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Facts About Filing a Rideshare Accident Claim

Man using rideshare cell phone app.

Injured in an Uber or Lyft accident? You should talk to an attorney.

A lot of people don't have access to a car or another type of vehicle, but rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft can make it easier for them to hail a ride and get to where they want to go. With that being said, it's important to keep in mind that rideshare drivers are normal drivers just like the rest of us, which means they have just as much of a chance of being involved in a car accident as anyone else.

When you're involved in a rideshare (Uber, Lyft) accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. But filing a claim for a rideshare accident can be complicated for a lot of different reasons. In particular, it's usually a lot harder to determine liability and prove negligence. Further, in some cases, you may not be the only passenger who was injured in the accident, further complicating the issue.

One issue may be whether the rideshare driver’s (if he/she is at fault) personal insurance or the rideshare company’s insurance is going to cover the claim. Generally, personal auto policies do not cover the driver in course of transporting passengers or on their way to call because he/she is engaged in a business enterprise at the time, which is excluded from coverage in a personal policy.

Also, see the discussion below about the “drive-period” and whether the rideshare driver is actually on duty at the time of the accident.  If the rideshare driver is not the car at fault, you have to pursue the other driver’s insurance just as one would in any other accident. Bottom line is that it can get a bit confusing, and if you’re injured, you don’t always have the time to track down who is the right insurance company or the right driver.

That's why if you were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, it's in your interest to consult a lawyer to get a clear understanding of your legal rights and options.

What happens if you're injured in a rideshare accident?

If you're injured in a rideshare accident, your damages can be covered by:

  • The insurance company for the at-fault driver, which could either be the rideshare driver or the driver of the other vehicle involved.
  • The rideshare company itself. Both Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that cover injuries sustained by customers in accidents, but special rules apply as to when that coverage kicks in.

Ridesharing companies' insurance

Depending on what "drive period" the rideshare driver was in when your accident occurred, your damages may be covered by different insurance policies. If you're involved in an accident with a rideshare driver and you are in a different car, but he/she wasn't on call or providing someone with a ride, the rideshare driver's personal auto insurance policy may be your only source of recovery.

For accidents involving rideshare drivers who have the app activated and are waiting for a ride request, the rideshare company's limited liability coverage applies; and, if the rideshare driver is on their way to pick up a passenger or is already transporting a passenger, both Uber and Lyft have a $1 million policy that can cover the cost of injuries and other damages.

The Compensation you can recover is the same, but it’s who you are pursuing:

The compensation you can get does not change. An injured party can still make a claim for PIP benefits, property damage if they are in another car and hit by the rideshare, and for medical bills, wages, pain and suffering caused by the accident.  It all depends on timing, as noted above, and what car you are in when the accident occurs.

A rideshare accident attorney can help you file a claim

If you've been injured in a rideshare accident, make sure to report it to the police and get medical attention as soon as possible. Filing a claim for this kind of accident is complicated, but treatment should be your top priority. Then, talk to an experienced rideshare accident lawyer about your legal rights and options.

At the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC, we can investigate your accident, determine all potential sources of compensation, and fight for every dollar you're entitled to. We have the knowledge and experience to get you the results you deserve. To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation. We proudly serve clients in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

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