Lyft and Uber have become new leaders in the transportation service industry. While these apps offer convenient, purportedly safe rides in exchange for affordable rates, there are always risks to getting in any motor vehicle, as well as added challenges for those who suffer injuries in wrecks involving a rideshare vehicle.
Whether you were injured in an Uber accident or a Lyft accident as a driver, a passenger, or another party, it’s important to understand how the resulting insurance claim process works. Below, we explain 5 of the most essential points to know about Uber and Lyft insurance claims:
1. Your “Role” In the Accident Matters
Who you were in an Uber / Lyft accident impacts much of the insurance claim process. That’s not only because insurance coverage varies depending on whether you were in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, but also because there may be potential for disputes and allegations about fault and liability. For example:
- If you were a driver of an Uber or Lyft, it may be argued that you caused a wreck, another motorist is at fault or both you and another party share some responsibility for a crash;
- If you were in another vehicle, the Uber or Lyft driver may be at fault for a crash, or it may be argued that you (in part or in whole) caused the accident;
- If you were a passenger who paid for a Uber or Lyft ride, you generally won’t be held at fault unless you did something that arguably resulted in the collision.
2. Insurance Coverage Varies
Available insurance coverage is a key component of any accident claim, and there must be sufficient coverage in order to recover for your damages, especially if any serious injuries are involved. How insurance coverage works depends on a number of factors:
- For Passengers – If you were an Uber or Lyft passenger at the time of a wreck, you will likely be covered by the rideshare’s commercial insurance policy, which includes $1 million in liability coverage for accidents regardless of who causes them.
- For Drivers – You may be covered by Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy if you were transporting a passenger at the time of a collision caused by another motorist. In some cases, depending on whether you were “on the clock” and available on the app or en route to pick up a passenger, you may be covered by a lower-limit insurance policy, the rideshare’s uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, any optional insurance coverage from Uber or Lyft, or your own personal insurance / PIP coverage.
- For Others – Available coverage depends greatly on what the Uber or Lyft driver in your accident was doing at the time (i.e. were they transporting a fare (covered under commercial insurance policy), available on the app (covered by lower-limit policy), or not using the app (covered by driver’s personal insurance and / or your PIP coverage, UM / UIM coverage, or available coverage from other potentially liable parties).
3. Insurance Carriers Want Quick, Low-Value Settlements
Insurance companies are corporations, and just like Uber and Lyft, they want to minimize payouts to victims. James River insurance, which insures Uber, for example, may attempt to contact you after a wreck to reach an out-of-court settlement. You should be mindful that insurance carriers want to settle for as little as possible, and that accepting any settlement without knowing the full extent of your damages can place you at risk of not recovering the full amount of compensation you need.
4. You Have the Right to Legal Representation
Dealing with insurance companies, obtaining needed treatment, and obtaining any leverage for the best possible outcome is an objective with many moving parts and things to address. While you’re focusing on recovering from your injuries, and protecting your rights to a full and fair insurance settlement, working with legal representation can make all the difference.
Injury attorneys can communicate with insurers on your behalf, help with any needed investigations, determine fault and liability, and assist in helping you navigate each step of the claim process.
5. How Much is Your Case Worth?
Victims injured in Uber and Lyft accidents often ask how much their case is worth. As with other types of car accident claims, the answer always depends on the details of the incident. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we take the time to explain the rights of victims, and their available options for pursuing the maximum compensation possible based on the unique circumstances involved.
If you have questions about an Uber or Lyft accident and your legal rights, give us a call for a free consultation. Robert Sparks Attorneys serves clients throughout Tampa and the surrounding areas of Florida. Contact us to speak with an attorney.