The potential dangers of rideshare drivers
Uber and Lyft are billed as more affordable alternatives to traditional taxi services, but that affordability also raises some safety concerns. While drivers for the rideshare companies are subject to background checks, they are usually not as stringent as the checks used by traditional taxi companies. Likewise, while the vehicles used by rideshare drivers must meet certain standards – in Fort Wayne, for instance, they must be no older than 15 years and in good condition with no cosmetic damage – they are not subject to the rigorous safety and mechanical inspections that traditional cabs undergo.
None of this means rideshare services aren’t safe, but both passengers and other motorists sharing the road need to be aware that there are real dangers. Rideshare drivers often work full-time in addition to driving for Uber or Lyft, or drive at odd hours in order to get the highest fares, which means they may be tired or asleep at the wheel. The risk of a car accident is real, and you need to know your rights.
Which insurance pays for an Uber or Lyft accident in Indiana?
Uber and Lyft drivers use their personal vehicles and carry private liability insurance on their vehicles, like any other motorist. However, private insurance generally does not provide coverage if the covered motorist is “driving for profit,” so the rideshare companies carry supplemental insurance to pay for gaps in their coverage. As such, the applicable liability insurance depends on what the Uber or Lyft driver was doing at the time of the accident.
- While the driver is actively engaged in a ride request – so, from the moment a ride request is accepted to the moment the passenger is dropped off – the rideshare company’s full insurance applies. This includes $1 million in liability coverage, as well as $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
- If the driver was signed in to the Uber or Lyft app and available for ride requests, but had not actually accepted a ride request yet, the coverage provided by the rideshare company drops to $50,000 per injured person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, as well as $25,000 for property damage.
- If the driver was signed out of the Uber or Lyft app and not engaged in looking for or transporting passengers, their private insurance applies. In Indiana, the minimum liability insurance is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, as well as $25,000 for property damage.
This liability coverage applies to accidents where the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault. If the accident involved an Uber or Lyft driver but was caused by another party, such as another motorist or a vehicle manufacturer, then that party’s liability insurance applies as in any other car accident.
What to do after an Uber or Lyft accident
As with any car accident, you need to stay at the scene, call the police, and exchange insurance information with the other driver. If you were in another vehicle and see an Uber or Lyft logo on the car that hit you, ask the driver if they were using the app or had accepted a ride request at the time of the crash, as this can affect the available insurance coverage. Take pictures of the scene, get contact information for witnesses, and get medical help right away – this not only protects your health but also creates a record of your injuries.
The good news in an Uber or Lyft case is that there may be more insurance available to pay for your injuries. The problem is that the rideshare companies and their insurance carriers work very hard to minimize your recovery, and they think nothing of using pressure tactics and manipulation to get their way. That’s why you need to contact us as soon as possible. If you hire our firm to represent you, we’ll contact the rideshare companies and their insurance companies, as well as any other involved parties, to make sure they send all further correspondence to us. We will conduct a thorough investigation to gather the evidence needed to hold them accountable, and we’ll deal with them day-to-day to protect your rights while you focus on getting better.
Successfully resolving injury cases in Indiana means getting strong evidence, both that your injury was someone else’s fault, and that the injury has caused you to suffer significant losses. We know how to build such a case, and the insurance companies know our reputation. Usually, when they see we’re prepared to face them at trial, they offer a fair settlement. If they don’t, we’re always ready to take them to court.
The key is to act quickly, so that we can start our investigation before evidence disappears and important legal deadlines expire. Don’t go it alone after a rideshare accident; get a fighter on your side. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced Uber and Lyft accident attorney in Fort Wayne or South Bend today.