to their passengers and ensure customer satisfaction in the unlikely yet possible event of an accident while using their services. The best way to explore these options is to know which ways not to approach the situation after an Uber or Lyft car accident.
Personal insurance companies often will try to find ways to deny claims against ride sharing policies, most will almost always exclude personal insurance policies, especially if these insurance companies become aware of the fact that the driver was gaining profit while using the vehicle. Meaning that if you’re a disgruntled Uber or Lyft passenger and try to make an accident claim with the driver’s insurance company, the insurance company will most likely deny your claim.
This is exactly the reason why Uber and Lyft have insurance policies to cover the damages that the driver’s insurance company will not cover. For example, the liability policy for Lyft which covers a payoff of up to $1 million dollars to its passengers, which is a very large amount of coverage for transportation consumers using this service.
Compared to being a passenger in an average taxi cab where the minimum amount of injury coverage for a taxi drivers are usually between $250,000 and $500,000. These taxi drivers will usually have coverage for the minimum amount.
Having coverage for the minimum amount implies that if you are injured in an accident where there are multiple passengers, the minimum payoff amount would be divided among each passenger, making the Uber and Lyft insurance coverage even better.
What Happens to Passengers Injured in and Uber or Lyft Accident?
Maybe you have heard about Uber’s $1 million dollar insurance coverage on their website. Coverage will vary by the driver’s activity at the time of the crash. Here are some examples of possible scenarios:
Case 1: Driver is using his vehicle for personal purposes, but isn’t available to pick up passengers. When an Uber driver is not available to pick up passengers he/she is covered by his own personal automobile insurance. In this case liability and coverage limits will be determined by the individual policy at hand and state law.
Case 2: Uber or Lyft driver is carrying a passenger. When a car accident occurs while the driver is carrying a passenger, the passenger and driver are covered under the liability coverage policy. Uber provides $1 million dollars of uninsured/under insured insurance on accidents with uninsured or under insured drivers.
This type of insurance definitely helps a passenger feel protected should they be involved in an Uber or Lyft crash. Unfortunately, accidents are part of our daily life, so it’s best to know your legal rights.
Case 3: The Uber or Lyft driver is available to pick up passengers, but they are not carrying a passenger at the time of the accident. When the driver is available, but isn’t carrying a passenger, the accident is primarily covered via the driver’s personal automobile insurance.
Uber does provide an additional contingent liability coverage of $50,000 per injury (up to $100,000 grand) and up to $25,000 in property damage. Please note this coverage must be requested.
What If Accident Is Caused By an Uninsured Driver?
Uber and Lyft will both have you covered in the unexpected event of an accident. They have Insurance policies that would ensure all your medical expenses would be covered. Similar to their high liability policy limit, Uber and Lyft’s uninsured or under insured coverage has a limit of $1 million, so on both ends you are covered extremely well against the unexpected, making these particular ride share companies a very appealing transportation option. A great article on this topic can be found at CNET.
On the other hand, passengers in taxi cabs do not even have that option of being fully covered. This means that if you were injured in a car accident as a taxicab passenger, you can only file a claim with the insurance company that covers the taxi driver.
In short, you are limited to the type of policy that the driver has been covered under, so if your taxicab driver did not have uninsured motorist coverage included in his insurance policy and you also do not have your own personal uninsured motorist coverage, then pursuing proper compensation can become very difficult.
In any of these scenarios, it is wise to speak with a taxi cab, Lyft or Uber accident lawyer to best determine the next steps in your claim to get you the highest taxi, Lyft or Uber passenger accident settlement amounts for your damages and injuries.
Uber and Lyft Accident Claims
Being a smart consumer and having knowledge of your coverage as a passenger of any transportation service you choose to use is very important. Having this knowledge can also help if you have been involved in a rideshare car accident.
Ridesharing companies are not perfect when it comes to service related auto accidents, so while passengers are very well covered, drivers employed by Uber or Lyft consistently raise concerns over personal property coverage. As was previously mentioned, personal insurance companies do not take kindly to these services, so drivers depend on coverage from the transportation companies themselves. Speaking to a rideshare accident lawyer like those at Avrek Law will help determine what you need to do next if you are involved in a rideshare accident.
Contact an Lyft or Uber Accident Attorney
The protection for passengers using rideshare apps are much better than that for passengers of taxi cabs. Making this choice for consumers are a no brainer given the mentioned industry setbacks for the driver. Most people use these ride share apps for their convenience and sheer value, never knowing they are making the smart choice for their safety.
If you were injured as a passenger while using the ridesharing apps and need to file a Lyft or Uber accident claim, do not hesitate to contact Avrek Law Firm where experienced rideshare accident attorneys are available and ready to assist you with your settlement.
You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress and more. With more than $1 Billion recovered for our clients, Avrek Law is the premier auto accident attorney to address Lyft and Uber car accident passenger claims. Contact us today for a free consultation!