Uber and Lyft are filling the void of public transportation in the United States and helping to solve the problem of drunk drivers on the roads.However, because these drivers are not professionally trained and are often rushing to the next job and trying to make time in congested traffic, accidents can and do occur. In order to compensate victims of these accidents, Uber and Lyft have stepped in to provide liability insurance that often exceeds the minimum required by ordinary motorists. This correlates with recent definitions in Texas law that require Uber and Lyft drivers to carry additional insurance.
It is often complicated to determine the amount of money available to compensate injured parties from an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you will need the assistance of a rideshare accident attorney to obtain the best results. An Uber accident attorney can help present your case with the maximum force to obtain optimal results.
Document Your Case
It is important to document to injuries and property damage. Also it is important to get medical treatment immediately. Even if you feel perfectly fine there can be internal injuries that you can not see. It is also important that your doctor properly document the injuries that you may have experienced.
Liability Insurance Coverage
When you are injured as a result of another motorist’s negligence, you generally wind up suing the insurance provider of the party or parties at fault. If they do not have sufficient coverage, you may have to make a claim under your own Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorists policy provisions if you opted for them.
When it comes to suing a Lyft or Uber driver who is responsible for an accident, things can become more complicated. Different levels of coverage and liabilities are outlined for different types of claims. The question turns upon how strictly the driver is acting in a commercial capacity at the time of the accident. Let’s discuss the different categories and levels of liability, below.
Not Logged In
When a Uber or Lyft driver is not logged into the ridesharing app, they are effectively off the job and acting in the capacity of anyone using their vehicle for personal leisure and daily transport purposes. In this capacity, Uber and Lyft are not liable for any damages that may occur.
The driver’s personal insurance company would still be liable for at least basic coverage that is 30/60/25 in Texas. This stands for $30,000 for each person injured in the accident, $60,000 to cover the total accident, and $25,000 to cover any property damage resulting from the accident. Should your needs go over this, you will have to make a claim with your own insurance pursuant to Underinsured Motorists Insurance provisions.
Logged In and Waiting
If the Lyft or Uber driver is logged onto the app and waiting for a ride, they are now on the job even if they have not accepted any work yet. The new Texas state law requires drivers to carry 50/100/25 coverage, which nearly doubles the cap for personal injuries and the total accident.
When a Lyft or Uber driver has accepted a job and is en route to pick up that passenger, the total liability coverage increases to $1 million. This would ensure that the injuries of multiple victims or to property and other vehicles is accounted for in full. While there are still caps on how much money would be paid per person for injuries, the law accounts for the hypothetical situation of extensive damage.
Carrying a Passenger
At this phase, the driver is working in the strictest sense as a commercial vehicle operator. All the coverage that he carried from Uber and Lyft while in transit carries over with the addition of uninsured motorists cover and limited protection to cover any damages to the driver’s car.
In any case, a driver will have to file the claim first through their own motor vehicle insurer. If their insurer does cover timeframes when they are logged in and, therefore, working in a commercial capacity, then Uber and Lyft will be required to provide the coverage.
These types of cases are extremely complex and require the legal expertise of a car accident attorney who knows the ins and outs of Uber and Lyft insurance policies and how to maximize your claim.
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