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Scales of Justice

Everything You Need to Know About Rideshare Accidents

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When you need to get somewhere but don’t want to drive or take public transit, “taking an Uber” or “taking a Lyft” is probably your go-to option.

Many people use ridesharing services to get where they need to go. About 36 percent of American adults say they used a ridesharing service at least once, as of 2018. That’s more than double the number of Americans who said the same in 2015.

However, there’s an area of ridesharing services that seem vague and obscured: rideshare accidents.

How are drivers and passengers protected if an accident occurs? Who’s at fault, or responsible for insurance coverage?

The car accident attorneys at Carr & Carr have the answers to your questions below. If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident and you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to call us for a free consultation at (888) 232-5158.

Who is at Fault in a Rideshare Accident?

Like in any car accident not involving rideshare, liability (fault) must be proven by the person who files a claim.

The person who files a claim must also prove how badly they were injured or what damages were caused to their vehicle. Fault is not automatically assigned if someone involved is a rideshare driver.

Also, because a rideshare driver is an independent contractor, their personal insurance or the rideshare company’s insurance may handle the claim.

This can cause complications if you’ve been by a rideshare driver, but offers some additional coverage (depending on the phase) for rideshare drivers who’ve been hit by someone else.

Types of Rideshare Insurance Coverage

If you’re a frequent rideshare user or considering becoming a rideshare driver, you should know how rideshare insurance coverage works in order to protect yourself.

Because rideshare drivers are independent contractors rather than part-time or full-time employees, the company can deny liability if a driver is involved in an accident, no matter who is at fault.

However, both Lyft and Uber carry three different types of insurance coverages for their drivers. 

Primary Liability Coverage/Third-Party Liability Insurance

  • This insurance offers a $50,000 maximum limit per person, $100,000 maximum limit per accident, and a $25,000 maximum limit for property damage
  • No deductible
  • It also acts as primary coverage from the time a ride request is accepted until the time the ride has ended in the app. In these cases, there’s $1,000,000 of coverage per accident

Contingent Collision and Comprehensive Insurance

  • This insurance provides coverage for physical damage to a driver’s vehicle resulting from an accident
  • Applies up to the actual cash value of the vehicle or the cost of repair, whichever is less
  • Lyft has a $2,500 deductible; Uber has a $1,000 deductible

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Bodily Injury Insurance

  • This provides coverage in the event of an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured, and is ultimately at fault for bodily injury caused to the driver or passengers
  • May also apply in the case of a hit and run
  • Coverage limits vary by state
  • No deductible

Regardless of the type of insurance, there’s another big question regarding rideshare accidents: When does a certain type of rideshare insurance coverage kick in? It depends on which “period” the rideshare driver is in.

Rideshare Insurance Coverage “Periods”

The amount of insurance coverage provided depends on what “period” the rideshare driver is in.

Whether they’re alone, driving a passenger, or on the way to pick one up can affect insurance coverage.

Here’s what these “periods” mean and their impact on insurance coverage.

Period 0

If a rideshare driver is offline, their personal insurance policy applies.

Period 1

When a rideshare driver is in “Driver Mode,” i.e., logged in to their app and available to accept a request, Primary Liability/Third-Party Liability provides the following coverage until they accept a ride request:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

Primary Liability/Third-Party Liability remains in effect through the following periods, but the coverage amount changes.

Period 2

Once a rideshare driver has accepted a ride request and is in route to pick up their passenger, the coverage amount increases to $1,000,000 per accident. UM/UIM and Contingent Comprehensive & Collision are both in effect once Period 2 begins.

Period 3

From the time a passenger enters the car up until they are dropped off and their ride ends, coverage up to $1,000,000 applies. Both UM/UIM and Contingent Comprehensive & Collision remain in effect through Period 3.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help After a Rideshare Crash

Regular insurance policies can be confusing enough on their own. Add rideshare insurance policies to the mix and it can be nearly impossible figuring out who is liable, which insurance company should provide compensation, and so on. That’s where the personal injury attorneys at Carr & Carr come in.

Being involved in a car accident can take a toll on you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Let an experienced car accident lawyer fight the insurance companies for the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident in Oklahoma, the Carr & Carr team can help. Call (888) 232-5158 for a free consultation, fill out a contact form online, or follow the Carr & Carr Facebook page for updates.

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