Uber or Lyft driver has an accident

What happens if an Uber or Lyft driver has an accident?

A great many drivers have offered their services to Uber and Lyft. Becoming a rideshare driver is relatively easy. The main qualifications consist of having a driver’s license and a vehicle. If you are approved to be an Uber and Lyft driver, you will confirm bookings on the company apps, collect people at one location, and take them to another.

If you are like most people, you act as a rideshare driver to make extra money. This will put you on the road more than usual; and the more time you spend on the road, the greater your chances of getting involved in an accident. If you are involved in such a crash, a range of liability and insurance issues will come into play. You should not try to deal with these on your own. You should instead hire an Uber accident lawyer or Lyft accident attorney to help you sort through them.

Your Status as a Rideshare Driver

Some years ago, Uber and Lyft were forced to classify drivers as employees rather than contractors. The status gave them certain worker protections, including workers’ compensation. The issue was put on the ballot in the last election, and the people of California decided to reverse the law. This means that rideshare drivers will once again be classified as contractors. But for now, the law that made them employees still stands. You may still be able to claim workers’ compensation, which can be a useful source of money if you have been injured in the crash. Your personal injury lawyer can help you pursue this route.

Liability Issues

If the other driver caused the accident in which your car was damaged and you were injured, you can file a claim against their insurance company. This will not be easy. The main aim of insurance companies is to minimize the amount of money they must pay out in claims, and the insurer of the at-fault driver will resist your attempts to get money from them. The Uber accident lawyer or Lyft accident attorney is the only one who can be trusted to look after your interests and get you the money you deserve.

Things get a little trickier if you share some of the fault for the accident. California is a comparative fault state. If you are found to be partly to blame for the crash, the damages you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are responsible for. Figuring out such a percentage of fault is not an exact science. However, insurance companies know how to argue their way to such a figure—usually one that maximizes the amount of money they save. A personal injury lawyer will ensure that you are treated fairly in these proceedings, and that the insurance company pays what it should.

What Uber and Lyft Cover

It can be hard to get the insurance company of the at-fault driver to make an adequate settlement offer. In some instances, the insurance company is able to use the law to deny payment. You need not give up hope. If you were seriously injured in the crash and you need financial support to get back on your feet, it is possible to turn to the rideshare company you work for.

The rideshare companies provide some coverage for drivers. However, you will only get this money under certain circumstances. Uber and Lyft insurance works through what are called coverage period. They are as follows:

Period 1

In this period, you are logged into the Uber or Lyft app and are awaiting a request. If you get into an accident, the rideshare companies will provide no collision coverage. You will have liability coverage of up to $50,000.

Period 2

In this period, you are logged into the app, have accepted a request, and are on your way to collect the passenger. The rideshare companies provide liability and collision coverage during this period. However, you will have to pay a $1,000 deductible for Uber and a $2,500 for Lyft.

Period 3

In this stage, the passenger is in the car. The coverage offered by Uber and Lyft is the same as period 2.

Uber also provides a driver injury protection plan. The latter is a new and recent offering from the company. It has partnered with Farmers Insurance to provide third-party liability coverage for rideshare accidents that occur while a driver is on duty. This protection plan will also protect you if you are in an accident with a driver who has no insurance or is underinsured.

Using Your Own Insurance

If you use your own vehicle to do rideshare driving, it is possible to purchase insurance that covers your periods of work. Insurance companies have come out with new policy protections for clients who drive for Uber and Lyft. However, you must request that these be included in your policy. Most insurance policies do not automatically cover rideshare situations. Nor will your insurer cover you if you are using the driver injury protection plan from Uber.

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you are an Uber or Lyft driver injured in an accident, you have rights. If the accident was serious, you may need extensive medical care. It may be a while before you can return to work. And even when you are back on your feet, you may not be able to return immediately to full time work. If you were not at fault for the accident, you should not have to shoulder the burden alone. The person who put you in this position should be held accountable.

As you recover from your injuries, you will want to surround yourself with family and friends. A personal injury lawyer is the last person you may want to deal with. But as the financial realities of your situation close in, you will need to take action.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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