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Seeking Compensation from Rideshare Drivers after an Accident
If you've been involved in an accident where the other driver was at fault, you probably have a general idea of how to be compensated for your damages: You simply file a claim with your insurance company, and they will pursue compensation for you. If you want additional compensation beyond what the insurance company provides, you can pursue a personal injury case against the person. But what if that person was driving for Lyft, Uber, or another rideshare service? How does this change things? Keep reading to find out.
How Rideshare Drivers Are Insured
In most cases, dealing with an accident involving a rideshare driver is much the same as an accident with a standard driver. The first step is to get their name and insurance information and to take as many pictures as possible at the scene of the accident. Ask any witnesses to stay and give a report to the police. Then, file a claim with your insurance company, and they will pursue compensation with the other driver's insurance.
If the individual wasn't logged into the rideshare service, their insurance will likely accept the claim, and it will proceed as a normal car accident case. However, if they were logged into the app, things get more complicated. Most insurance policies clearly state that they are for "personal use" only; driving for pay isn't considered personal use, and so the claim will be denied.
Luckily, both Uber and Lyft have established liability coverage that kicks in for their drivers at this point:
If they're logged into the app and haven't accepted a ride request yet, the company provides coverage up to $50,000 per person injured, a total of $100,000 in injury liability, and $25,000 in property damage liability.
- If they've accepted a ride request and are on their way to pick up the rider, the liability coverage increases to $1 million.
- If the rider is in the car, liability coverage is also $1 million, with additional limited coverage for the driver's car, as well as uninsured motorist coverage.
So, if the driver's private insurance company denies the claim, don't fret; it's likely that the rideshare company's liability coverage will accept it and cover those expenses. But what if you want to sue? How does that work?
Suing a Rideshare Driver
If you feel that you deserve additional compensation for your pain and other expenses (e.g., lost wages), then you have the right to take the matter to court. In these circumstances, your case would still be against the individual driver. Because rideshare drivers are considered private contractors and not employees, it's extremely difficult to prove any liability on the part of the rideshare service.
If you've been involved in an accident with a rideshare service driver, contact George Stein Steelhorse Law. We'll help you to navigate the ins and outs of handling your insurance claim through the company, as well as pursuing a personal injury case if you so choose. Give us a call now to schedule your consultation.