The emergence of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft has had many great effects: it may reduce the likelihood of drunk driving, it offers customers a convenient transportation alternative and it is affordable in most cases. In addition to these benefits, though, there are some risks. A recent survey conducted by SherpaShare revealed that riders' own insurance may provide insufficient coverage in the event of an accident. There are four other things, too, that you should take into consideration if you have been in an accident in a rideshare.
1. Drivers are independent contractors
One of the primary factors in determining liability is the fact that Uber and Lyft both classify their drivers as independent contractors. Because they are not employees, rideshare companies are able to limit their liability in events such as accidents, assaults and any other event with the potential of legal ramifications. This means that to sue Uber or Lyft for an accident, you would first need to sue and prove that drivers are employees.
2. Some rideshare providers limit insurance liability
Despite the fact that drivers operate as independent entities, rideshare providers typically carry insurance that covers litigations stemming from accidents and other incidents. This liability is typically limited, though, so riders can only sue for certain amounts. Uber and Lyft limit their liability to $1 million. Regardless of limits like these, there is recourse for victims of rideshare accidents.
3. Your own insurance may provide coverage
In some cases, your insurance may cover injuries or damages incurred in a rideshare accident. The aforementioned survey noted that it is often insufficient, but you may be able to take advantage of some benefits from any existing insurance policy you have. If you use rideshare services regularly, you may even consider adding additional coverage to your policy to protect yourself in case of an accident.
4. Drivers' insurance may provide coverage
Many rideshare drivers also purchase additional insurance coverage to protect against the personal liability they may otherwise bear. Because they are independent contractors, drivers are the primarily liable party for collisions and incidents. You may be able to make a claim against their policy to get the care and treatment you need after an accident.
If you have been involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft rideshare driver, you should know what your legal rights are in the situation. Contacting an attorney may be the best way to ensure you get the protection you need after such an incident.