Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are becoming more and more popular, especially in Southern California cities that lack great public transportation or taxi services. That said, when a driver is an independent contractor and maintains their own car, questions of liability in car accidents can occur.
The truth is that there is no simple answer to questions about ride sharing liability. You can read on to learn more about the most common situations and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
If an Uber driver gets into an accident when a passenger is in the vehicle then Uber’s commercial liability policy will likely cover it. This policy has coverage for as much as $1 million per incident and covers both bodily injuries and property damage. It covers passengers and third parties that are involved in a collision with a vehicle being driver by an Uber driver. Further, the policy covers passengers who are involved in an accident involving un- or under-insured drivers.
That said, there are specific limitations on this coverage. In order for it to apply, the driver must have accepted the trip and have a passenger in the vehicle. If there is no vehicle then it does not apply. If the driver picked up someone on the street and not via the app then it would not apply.
The driver’s insurance policy or the contingent coverage
In the event that the driver does not have a passenger but is working, their own car insurance policy is likely what would provide coverage. That said, some policies do not include coverage if a driver is engaged in a commercial activity at the time of the accident. This means that it is possible that you could sue a driver’s insurance company and find that the driver was not covered, despite the fact that they were not technically working at the time of the accident.
For these situations, Uber has what is known as a contingent policy. It provides just limited coverage for injuries and its limit is just $50,000 per person for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. Depending on the accident and the injuries involved, this may not even come close to covering medical expenses, let alone pain and suffering.
Reach out to a personal injury attorney to sort out these complicated issues
There are many factors involved in these cases that make them challenging to sort out, including the fact that Uber is not regulated the way other forms of vehicles for hire are. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver or are injured in an accident in which you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle, then you need to reach out to The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 right away. We will begin with a free consultation and let you know what your options are.