For the better part of the last decade, we have all used ridesharing apps, like Uber and Lyft. Indeed, in some cities, there are even more rideshare options, and they all make getting around much, much easier. We no longer have to call or hail a cab. Instead, we pull out our phones and within a few minutes, a car is waiting. But, what happens after a rideshare car accident?
Riders and passengers
For most rideshare applications, like Uber and Lyft, riders are covered by those company’s insurance. This is in addition to the drivers own commercial insurance, if they carry separate insurance. Though, while there is some disagreement about the application’s direct liability for car accidents, they usually indemnify their drivers. The key is that, unless the passenger or rider did something specific to cause the accident, they do not have to worry about liability, even if the driver caused the car accident. And, they will also not have to worry about paying their own expenses, but an attorney may be needed to ensure that outcome. After all, no one wants to pay, if they can avoid it, especially insurance companies and large corporations.
What about non-riders?
A rideshare car accident does not just affect the driver and their riders, it also affects the person that is impacted, which could be another vehicle or pedestrian. For these people, liability becomes a bit trickier. For one, while an app driver is covered by the app’s commercial liability insurance when they have a passenger, the in-between time is often seen as off-the-clock for those insurance carriers. This in-between time could be when they are on their way to a ride or driving around looking for a ride.
Accidents during the in-between time
When the commercial insurance policy is not in effect, then liability is the same as any other car accident. This means, one will need to gather the same information, like taking photographs, saving dashboard camera footage, getting witnesses, collecting police reports, etc. And, car accident victims will likely need to sue the driver’s personal insurance carriers.
Not covered by personal insurance
To make matters worse, some Miami, Florida, personal driver’s insurance policies will try to avoid liability, if they determine that the accident occurred while their driver was operating their vehicle for commercial purposes. If this is the case, the car accident victims will need to sue the driver directly and use their own uninsured policies to cover them in the interim.