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.[1] 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:

  1. 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.[2] This includes the driver going offline even though he or she still has a fare in the vehicle.
  1. 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.[3]
  1. 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.[4] 

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.

[1] 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.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

Testimonials

“I had an excellent experience at Kidneigh and Kaufman. I was in an auto accident and had severe injuries. Kidneigh and Kaufman helped me get the medical treatment I needed, as well as a wonderful settlement with the insurance company. Everyone at Kidneigh and Kaufman was very caring and understanding of my situation, and especially supportive when my husband passed away during the case. Attorney Charlie Crichton was particularly wonderful and I would give him and the Kidneigh and Kaufman firm 5+ stars.”

Grace Collier - Former Client

“After I was injured in a serious auto accident, I was in a lot of pain and didn’t know what to do. Having been involved in her own accident several years earlier and hired Kidneigh & Kaufman to help her, my girlfriend told me I needed to speak with attorney Jennifer Crichton. I’m so glad I did. I had a great experience with Kidneigh & Kaufman and Jenny was there by my side all the way. Kidneigh & Kaufman is definitely a 5 star law firm. I certainly got my money’s worth by going to Kidneigh & Kaufman.”

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    In 1982, Steve Kaufman had the honor of trying the first Toxic Shock Syndrome case to go to trial in the country against Procter & Gamble and its Rely tampon, obtaining a verdict in favor of a teenage girl who had almost died. Since then, Kidneigh & Kaufman has taken on corporations and insurance companies in courtrooms throughout Colorado as well as the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. All told, the attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman have tried nearly 100 cases to verdict.

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Firm Overview

What to Expect for Your Case

You Are Involved in an Accident

You are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to change and you get rear-ended.

You are walking toward the deli counter at the grocery store, and you slip and fall in the beverage aisle.

Your insurance company denies your claim for the hail damage from the storm in your neighborhood.

What do you do when an accident happens? First, check to see if you are injured. If you are injured, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. You also want to be sure to document everything. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then be sure to take photos, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, and contact the police. If you slip and fall at a grocery store, make sure you complete an incident report, obtain witness information, and take photos. If you have a dispute with your insurance company, make sure you document all of your correspondence and communication.

Contact An Attorney

Be sure to contact an attorney about your accident as soon as possible following your accident.

An attorney can help guide you through the process of making a claim with an insurance company, which is an unfamiliar process for most people. An attorney can makes sure that the correct parties and entities are notified and that your accident and injuries are well documented. Not only can an attorney help you with this process, but hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind knowing that things are being done the right way.

Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

Does it make sense to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit?

You have completed your medical treatment and your attorney has submitted a demand to the insurance company. At this time, the insurance company may be willing to make a settlement offer to resolve the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed with a lawsuit against the opposing party.

Litigation

You filed a lawsuit against the opposing party so what happens now?

When you file a lawsuit against another party, then the litigation process begins. The insurance company will likely hire a well-qualified attorney to represent its Defendant and the case will be assigned to a judge and courtroom. Attorneys will send written discovery, obtain documents, and take depositions. The attorneys are doing everything they can to prepare the case for trial and to find out more about the other side’s case. The parties may still try to resolve the case either informally or with a mediator.

Trial

What happens in a trial?

The parties are unable to resolve the case so they go to trial. The attorneys and the judge pick a jury to decide the case. Then each attorney makes an opening statement. Next, the injured party’s attorney presents his case, which usually includes testimony from the injured party, any witnesses, medical providers, and hired experts. Then the Defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to present his case and call his own witnesses and present his own evidence. After jury instructions, each side makes a closing argument, trying to convince the jury to find for their side. Finally, the jury must agree on a verdict.

  • 1You Are Involved in an Accident

    You Are Involved in an Accident

    You are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to change and you get rear-ended.

    You are walking toward the deli counter at the grocery store, and you slip and fall in the beverage aisle.

    Your insurance company denies your claim for the hail damage from the storm in your neighborhood.

    What do you do when an accident happens? First, check to see if you are injured. If you are injured, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. You also want to be sure to document everything. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then be sure to take photos, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, and contact the police. If you slip and fall at a grocery store, make sure you complete an incident report, obtain witness information, and take photos. If you have a dispute with your insurance company, make sure you document all of your correspondence and communication.

  • 2Contact An Attorney

    Contact An Attorney

    Be sure to contact an attorney about your accident as soon as possible following your accident.

    An attorney can help guide you through the process of making a claim with an insurance company, which is an unfamiliar process for most people. An attorney can makes sure that the correct parties and entities are notified and that your accident and injuries are well documented. Not only can an attorney help you with this process, but hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind knowing that things are being done the right way.

  • 3Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

    Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

    Does it make sense to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit?

    You have completed your medical treatment and your attorney has submitted a demand to the insurance company. At this time, the insurance company may be willing to make a settlement offer to resolve the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed with a lawsuit against the opposing party.

  • 4Litigation

    Litigation

    You filed a lawsuit against the opposing party so what happens now?

    When you file a lawsuit against another party, then the litigation process begins. The insurance company will likely hire a well-qualified attorney to represent its Defendant and the case will be assigned to a judge and courtroom. Attorneys will send written discovery, obtain documents, and take depositions. The attorneys are doing everything they can to prepare the case for trial and to find out more about the other side’s case. The parties may still try to resolve the case either informally or with a mediator.

  • 5Trial

    Trial

    What happens in a trial?

    The parties are unable to resolve the case so they go to trial. The attorneys and the judge pick a jury to decide the case. Then each attorney makes an opening statement. Next, the injured party’s attorney presents his case, which usually includes testimony from the injured party, any witnesses, medical providers, and hired experts. Then the Defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to present his case and call his own witnesses and present his own evidence. After jury instructions, each side makes a closing argument, trying to convince the jury to find for their side. Finally, the jury must agree on a verdict.