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Who Do I File a Claim Against After a Rideshare Accident?

Ridesharing apps allow you to “hail” a ride from one place to another using your phone. In the U.S., the use of these services, the most popular of which are Uber and Lyft, has increased dramatically over the years. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research in the fall of 2018, around 36% of Americans stated that they had used a ridesharing service. That’s a 21% increase from just 3 years earlier.

As more and more people rely on the services of these companies, accidents with rideshare drivers are likely to occur. If you are involved in a collision with an Uber or Lyft driver, you may be wondering whom you can file a claim against to recover compensation for damages. The answer to that question depends on who was at fault and during what phase of the drive the accident happened.

Rideshare Phases

For companies like Uber and Lyft, there are 3 different phases of a rideshare drive: app off; app on, no passenger; and app on, picking up/transporting passenger.

App Off

Reputable rideshare companies require their drivers to carry their own personal vehicle insurance that meets the state’s minimums. If you are injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver who does not have the app on, you would file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

App On, No Passenger

When the rideshare driver has the app on and is waiting for a request, Uber and Lyft each have their own insurance that covers accidents caused by one of their drivers. For both companies, the policies cover up to $50,000 for bodily injury, up to $100,000 for bodily injury per accident, and up to $25,000 for property damage. If your accident occurred during this drive phase, you would file a claim against the rideshare company’s insurance.

App On, Transporting a Passenger

If the driver has accepted a ride and is in route to pick up the passenger or is driving the passenger to their destination, the rideshare company carries insurance for an accident caused by the driver. For Uber, the policy covers at least $1 million in damages. Lyft also has a $1 million coverage, but it is per accident limit. The actual amounts the policy will cover vary by state.

If another driver caused the accident, you would file a claim against that person’s insurance.

Filing a Lawsuit Against Uber or Lyft

Generally, Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, which means they aren’t employees of the rideshare companies. Because of that, neither Uber nor Lyft could be held liable for an accident caused by one of their drivers. Most likely, you would file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Gerash Steiner, P.C.

Our attorneys are committed to providing compassionate yet aggressive legal representation to individuals injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or reckless actions. If you were hurt in an accident involving a rideshare driver, contact us as soon as possible. We will review your case and help initiate a claim against the right person or entity.

To discuss your legal options, call us at (303) 732-5048 or contact us online.