What to Do if You’re Injured by a Lyft or Uber Driver

What to Do if You’re Injured by a Lyft or Uber Driver

Our firm has represented many people who have been injured in accidents involving rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft. Determining whose auto insurance covers you in such accidents, and how much money is available to compensate you for your injuries, requires an understanding of the law governing rideshare companies. Below is a summary of the current law. You should consult with an experienced lawyer to analyze your particular case. 

Passenger, Driver, Pedestrian, Motorcycle, And Bicycle Accidents Caused by Rideshare Drivers:

If you were a passenger, driver, pedestrian, motorcyclist or bicyclist involved in an accident with a rideshare driver, and the rideshare driver was at fault for the accident, the insurance policy you should file a claim against will depend on the period in which the accident occurred. 

Period 0: If the rideshare driver’s rideshare app was off, you should file a claim with the rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance. Every driver of a motor vehicle in California must carry insurance coverage of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. 

Period 1: If the rideshare driver’s app was on but the driver was not paired with a passenger, rideshare companies are required to provide insurance coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, as well as $200,000 in excess insurance coverage.

Periods 2 and 3: If the rideshare driver was paired with a passenger (i.e. the driver was on the way to pick up the passenger or the passenger has entered the vehicle), rideshare companies must provide $1 million in coverage for death, personal injury, and property damage to the passenger.

To prove a rideshare driver was responsible for an accident, you must prove the driver was negligent (careless), and his negligence caused you injury. The driver could be held to a higher standard of care than an ordinary driver as a “common carrier,” based on recent trends in law. 

What Type Of Damages Can I Legally Recover?

You can recover as damages the cost of past and future medical treatment, past and future wage loss, past and future pain and suffering, and punitive damages for intentional, willful, or reckless conduct of the driver. 

What If My Rideshare Vehicle Got In An Accident Caused By Another Driver?

If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle which was in an accident caused by the driver of another vehicle, you should file a claim for compensation with the auto insurance for the other vehicle. Every driver of a motor vehicle is required to have insurance coverage of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. 

If the driver who caused your accident did not have insurance, or did not have enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries , California Vehicle Code Section 5433 requires that rideshare companies carry $1 million in uninsured motorist (“UM”) and underinsured motorist (“UIM”) insurance for the accident. You are covered under the rideshare company’s insurance policy from the moment you enter the rideshare vehicle until the moment you exit the vehicle. Therefore, if the at-fault driver has no insurance, or insufficient insurance, to pay for your damages, you can file a UM or UIM claim with the rideshare company’s insurance company to recover damages.

In summary, if you were injured due to the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver during a ride, it is likely you will be covered by the rideshare company’s 1 million dollar policy. However, it is important to consult an attorney with experience in handling personal injury claims against rideshare companies in order to maximize your recovery. 

Be aware that, under the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit, or you will lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries.

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