Who is responsible for your injuries if you are involved in an Uber/Lyft accident?
When waiting for your ridesharing driver to show up you’re probably concerned about what the car will look like, how much it will cost, or maybe even what kind of reviews the driver has. One thing you probably aren’t worried about though is what kind of insurance the driver has. In the event of an accident however, it might be this very question that determines the kind of compensation you get for any injuries you sustain.
It is only in the last few years that insurance companies started covering the cost of accidents under the driver’s personal auto insurance policy if the driver is using his vehicle as a”de facto commercial cab” (basically using his car like a cab rather than simply as a personal vehicle giving friends a ride somewhere). This has lead to California enacting laws that require Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies to utilize separate insurance coverage when picking up riders, and in response these companies have purchased additional insurance that covers drivers while their driver app is open and they are actively transporting passengers. The result is that now, with the proper attorney representing you in your case, there’s a good chance that if you are injured while a passenger in a ridesharing driver’s vehicle you can get the insurance of that ridesharing company to compensate you.
In addition, the laws have worked to address a problem while effects accident that occur during a phase of ridesharing known as “period 1”. Period 1 is the term for the timeframe when a driver has turned on their ridesharing app and begun to act as a driver, but before any passenger has been picked up. California law now forces claims during this period to first be held against the ridesharing insurance, with the driver’s insurance acting as a sort of backup.
All of this can be somewhat confusing. The last thing you want to have to deal with after being hurt while you’re a passenger in an Uber or a Lyft is to have to fight with three separate insurance companies (your own, the driver’s, and the ridesharing company’s) to get one or more of them to compensate you for your injuries. This is further complicated by the fact that while Uber and Lyft require their drivers to provide up-to-date insurance information in case of an accident, there are more and more reports of people driving for those companies as if they were that insured driver, but when they are in actuality totally different people who are sharing that driver’s identity. Meanwhile, they themselves may have no insurance, expired insurance, and even may be without a valid CA driver’s license!
The only way to know for sure and to make sure you hold every responsible party accountable in compensating you for every dollar you are owed is to have a skilled attorney look at the case.
This is why it is so important to contact a skilled attorney if you are ever involved in a car accident, especially one involving a ride sharing program like Uber or Lyft. In a situation like this, we at Slatter Law Firm know the steps to take, and will fight to get you (or your loved ones) the compensation you deserve. As a boutique firm, when you call Slatter Law you can speak to real attorneys (not just their secretaries) and even a founding partner -giving you real access to real legal advice when you need it. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, please call us today for your free consultation at (310) 444-3010 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404.