As ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft continue to explode in popularity, the frequency of personal injury claims after accidents involving drivers of these companies are also on the rise.
Uber and Lyft each have comprehensive commercial insurance coverage. However, these policies only cover a certain set of circumstances, which can lead to confusion over when a driver is or is not covered. Uber’s coverage, for example, depends on the “stage” the driver is in at the time of the accident. These stages include:
Off the clock: Any time the “driver app” is not turned on, the Uber driver is considered off the clock and therefore not covered by Uber personal liability insurance. The driver’s own auto insurance would then be used to cover the damages of the accident.
Waiting for a passenger: This stage has more gray area than the other two. While a driver is waiting for a passenger, his or her app is on. However, the driver does not have any passengers in the vehicle, and has none assigned to him or her. At this time, Uber’s $100,000 contingent policy may cover the damages of the accident.
Picking up a passenger: When a driver has a passenger in the vehicle or has been assigned to pick up a passenger, the car is legally considered a commercial vehicle, meaning the $1 million commercial insurance policy applies in the case of an accident.
Steps to take after getting into an Uber accident
If you have been involved in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the following are some steps you should take immediately:
Get medical attention: Even if you believe your injuries to be minor, it is important you get medical attention right away, as many times even serious injuries can take a while to truly make themselves known. Also, by seeing a doctor, you can get medical documentation that will help you out in an ensuing personal injury case.
Report the accident to police: While it is the legal responsibility of the drivers in an accident to call police to the scene, you also have a vested interest in getting police to the site. Make sure you add your own statement to the official police report so you can provide your version of the events that transpired.
Report the accident to the ridesharing company: Your ridesharing company should be promptly alerted to the accident. There are forms available on the company websites and on the apps that make submitting this information easy. Failure to report the accident quickly could hamper your chances at success in your lawsuit.
Speak to an attorney: As is the case with any type of accident, you should consult with an attorney about the accident and the steps you should take to recover compensation.
To learn more about how to proceed with a personal injury claim after an Uber or Lyft accident, meet with a trusted New York auto accident lawyer at the Law Office of Evan W. Kohn.