Hit by an Uber or Lyft Driver in CA
When you’re hit by a typical driver, the matter is relatively straightforward: You exchange insurance information, and the at-fault party pays. Matters can quickly become more complex if the driver is employed by a company to drive. If they are a commercial driver, such as a delivery driver, then their employer may be liable for your injuries and other damages. Matters are even more complicated if they are a rideshare driver. Are rideshare drivers technically employees? Are Uber and Lyft responsible for accidents caused by their drivers?
Read on to learn about what happens after an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver. If you have additional questions or need help obtaining compensation after a serious Antelope Valley car crash with an Uber driver or another commercial vehicle, call a knowledgeable Palmdale rideshare accident lawyer at the Kistler Law Firm for advice and assistance.
Rideshare Companies Must Carry Insurance
There has been an ongoing legal battle over how to classify rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, and how to treat their drivers. They aren’t exactly taxi companies, where drivers are all employees. They also are not exactly free agents, as Uber and Lyft are intimately involved with securing the rides and driver compensation.
Ultimately, California decided to classify rideshare companies as “transportation network companies” (TNCs). TNCs are subject to different rules from taxis and other livery companies. TNCs are, however, required to carry insurance to kick in should someone be injured in an accident with one of their drivers. TNCs in California must carry a minimum of $1 million in insurance coverage for a given accident. Whether an accident is covered by the TNC insurance depends on when the accident occurred, and, of course, who was at fault.
The Three Time Periods for Rideshare Accidents
Uber and Lyft carry different levels of insurance depending on when the accident occurred. Assuming the accident was caused by the rideshare driver (and not a different party), the rideshare company’s insurance will apply in the following situations:
- App is off. If the app is off, then the driver is operating on their own time and is not covered by Uber or Lyft’s insurance, regardless of whether they also drive for a rideshare company at other times.
- App is on, but no ride accepted. If the rideshare driver has turned on the app and is searching for a customer, but no ride has yet been accepted, then either the driver or the rideshare driver’s insurance will cover. TNCs typically carry contingent coverage, meaning their policy will apply if the driver’s policy excludes commercial driving and would be voided by turning on the app. Rideshare companies carry a minimum of $50,000/$100,000 ($50,000 per person, $100,000 per incident) in coverage for accidents during this period.
- A ride has been accepted and/or there’s a passenger. Once a rideshare driver has accepted a ride and is either on the way to pick up the passenger or en route to drop the passenger off at their destination, the driver is fully covered. TNCs must carry at least $1 million in coverage for death or bodily injury per accident.
Injured as an Uber or Lyft Passenger
If you were hurt while riding in a rideshare as a passenger, then you may have a claim against your driver. You are also covered by the rideshare company’s $1 million commercial liability policy. If the accident was caused by another driver, you would have to seek compensation from that driver. Notably, TNCs must also carry $1 million in uninsured/underinsured liability to kick in should an uninsured driver cause an accident that injures the rideshare passenger.
Call a Dedicated Palmdale Rideshare Accident Lawyer at the Kistler Law Firm Today
There are a thousand reasons why a car accident might happen, and each case is unique. Contact our Palmdale car accident injury attorney today to evaluate your unique auto accident claim. The Kistler Law Firm will give you a personalized evaluation and help you figure out your legal rights and next steps.
Call us today at 661-206-6990 for a fast response or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.