Can I Claim Compensation If I Get Involved in an Auto Accident Involving Uber or Lyft?

car accident

An increasing number of people in many cities now use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. There are so many advantages associated with it.

You have a driver driving you to your destination while you relax or catch up on some work. And there are no hassles of looking for a parking space or even owning and maintaining a car.

However, there is one question that comes up in most drivers’ minds.

Can I claim compensation if I get involved in an auto accident involving Uber or Lyft?

How Do Rideshare Companies Work?

It’s a convenient and straightforward method.

You make use of Uber’s mobile application to arrange for a ride in a privately owned and operated vehicle. There usually is no exchange of currency between the driver and passenger. The driver is later compensated after Uber takes its share.

Independent Contractors and Not Employees

The people who operate vehicles for the rideshare company are independent contractors and not the company’s employees. That’s why it’s difficult to sue a rideshare driver if they injure you.

It’s because there is the risk of complications arising out of denial of insurance liability. While employers are liable for their employees’ actions, they are not responsible for independent contractors’ actions.

Remember, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft only strive at connecting drivers with riders. They argue that they have limited liability concerning the driver’s actions.

It’s mainly because the driver uses their private vehicle, and not the company’s car. Besides, they get to set their hours and operate based on their terms.

When Uber Can Be Held Accountable

car accident

However, there are times when rideshare companies can be held responsible for their drivers’ actions.

It means that you can sue for policy limits or a maximum of $1 million if you are a Uber passenger, and are involved in an auto accident.

However, there are some nuances in making claims if you are in another vehicle, and are injured in an auto accident where the Uber driver is at fault.

Your fate, in this case, depends on the independent contractor’s status and insurance coverage.

  1. This is when the driver doesn’t have the app at all and operates the vehicle as an independent contractor. Only the driver’s car insurance policy applies, and not Uber or Lyft’s policy.
  2. The driver has the app, but no passenger in the vehicle. The driver’s policy applies first if an accident occurs. It’s if and when the insurance company rejects the claim that you can seek out Uber or Lyft’s policy.
  3. The driver and rider are connected, but the driver is traveling to pick up the passenger. The claim is handled in the same manner as when there’s no passenger in the vehicle.
  4. The driver has a passenger and the accident occurs. The same procedure is followed as when there are no passengers in the vehicle.

However, Uber and Lyft have applicable policies when the vehicle is in operation. Their policies cover vehicle damage after a substantial deductible.

The independent contractor will however lose coverage from their insurance company if they were responsible for an accident in all cases.

What Damages Can I Recover?

While Uber or Lyft drivers assume most of the loss, you can claim compensation for economic and non-economic losses.

So if you get injured in a crash with a Uber or Lyft driver, then you can recover damage for:

  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Chiropractic expenses
  • Hospitality

However, as this isn’t a straightforward case, you will need the help of a personal injury attorney Glendale.
Your attorney will decide on the best way to claim losses if you get involved in an auto accident involving Uber or Lyft.

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