The rapid development and expansion of companies such as Uber and Lyft has made ridesharing a popular form of transportation today.
Despite ridesharing’s positive qualities, the harsh reality is that motor vehicle accidents still occur on a daily basis. Every motorist owes a duty of reasonable care to other motorists, passengers and pedestrians while operating on Illinois roadways. When a motorist breaches that duty, he or she is liable for damages.
It is unclear the extent of Uber or Lyfts’ involvement when one of its ridesharing vehicles is involved in a motor vehicle accident. These accidents often raise complex issues that are best addressed by an experienced Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney.
Uber’s Liability Coverage & Proper Insurance Safeguards
While Uber and Lyft maintain commercial insurance policies for their ridesharing vehicles, the applicability of said insurance in any given motor vehicle accident is uncertain. There are three scenarios that dictate whether Uber or Lyfts’ insurance policies will apply in the event of an automobile accident:
When the App is turned off or disengaged
When the Uber or Lyft App is not turned on, drivers are not waiting for passengers or “en route” to retrieve any passengers. As a result, an Uber or Lyft driver’s personal motor vehicle insurance policy would apply in the event a motor vehicle accident occurred during this time period.
Driver mode engaged but no confirmed passengers
Uber and Lyft provide a $50,000 per person/$100,000 per occurrence contingent liability policy for its ridesharing vehicles involved in accidents that occur while the App is engaged but no passengers have been located or are in the process of being picked up.
Accidents that occur while retrieving passengers or with passengers in the vehicle
Once an Uber or Lyft driver is assigned a passenger or is “en route” to retrieve a passenger, Uber and Lyft offer coverage of up to $1 million in the event of a motor vehicle collision pursuant to their respective commercial insurance policies.
Who is at Fault?
Uber or Lyft Driver is at Fault
If an Uber or Lyft driver is at fault for a motor vehicle accident, Uber or Lyft’s commercial insurance covers any damages incurred by passengers and third party motorists. If an Uber or Lyft driver was not retrieving or transporting passengers at the time of an accident, injured parties may need to pursue an Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim against their own insurance in the event the driver does not have adequate insurance coverage to cover any damages they may have sustained. Maintaining sufficient insurance coverage is the single best way to ensure you are fully covered in the event of a motor vehicle accident, especially when you are not at fault.
Third Party Motorist is at Fault
If a third party motorist is at fault for a motor vehicle accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the third party’s insurance will cover any damages incurred by the Uber or Lyft driver and any passengers in the ridesharing vehicle. Uber and Lyft provide $1 million Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist bodily injury coverage for all occupants in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, including drivers, in the event an at fault, third party motorist does not maintain sufficient insurance coverage. This uninsured/underinsured coverage also applies when Uber or Lyft drivers are not at fault in hit-and-run accidents.
Take Action When Involved In an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you have been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, follow these steps immediately after the occurrence:
1. Seek medical attention
Individuals involved in motor vehicle collisions claim to feel “fine” or normal after an accident because their adrenaline is rushing. This precludes them from feeling pain from any injuries they may have suffered. Regardless of how you feel, it is in your best interest to have a doctor examine you immediately following a motor vehicle collision.
2. Notify the police
Notify the police if you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident. Responding officers will record statements from the parties involved, gather applicable insurance information from each party and identify any witnesses to the occurrence.
3. Consult an attorney
Being involved in a motor vehicle collision is stressful. Mounting medical bills, treating for your injuries and even employment complications can overwhelm individuals involved in an accident. Therefore, it is in your best interest to contact our Uber and Lyft Accident attorneys at Zayed Law Offices to handle the nuances of the applicable law, as well to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
4. Contact Uber or Lyft if you are the driver of the ridesharing vehicle
If you are the driver of an Uber or Lyft vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact Uber or Lyft and inform them of the details of the occurrence.
Experienced Chicago Uber & Lyft Accident Attorneys
At Zayed Law Offices, we represent drivers and passengers of Uber and Lyft vehicles that have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you or someone you know has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact our office for a free initial consultation. We help our clients obtain the compensation and the justice they deserve.