Where rideshare accident cases become tricky is in establishing liability. Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber purposefully classify their drivers as independent contractors and not employees so they don’t have to be responsible for the injuries and damages their drivers cause in accidents. However, both Uber and Lyft have their own insurance policies whose limits depend on whether the driver was logged into the app at the time of the accident.
Policy limits are classified as follows:
Offline: If the driver who caused your accident wasn’t logged on their app at the time of their accident, their personal auto insurance will have to cover all damages.
Period 1: If the driver was logged into their app but hadn’t yet accepted a ride, then the rideshare app’s insurance includes $50,000 for bodily injury per person injured and $100,000 per accident, as well as $30,000 for property damage.
Period 2 and 3: Period 2 occurs when the driver has accepted a ride and Period 3 applies to drivers who have picked up passengers and were transporting them at the time of the crash. In these instances, the company provides drivers with $1 million in auto insurance and $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Determining which period the driver was in can be difficult, and rideshare companies have been known to completely deny liability and take advantage of victims in the past. After your accident, in addition to collecting information from witnesses and other drivers and passengers involved, you may also want to collect the driver’s rideshare information, as well as the route they were taking at the time of the crash. This information can be used to strengthen your claim.
All of this illustrates just how essential it is to hire a personal injury attorney who can calculate your damages and protect your rights to full and fair compensation. Rideshare companies are powerful and protected by their own teams of attorneys, but a compassionate and knowledgeable rideshare accident lawyer in Austin like Chris Morrow can help you navigate this stressful time.