There is no question that Uber and Lyft ride-share arrangements have made it much easier for people to get where they need to go in the D.C. metro area. But these companies have also muddied the waters of liability when passengers and others get injured while using ride-share vehicles.
Uber policy states that when its drivers (who are classified as independent contractors for employment purposes) are on the clock, the company’s insurance is activated for all covered accidents.
What that means for riders and drivers
The third-party liability coverage is $1,000,000. That means that there is coverage for both property damage and bodily injury to third parties, which includes ride-share clients and others impacted by the accident.
They also offer coverage for riders when another under- or uninsured driver’s negligence causes damages. In certain circumstances, this coverage can apply for hit-and-runs.
When Uber drivers maintain their own comprehensive and collision insurance policies, they company also maintains this insurance when they are on the clock. It takes effect in an accident regardless of liability after a $1,000 deductible has been met.
Do criminal charges have to be filed?
While criminal convictions for driving offenses may be used to bolster any related civil cases that arise from accidents based on negligence, they are not necessary for the victims to prevail in civil court.
What to do after a Lyft or Uber accident
If you are a passenger in a ride-share vehicle that gets involved in a collision, it’s important to summon 911 and seek medical treatment at the scene or immediately after. If you are able to safely do so, it’s also prudent to snap photos of the accident scene and the positions of the vehicles from different perspectives. Also, get the names and contact information of the other drivers, passengers and witnesses.
Liability is not always clearcut
Accidents have causes, even if those are not immediately clear, or liability may be shared by more than one defendant. It may be challenging for someone not well-versed in personal injury liability law to determine who all was at fault in an accident.
You can often derive a larger settlement by seeking the guidance of a seasoned legal professional when pursuing a personal injury claim.