Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services deliver something many customers find valuable: a convenient and often inexpensive alternative to taxis. Maryland drivers taking advantage of the opportunities rideshare services provide could make mistakes that cause accidents while working. In many ways, Uber and Lyft accidents follow insurance claims and possible litigation as found in other auto accidents, but there are also significant differences.
Differences exist with the insurance
A driver may or may not have adequate auto insurance that covers rideshare work. If the policy covers only non-commercial activity, then the insurance would not cover the driver’s liability for an accident. However, the rideshare companies provide liability coverage for accidents caused by their driver-partners.
Terms and conditions exist with Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage. Does the coverage come into play only after the driver’s insurance? When, where, and how did the accident take place? If an Uber driver followed all traffic laws, stopped at a red light, and an intoxicated driver rear-ended the vehicle, the negligent, impaired driver might be solely liable.
Liability and the rideshare companies
A rider injured in an Uber or Lyft accident might be able to sue the company for a resultant accident. If the rideshare company received several complaints about a driver’s behavior, it might find itself sharing responsibility for preventable accidents.
Sometimes, drivers may play “bait-and-switch” tactics, such as signing up for a bicycle account and then delivering with a vehicle. Did the rideshare company ignore data that the vehicle traveled faster than bikes or traveled routes inaccessible to vehicles? The rideshare company could be liable in such instances.
Rideshare motor vehicle accidents have similarities and differences from “standard” auto accidents. People who have been injured in such accidents might find it advisable to discuss their legal options with an attorney.