With the rise of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, questions about insurance coverage in the event of an accident have become increasingly common. Understanding how insurance works in these situations is crucial for all parties involved. At Foster Wallace, LLC, we specialize in navigating the complex web of insurance issues that arise from rideshare accidents. Here is what you need to know if you find yourself in such an unfortunate scenario.
The Unique Insurance Landscape of Rideshares
Rideshare services operate under a business model that utilizes drivers who are independent contractors, not employees. This distinction is vital when it comes to insurance coverage. In the event of an accident, both the rideshare company’s insurance and the driver’s personal insurance may play roles in covering damages.
The Three Periods of Rideshare Driving
- App Off - Personal Coverage: When the rideshare app is off, the driver is covered by their personal car insurance.
- App On, No Passenger - Mixed Coverage: Once the driver turns on the app and is waiting for a ride request, the rideshare company’s contingent liability coverage may kick in, offering limited coverage. However, this is often supplemental to the driver's personal insurance.
- App On, Passenger Accepted to Drop Off - Company Coverage: From the time a ride is accepted to passenger drop-off, the rideshare company's commercial insurance policy is in effect. This typically includes liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and contingent collision and comprehensive coverage.
What Happens After an Uber Accident?
- Safety First: Check for injuries and call 911 if necessary.
- Notification: Notify the rideshare company through the app immediately.
- Information Gathering: Collect information from all parties involved and any witnesses.
- Documentation: Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any injuries.
Seeking Compensation for an Uber or Lyft Accident
The process of seeking compensation can be complex, often involving multiple insurance companies. It is vital to determine which insurance applies based on the period of rideshare driving at the time of the accident.
The Role of Foster Wallace in Rideshare Accidents
At Foster Wallace, LLC, our experienced attorneys can help you:
- Understand the insurance policies in question.
- Communicate with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Navigate the claims process to seek fair compensation.
- Litigate if insurance negotiations do not result in a fair settlement.
Why You Need an Attorney
Navigating rideshare insurance claims can be complicated. Having an attorney ensures that someone is looking out for your best interests, especially when dealing with insurance adjusters whose primary goal is to minimize the payout.