Taxis are still around, but ridesharing has become a popular and convenient way to get to your destination. Ridesharing is the modern-day tax service. You can arrange a ride on very short notice, usually through an app on your cell phone. Uber and Lyft are everywhere. In fact, each boasts of completing over one million rides per day through cities across the United States.
When you call an Uber or Lyft, the last thing you’re worried about is getting into an accident. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen. If you’re involved in an auto accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you should be entitled to recover full and fair compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial losses that you have suffered. However, who’ll pay for those damages depends on several factors.
What Is So Different About An Uber Or Lyft Accident?
When you’re involved in an accident with a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, it’s important to understand that it’s different than a typical car accident. Uber and Lyft don’t own or operate cars, and the drivers aren’t employees. Instead, drivers are considered “independent contractors.” Also, almost anyone can drive for Uber and Lyft. In some states, the only requirements are personal auto insurance, appropriate age, license, and a few other requirements. Many of these drivers don’t have specialized training. They’re normal, everyday drivers, and are just as likely to engage in careless or reckless driving as any other driver on the road.
When An Uber Or Lyft Driver Hits Your Car
If an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident that injures you, then your legal options will depend on whether the crash occurred during one of the following categories:
1. Driver Not Logged In
When the ridesharing driver isn’t logged into the Uber or Lyft app and is driving for personal reasons, your first option will be to file a claim through the ridesharing driver’s personal automobile insurance liability policy. Under Texas law, drivers must carry at least the following amounts of liability insurance:
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person
- $60,000 for bodily injury per accident (all persons)
- $15,000 for property damage per accident
If the ridesharing driver doesn’t have insurance or does not have enough coverage, you may need to turn to your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy which you may have purchased. UM/UIM is considered optional coverage and Texas law does not require you to purchase it. Your lawyer can review your insurance policy and help you determine your available coverage.
2. Driver Logged In And Is Waiting For A Customer
If the ridesharing driver is logged into the Uber or Lyft app but hasn’t yet connected with the customer, both Uber and Lyft will provide some liability coverage if the driver causes an accident. For example, Uber states it will provide coverage in the following amounts:
- $50,000 for bodily injury per person
- $100,000 for bodily injury per accident (all persons)
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
3. Driver Logged In And Is With A Customer
If the ridesharing driver causes an accident with a customer in the car, then your damages should be covered by the ridesharing company’s commercial liability insurance. Uber provides “at least” $1 million per accident in coverage, while Lyft has coverage with $1 million “per accident limit.”
When You Are Injured As An Uber Or Lyft Passenger
If you were hurt in an accident as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft car, and the driver is responsible for the accident, you should be eligible to file a claim through their commercial liability insurance. Again, Uber provides “at least” $1 million per accident in coverage, while Lyft has coverage with $1 million “per accident limit.”
If another driver caused an accident while you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft car, you would need to file a claim against that at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy. If the other driver has no coverage or no insurance coverage, you may be able to file a claim through the uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage provided by Uber and Lyft.
We Can Help You After An Uber Or Lyft Accident
Hernandez Sunosky, LLP only handles personal injury matters. If you’ve been hurt while riding in an Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing accident, call us at 713.981.4100. We can help.