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What Happens If I Am in an Accident with an Uber or Lyft Driver?

March 7, 2019 by Michael Sawaya

Uber driver talking with the female passenger.

As TechCrunch.com reports, Uber and Lyft drivers complete millions of rides around the world every day, including in cities in Colorado such as Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs. However, not all of these rides go as smoothly as desired. In fact, a study released in October 2018 by University of Chicago and Rice University researchers concluded that ridesharing services had contributed to a 2-3 percent rise in fatal car accidents in the United States.

If you are involved in an auto accident with an Uber or Lyft driver – and the ridesharing service driver is responsible for the crash – you should be entitled to recover full and fair compensation for the physical, emotional and financial harm that you have suffered. As we discuss below, who will pay for those damages – the rideshare driver, the rideshare service or maybe even both – will depend on several different factors.

Of course, every case is different. To discuss the specific facts and circumstances of your case, contact The Sawaya Law Firm and speak today with one of our highly knowledgeable and committed car accident lawyers. Our initial consultations are always free.

When an Uber or Lyft Driver Hits Your Car

Uber and Lyft drivers have no specialized training. They are normal, everyday drivers, and they are just as likely to engage in careless or reckless driving as any other driver that you may encounter on the road. In short, they can – and often do – cause crashes.

If a rideshare driver causes a crash that injures you, then your legal options will largely depend on whether the crash occurred during which one of the following three periods:

Period I – Driver is not logged in

During this period, the driver has not logged in and is driving for purely personal reasons. So, if the driver causes a crash, your first option will be to file a claim through the driver’s personal auto insurance liability policy. Under Colorado law, drivers must carry at least the following minimum amounts of liability insurance:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident (all persons)
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident.

If the driver lacks insurance or has insurance that does not cover the full extent of your damages, you may need to turn to your own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) policy or other types of coverage which you have purchased. An attorney from The Sawaya Law Firm can review your insurance policy and help you to identify your available coverage.

Period II – Driver is logged in, waiting for a ride

Both Uber and Lyft will provide some degree of liability coverage if one of their drivers causes a crash during this period. For instance, Uber states that it will cover the damages caused by its drivers in the following amounts:

  • $50,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 for bodily injury per accident (all persons)
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident.

Lyft provides its drivers with “contingent” liability coverage in those same amounts. In other words, if the at-fault rideshare driver has no liability insurance or has insurance that fails to fully cover your injuries and losses, the Lyft coverage should step in to cover your damages.

This coverage is important. Most insurance companies today provide no liability coverage if a driver operates his or her personal vehicle for commercial purposes like ridesharing. Additionally, many rideshare drivers lack insurance policies with a “rideshare endorsement.” So, during this period, they are essentially uninsured drivers. To recover the funds that you are due for your medical expenses, lost income and other damages, you may very well need to turn to Uber or Lyft.

Period III – The driver is picking up or carrying a passenger

If you are involved in a crash that an Uber or Lyft driver causes during this period, then your damages should be covered by the ridesharing company’s liability insurance. Uber provides “at least” $1 million per accident in coverage, while Lyft has coverage with a $1 million “per accident limit.” However, if your damages exceed what the ridesharing company’s insurance covers, you may still need to turn to your own UIM coverage.

When You Suffer Injuries as an Uber or Lyft Passenger

If you suffer injuries in an auto accident while you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, and the rideshare driver is responsible for the crash, you should be eligible to file a claim through the rideshare company’s insurance. Again, Uber provides “at least” $1 million in liability coverage, while Lyft has a $1 million per accident limit.

If another driver caused your Uber or Lyft accident, then you could file a claim through that driver’s liability insurance policy. If the driver has insufficient insurance coverage – or no coverage at all – you may be able to file a claim through the UM/UIM coverage that both Uber and Lyft provide.

Our Colorado Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You After an Uber or Lyft Crash

The Sawaya Law Firm has protected the rights of car accident victims and their families throughout Colorado since 1977. Through the years, we have kept pace with the latest legal trends and developments, including liability in accidents involving Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies.

If you or a loved one suffered harm in an Uber or Lyft crash, we can conduct an immediate investigation in order to determine who was responsible. We can then identify all sources of compensation available to you and explore all of your legal options. Ultimately, we can demand a settlement from the insurance company (or companies) involved in your case and, if necessary, go to trial in order to pursue the compensation that you deserve.

At The Sawaya Law Firm, we go beyond seeking the funds you need and deserve when you have been injured by someone else’s negligence. We will manage your case from the start to help you to obtain full medical, personal and vocational recovery from your injuries.

Every case begins with a free consultation. Contact us today to speak with one of our highly experienced and dedicated attorneys through our offices in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs.

Michael G Sawaya

Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.

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