Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are on the rise across the country. In late 2015, only15 percent of adults had used these services, and one-third of adults said they had never ever heard of ridesharing. In 2019, the number of adults who said they used rideshare apps rose sharply to 36 percent. While there’s no doubt that these apps have changed the way many people get from place to place, this revolution is not without costs.
The most recent data shows that the increase in ridesharing correlates with a three percent rise in the number of serious and fatal accidents in cities with these services. It’s important to note that these studies show a correlation, which means something else may be to blame. However, the theory is that more ridesharing leads to more traffic, which accounts for the increase in total serious accidents.
If you become a victim in a rideshare-related accident, the process of getting the money you need for recovery can feel overwhelming. The rules about insurance and ridesharing can be complicated and especially challenging to navigate when you’re dealing with injuries. Furthermore, insurance companies may try to get out of paying what they owe. In times like this, you need a New Orleans personal injury attorney and a comprehensive understanding of rideshare victims’ rights.
Rideshare companies have insurance policies that cover their on-duty drivers. However, when drivers turn the app off or make themselves unavailable, these insurance policies stop covering the driver. If the app was marked as “off” or “unavailable” at the time of your accident, you will need to recoup your losses from the driver’s personal insurance. This includes if the driver was heading home from a shift of driving.
Insurance policies for Uber and Lyft drivers take effect as soon as drivers make themselves available in the apps. As drivers wait for their next customers, they can cause accidents on the road. This may include hitting a pedestrian or another vehicle.
When drivers are waiting for their next rider, both Lyft’s and Uber’s insurance policies include the following third-party liability coverage limits:
This all means that if the Uber or Lyft driver is found to be at fault, the insurance company may have to pay out this much for each type of expense.
Unfortunately, these policies sometimes are not enough to cover all the expenses for which you need reimbursement. For example, medical bills can quickly add up to more than $50,000 in serious accidents, and many vehicles are worth more than the $25,000 this plan covers.
When Uber and Lyft drivers are on the way to pick up passengers or are in the midst of trips, the insurance coverage goes up substantially. Whether you’re the rideshare passenger in question or are involved in a different way, you should be covered by these policies when the rideshare driver is at fault.
Both Lyft’s and Uber’s policies include $1 million in third-party liability coverage for these incidents. This limit means that the insurance policy may have to pay out $1 million in total between bodily injury and property damage.
If the other driver has adequate insurance, you can get compensation from that policy. Unfortunately, about 13 percent of drivers in Louisiana have insufficient car insurance. If the driver at fault has inadequate or no insurance policy, passengers are covered by each rideshare company’s uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage only includes bodily injury costs, such as medical bills.
Sometimes, the Uber and Lyft insurance policies do not pay enough to cover your costs. First, the insurance company may try several tricks to keep from paying in the first place. If they do payout, it may not be enough to cover your needs.
For example, a massive pileup or a severe accident caused by a rideshare driver may add up to more than $1 million in damages. Similarly, the coverage for when drivers are awaiting a hail can be insufficient.
Finally, insurance payouts don’t automatically cover things like lost wages, emotional damage, or even wrongful death. If you seek compensation beyond the limits of the insurance policy, you need to hire a New Orleans personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit.
If an employee of a company is on-duty and responsible for an accident, our clients typically file lawsuits against the business. However, Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. As such, the companies refuse legal or financial responsibility for accidents that their drivers cause.
There are cases in which a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft may make sense. For example, if the company fails to screen a driver properly, it may be negligent. However, most cases may not lead to lawsuits against Lyft or Uber. Your New Orleans personal injury attorney can help you make this decision.
If you need more compensation that you get from filing an insurance claim, you may need to file a lawsuit against either the driver or the insurance company. The specifics of your case will help your lawyers determine the best course of action.
If you are the victim of an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, you may need help getting the money you need for your recovery. You can hire the experienced, aggressive attorneys at Redmann Law to be on your side. Contact us through our webpage today to set up a free consultation, or call (504) 500-5000.