Ridesharing Accidents (Uber/Lyft)
Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular across the country, but especially in the Denver area. The explosion in popularity is based on the convenience of being able to order a Lyft or Uber from your phone, getting picked up a few minutes later, and then paying your driver directly from your phone, often at a much lower price than a cab. However, as the number of Uber and Lyft drivers increases so do the odds of being involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver.
Our office frequently gets questions about Uber and Lyft drivers and accidents because of the unique situation it presents. Uber and Lyft drivers have different insurance coverage from those drives a cab or works for a limo company. Which insurance – the driver’s own, or Uber’s depends on the company. With Lyft, riders are covered under its insurance from the time the driver accepts the ride request until the time the ride ends in the app, and with Uber, riders are covered under its insurance from the moment the driver goes online until the rider exits the vehicle, assuming that the rider has remained online throughout the trip. This leaves gaps in coverage that may (or may not) be covered by the driver’s own insurance.
There are three main scenarios that can occur in accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers:
- The driver is or goes offline: When there’s an accident and the Uber or Lyft driver isn’t logged into the system, they’re not working for the company and aren’t covered by the company’s insurance policy. In this situation, the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy would cover any accident. This includes the driver going offline even though he or she still has a fare in the vehicle.
- Driver mode: Driver mode begins when an Uber or Lyft driver is logged into the system but hasn’t yet been matched up with a rider. In this situation, Uber and has insurance that covers up to $50,000 per person for bodily injury, up to $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and up to $25,000 for property damage caused by an accident, and Lyft has coverage up to $1,000,000 in liability.
- Driver is matched with passenger: This occurs between the times that a driver is matched with a passenger and a passenger enters the vehicle. In this situation, both Uber and Lyft have insurance that covers up to $1,000,000 in liability coverage as well as $1,000,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If you are in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber driver, there are some things you should do immediately to protect your rights. First, document everything. Call police so you can make an accident report from the details freshest in your memory. Take photos of any property damage or injuries. Next, seek medical attention if you are injured as soon as possible. Find out if the driver was on or off the clock at the time. Chances are that if you’re using the Uber or Lyft app that you have a record of your trip with that particular driver.
Finally, call an experienced attorney to help you with your case. Uber and Lyft accidents are different than normal accidents so it’s important that you contact an experienced attorney to help you. Going after the right party is most important. An experienced attorney will be able to help determine what type of insurance applies to your accident. An attorney can also help you negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement to cover your losses and suffering.
If you or a family member has had the misfortune of being injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, our lawyers want to help you. The attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. are experienced at handling Uber and Lyft cases and know to obtain compensation for injured victims. Call Kidneigh & Kaufman today at 303-393-6666 to schedule your free consultation.
 Lyft. Lyft Insurance Policy. https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013080548-Insurance-Policy; Uber. Insurance for Rideshare Drivers with Uber. https://2q72xc49mze8bkcog2f01nlh-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/uber_insurance-graphics_700x560_r10_General-Insurance-Graphic.jpg.