Who pays when an accident involves an Uber or Lyft driver?

The way we travel from Point A to Point B has changed dramatically over the last decade, thanks to services like Uber and Lyft. As rideshare services increase in popularity across the country, many people wonder who holds responsibility for accidents involving these ride service providers. The answer is not exactly clear cut, as liability often depends on what task the driver was performing.

Whether you are a rideshare passenger, a driver, or a pedestrian, here is what you need to know about accidents involving services like Lyft or Uber:

Liability depends in part on the “when” and “where”

Uber and Lyft require their drivers to carry personal car insurance. Plus, both companies use commercial liability policies to cover damages in certain circumstances. But these two types of policies apply in different ways. For example, under Uber’s policy:

  • An accident that occurs when the driver’s Uber app is off, or when the driver is offline, is supposed to be covered by the driver’s personal insurance.
  • If a driver is in an accident while waiting for a ride request, Uber’s third-party liability coverage is supposed to kick in if the driver’s auto insurance does not apply.
  • When a driver is traveling to pick up riders and complete trips, Uber’s auto insurance is supposed to cover damages in an accident.

Third-party liability insurance covers injuries and property damage sustained by someone other than the rideshare driver. So, riders, pedestrians and other drivers have a chance at recovery when they are in an accident with a Lyft or Uber vehicle.

If you were involved in an accident while using or providing a rideshare service, consult with an attorney experienced in personal injury and motor vehicle accidents.

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