Uber, Lyft, and other up and coming companies are considered rideshare companies. They are essentially taxi cabs that you can hail and pay for on your phone. While they have transformed the way people get around, especially in cities, they have also brought up some questions about insurance coverage and what happens if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft.
Uber and Lyft want to hire good drivers in order to keep up their image. However, some drivers slip through the cracks. While both companies require background checks for their drivers, the requirements for background checks vary from state to state. For example, Taxi drivers are usually required to be fingerprinted for their background checks and records from both the state and federal level will be checked. Finger-print based background checks are more thorough and span the entire adult life of the applicant and can even check for name changes. If there are any red flags on their background checks they might not be considered for a position.
Uber and Lyft, on the other hand, use less stringent online background checks, and in some states the background check records only go back seven years. Additionally, only some court records can be found through these online background checks.
While background checks can check for a driver’s criminal past and driving history, it can’t guarantee that your driver is a safe driver or prevent unexpected events from happening.
So, what happens if you order an Uber or Lyft, get in for a ride, and are injured in an accident before you get to your destination? Who is liable? Who is responsible?
First, it is important to understand that the world of insurance liability for Uber and Lyft rides is rapidly changing. It is not as regulated as the taxicab industry and therefore there are a lot of grey areas when it comes to policy coverage and legal issues. If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, it is a good idea to get in contact with a car accident lawyer as there is now a major corporation involved, not just a driver and an insurance company.
If another vehicle, not the Uber or Lyft driver is at-fault, the case will likely be handled like any other personal injury case. You will work directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
If, on the other hand, the Uber or Lyft driver is found to be at-fault, things get a little more complicated.
First, the rideshare driver should have their own personal insurance policy. Unfortunately, many insurance policies have commercial or business-use exception clauses that will void their personal coverage if they are using their cars for business-related purposes.
It comes as no surprise that both Uber and Lyft have big insurance liability policies. Both of them carry up to $1 million in coverage for personal injuries and property damage. However, this typically will not kick in until after the driver’s personal insurance has been exhausted. After that, it is in the best interest of these major corporations and their insurance companies to settle for less than you deserve.
If you have been injured in an accident while you were a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle such as Uber or Lyft, get in touch with a car accident lawyer at Alex R. Hernandez Jr., PLLC. We will review the details of your case and work to get you the compensation you deserve. We’re not afraid to go after the ‘big guys’ and their insurance company if you are eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
921 N. Chaparral Suite 100 Corpus Christi, Texas 78401Phone: 361-400-0178