Rideshare accidents can be much more complex to deal with than other car accident claims because you’re often not making a claim with one insurance company, but two. If you or a loved one has been in an Uber accident or Lyft accident, you need an experienced Orange County car accident attorney to walk you through the claims process. At Russell & Lazarus, APC we can help you with your claim.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies
Services like Uber and Lyft, also known as rideshare companies, generally insure their drivers with separate policies. When they don’t, the drivers themselves are required by California law to carry traffic accident liability coverage in the amount of twice the minimum standard. In California, that means $50,000 per individual or $100,000 per accident.
Uber, for instance, insures its drivers with a $1 million policy. The drivers themselves can carry the minimum coverage required by California law. Whatever the driver’s personal policy does not pay out, Uber’s policy foots the bill for.
In other words, if an Uber driver is found liable for $100,000 worth of worth of damage to you and your vehicle, but their policy only covers $30,000, Uber’s insurance would foot the bill for the extra $70,000.
Due, however, to the nature of these companies, their drivers often feel pressured to get to and deliver passengers in a timely manner. Meanwhile, their attention might be divided between the road and the app they use to connect with riders. Rideshare accidents are thus more common than you think. Our experienced Orange County Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer can walk you through the accident claims process.
When Are Riders Covered?
Both Uber and Lyft insurance policies only cover riders in certain circumstances. Both policies offer “excess coverage,” which is supposed to apply when the driver’s personal insurance doesn’t cover your entire claim. Further, if you have an Uber accident or Lyft accident, the insurance only covers you during the time you were inside the vehicle and while the app shows that your ride was under way.
Although both Uber and Lyft have accident coverage, there are circumstances when you may not be covered. You may not have coverage under Uber or Lyft company insurance policies in the following situations:
- Your Uber or Lyft driver ends your ride prematurely
- You have not entered your Uber or Lyft ride yet
- You are waiting for the Uber or Lyft to arrive
- The Uber or Lyft hits you as a pedestrian
- Your Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance has lapsed
- You’re unable to validate your Uber or Lyft ride
Uber and Lyft Liability vs. Taxi Driver Liability
When you’re in a car accident, the driver is typically liable. However, because Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, Uber accident and Lyft accident claims can be complicated. A traditional taxi driver would be covered by their employer insurance policy. Uber and Lyft drivers have personal car insurance that may cover the ride, and then the Uber or Lyft policy would provide “excess coverage” if your claim exceeds the driver’s policy. However, many rideshare drivers do not have commercial insurance, so you may not be covered at all on their car insurance.
Taxi drivers generally have between $250,000 and $500,000 in coverage. Thus, it is possible that the rideshare companies’ $1 million policies would provide better coverage for an Uber accident. However, it can be more difficult to obtain coverage from Uber or Lyft.
If your Uber accident was not covered by an insurance policy, you need an experienced Orange County Uber and Lyft accident attorney to help you file a claim with the appropriate parties. We will evaluate your situation and any insurance policies that may apply, then help you submit a claim for compensation.
California is a Fault-Based State
California is a fault-based state when it comes to traffic accident law. This means that when a traffic accident occurs, either you or another driver is to blame for it. While sometimes both drivers may be partially to blame for an accident, chances are good that one or the other driver is more to blame than the other.
When you’re in an accident, regardless of whether or not the driver is on duty for a rideshare company or not, you make a claim against their auto insurance. This is true if you are another driver, a passenger in either vehicle, or an unsuspecting pedestrian simply making their way across the street.
You may be able to receive compensation under any of the following scenarios. You are:
- injured by an Uber driver in a traffic accident;
- injured in a traffic accident in which you are the passenger of an Uber vehicle;
- a pedestrian or bicyclist who is struck by an Uber vehicle;
- a passenger in a car that has been struck by an Uber vehicle.
If the rideshare driver is responsible either in whole or in part for the accident, then you may be able to receive damages.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
If you’re a passenger in a rideshare accident, you’re not to blame. Under California’s tort system, you have a right to make a claim either against the Uber driver or the other driver involved in the accident. In fact, if they are both partially responsible for the accident, you can make a claim against both drivers.
In either event, the process gets complex. And there’s a strong chance that you won’t be filing a claim with one insurance company, but two.
Nonetheless, there are several things that you can do to help your claim. If you are capable of doing so, you should take photos of the scene. This includes not only the Uber driver’s car but the other driver’s car as well. You’ll want to take pictures of both license plates and pictures of other people at the scene as well. Their testimony could be important to the case.
You’ll also want to seek medical attention immediately. Insurance companies use claims adjuster software that seeks ways to devalue your accident claim. Insurance companies will therefore assume your injuries are not sever, based on the time at which you sought medical attention. It’s best for your claim to seek medical attention immediately. This is the case even if you don’t feel like your injuries are that serious.
Speak to an Orange County Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Today to Learn More
An Uber or Lyft accident can result in serious losses, and you deserve compensation. As we said earlier, claims involving rideshare accidents can get very complex with the number of parties involved. If you are in an auto accident involving a rideshare driver, you could be dealing with up to three insurance companies all at the same time. An experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer at Russell & Lazarus, APC can help you settle a claim against the at-fault parties. Call today to learn more.