If you are like most folks in Houston, you have found that using ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft can be a convenient and affordable way to get around town. As for Houston motorists, you are sure to have seen these rideshare vehicles on our roads. However, as with all motor vehicles, Uber and Lyft get into their fair share of accidents. These can lead to injuries to passengers and third parties, not to mention damage to vehicles driven by other people. While these rideshare drivers are required to carry insurance, there are different rules governing when the driver and rideshare company can be held liable, which a rideshare accident lawyer can help guide you through.
Who is liable when a third party caused the accident?
If you are riding in an Uber or Lyft and another driver collides with the vehicle, then you will be able to collect against this third-party driver. In this situation, the rideshare driver is not at fault, but just like you was the victim of the reckless or negligent driving of another motorist. Here, you would file a claim for any injury you suffered against the other driver and their auto insurance policy. Since the rideshare driver was not at fault, you will probably not be able to recover from his or her auto insurance company. The same goes for the rideshare company itself, which will only cover injuries to passengers if the accident was the fault of the Uber or Lyft driver.
Who is liable when you are injured in a rideshare?
This is a slightly different situation. Let’s say you are riding around Houston in an Uber or Lyft when the driver runs a red light and collides with another vehicle. In this situation, the rideshare driver operated his or her vehicle in a reckless manner and was the person at fault for the collision.
Rideshare drivers are required by Texas to carry certain amounts of insurance to cover injuries to passengers when they are in service. This amounts to a one million dollar policy to cover injury and property damage. So, if you are injured in an accident, you can recover up to one million dollars from the driver’s auto insurance company.
Since you were the passenger of a rideshare vehicle, you may also recover from the rideshare company. Uber and Lyft have asserted that they are only responsible for injuries to their passengers, but not to third parties. So, in this scenario, you may be able to get additional compensation above and beyond the coverage of the rideshare driver’s auto insurance. This will be helpful if your injuries cost you more than one million dollars in medical care, lost wages, and similar damages.
Who is responsible for damages and injuries to third parties where the rideshare driver is at fault?
If you are driving in another vehicle that gets struck by a rideshare vehicle, you will want to know about collecting any damage to your vehicle or injuries to you or any of your passengers. A great deal will depend on the circumstances surrounding what the rideshare driver was doing at the time of the accident. Texas law requires rideshare drivers to carry one million dollars of coverage for injury and property damage when traveling with a passenger or on the way to pick one up. This means that you can get up to one million dollars for the damages you suffered as a result of an accident where the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault.
The situation changes significantly if the rideshare driver is simply on the app and looking for a fare. In this case, the liability limits decrease significantly. The Uber or Lyft driver is only required to carry $50,000 in bodily injury coverage with a maximum of $100,000 total per accident. In addition, the driver only has to have $25,000 in property damage. If the rideshare driver was not carrying a passenger at the time of the collision or on the way to pick one up, then you may not be able to get fully compensated for your injuries.
Complicating matters is the fact that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft do not have coverage for anyone other than their passengers. This means that you will not be able to collect from these companies in this situation.
If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, call our firm today
If you are injured while riding in a Lyft, Uber, or other rideshare or from a collision with one of these rideshare vehicles, you should call Hernandez Sunosky, LLP today. Our team of seasoned attorneys can help you collect compensation for your injuries. We provide a free consultation and are fluent in Spanish.