Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are thriving at the moment. These companies enter into a contract with drivers who provide rides to the customers. If you have been injured in an auto accident in Orange County caused by one of the drivers of Uber, Lyft or another ride-sharing companies, you may normally assume that the company will be liable for the injury. This assumption is not correct and you’ll likely need the assistance of Shield Litigation in Santa Ana.
The compensation process for injuries that occur due to an auto accident involving Uber or Lyft drivers is different than regular auto accidents. Here we will try to demystify the litigation process involved in an auto accident with an Uber or Lyft driver.
Understanding the Legal Liability with Uber and Lyft Crashes
Ride-sharing companies engage with drivers through a smartphone application. But beyond this, they do not have any other control over the drivers. Uber and Lyft drivers are not technically considered employees; they serve as an independent contractor. You cannot sue the ride-sharing companies for damages caused by the drivers.
Uber and Lyft drivers own the vehicles. So, the legal liability concept of ‘respondeat superior‘ or ‘let the master answer’ does not apply in case of an auto accident that is caused by the drivers of the ride sharing companies.
Does this mean that you can’t get compensation for property damages or injuries sustained in an auto accident with the Uber or Lyft driver?
No, that’s not the case.
To get compensation in case of Uber and Lyft crashes, you need to sue the driver responsible for the accident directly to get the compensation.
About Insurance Coverage by Uber and Lyft
An important thing to note regarding accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers is that the insurance payout is not entirely made by the drivers’ insurance company. The ride-sharing companies offer additional insurance protection. Both have a similar structure for insurance covering offering a three-tiered insurance coverage as follows.
- If the ride-sharing app was off when the accident occurred, the buyer’s insurance company is responsible for the pay-out.
- If the ride-sharing app was on when the accident occurred, but the rider did not have any active ride, the insurance coverage is provided as per the following.
- $25,000 per accident for damage to the property
- $50,000 per person in case of injuries
- $100,000 per accident for injuries
- If the accident occurred while the driver was dropping off the customer, the auto liability insurance coverage is up to $1 million per accident for injuries. The coverage for property damage includes vehicle repair cost or cash value, whichever is less.
The process and rules regarding auto accident caused by Uber and Lyft drivers can be confusing. That’s why it’s important that you contact an experienced car accident lawyer. If you reside in Santa Ana or surrounding in Orange County, CA, you can contact Shield Litigation, LLP by dialing (714) 728-3385.