Rideshare Car Accidents: Who Is At Fault?

Rideshare Car Accidents: Who Is At Fault?

With the increase of usage with rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, there has been an increase in rideshare car accidents. If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft driver’s car and you are injured because of a car accident, you might be wondering who is at fault and responsible for your injuries. Rideshare services have certain protocols to determine the compensation available and our Arizona car accident lawyers know how to get you the settlement you deserve. 

Rideshare Drivers and Insurance Policies

Rideshare companies put in place different statuses to determine the amount of liability coverage that is available for their drivers and any passengers. So depending on when the rideshare car accident occurred, the amount of coverage will vary.

  • Period 0: The rideshare driver is not logged on the rideshare app which means they will not receive any coverage. The driver would be considered ‘off the clock’ and would have to use their own coverage or the other driver’s insurance to pay for damages.
  • Period 1: The driver is logged into the app but has not accepted a ride request yet. The rideshare driver would be considered ‘on the clock’. During this time, if the driver was involved in a vehicle accident, the available coverage is $50,000 per injured person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
  • Period 2: The rideshare driver has accepted a ride and is on the way to pick up the customer. In this status, the liability coverage goes up to $1 million. 
  • Period 3: Once the driver has picked up the customer, during the entire ride until after drop off, the amount of liability coverage is up to $1 million for injuries. The rideshare company car insurance during this status would also include property damage and uninsured motorist coverage if the at-fault driver doesn’t have any. 

These statuses help determine the amount of compensation that is able to be claimed and where that settlement money is coming from. Normally, if the at-fault driver was on the clock at the time of the accident, you would be seeking compensation from their company’s insurance. Rideshare accidents are different in this way because Uber or Lyft drivers are not employees of those companies. But Uber and Lyft are still required to offer minimum insurance coverage for each of their respected drivers in case of an auto accident. 

Rideshare Car Accidents and Compensation For Damages

If you are injured during your time as a rider in an Uber or Lyft, you are entitled to compensation for those injuries. The liability insurance policy amounts during your time in Uber or Lyft are up to $1 million. Determining fault for the accident isn’t much of a factor when you are a passenger injured in an accident. Our Arizona car accident attorneys will be able to help you claim the amount of compensation you deserve by going after the Uber or Lyft insurance company. You should seek medical attention from a doctor and then speak with one of our attorneys before you sign anything from either insurance company.

Rideshare accident cases in Arizona can be a little confusing as there are specific rules for the Lyft or Uber drivers. For example, rideshare drivers must maintain up-to-date car insurance coverage for their own motor vehicle but some do not. If you were hit by a rideshare driver during either period 0 or period 1, you may have a difficult time claiming compensation. 

During period 0 while the driver is not logged into the rideshare app, if they do not carry their own insurance policy and you do not carry uninsured motorist insurance, you will not be able to claim any type of settlement. During period 1 while the driver is logged into the app, the coverage available from the rideshare company might not be enough to treat all the injuries and damages you sustained. 

Common injuries you can receive as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle:

  • Neck and back injuries like whiplash, herniated discs, and spinal cord damage. These injuries might not show themselves immediately but can be discovered by medical examination.
  • Soft tissue injuries that cause muscles to be strained or torn. Injuries like this can have long-lasting pain and discomfort.
  • Broken bones can either be visibly seen or felt like broken arms or legs. However, broken ribs can be harder for the victim to assess themselves and need proper medical evaluation.
  • Skin lesions caused by broken glass or skin burns from airbags are the most noticeable types of injuries as they are superficial. 
  • Mental health is not necessarily considered an injury but being involved in a car accident can be very traumatizing. PTSD, anxiety, and depression are all common mental health-related illnesses that can inhibit a victim from living their everyday, normal life.
About the Author

Alan Beal

esquire law attorney Alan Beal

Alan Beal is a trial attorney who has dedicated his professional career to helping real people navigate the complexities of the insurance and legal system. Before joining Esquire Law, Alan represented insurance corporations in a variety of legal matters, ranging from personal injury to product liability disputes. His experience as an insurance defense attorney provides ... Alan Beal

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