Taxi and cab car accident cases have been a common form of negligence in the Tampa Bay area for many years. However, with the power of modern technology, new methods of transportation have become common. Ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft now fill our roadways. These companies operate similar to a regular taxi, except that they allow automobile owners to use their personal vehicles as a taxi service for other individuals. Riders can request the trip in advance by booking at the mobile application installed on a mobile device such as a smartphone. Upon booking, the driver receives the request and picks up the requestor from his or her location. However, drivers are still humans who are prone to making mistakes and subject to possible harm. Just like any other taxi service, there are rideshare drivers who drive poorly and cause accidents. Uber and Lyft drivers can be minimally insured, so this leaves possible victims of car accident feeling helpless and without assistance
In 2014, Uber announced that they would provide $1 million in coverage for passengers, drivers, and any other person injured by an accident that occurs during an Uber ride. Lyft has a similar policy.
However, don’t be fooled by this large insurance policy, because it may not actually apply to your individual situation.
The Uber/Lyft drivers’ personal auto insurance doesn’t cover ride-sharing. Most personal auto insurance policies explicitly state that they do not cover accidents that occur when the policyholder was driving in a commercial capacity for a profit. That means that even if a ride-share company is okay with letting drivers use their personal insurance for liability coverage, your ride may not be covered.
You may have to use your own insurance for your injuries. In the event that a driver’s auto insurance doesn’t cover your injuries in a ride-share accident, you would then look to your own auto insurance company to cover your injuries. However, if you have a minimal policy, this option might not be of any help.
So, you can look to the Uber/Lyft additional coverage, but unfortunately that coverage might not actually cover you. Most ride-share services state that they offer up to $1 million in additional coverage when their drivers’ insurance falls short. Unfortunately, these insurance policies might not cover certain important things, like underinsured motorists or your medical bills.
Further, Ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft may try to separate themselves from drivers who are between fares.
Accordingly, any injuries that result from a ride-sharing service are extremely complicated, so it is important that injured parties seek counsel from an attorney to help navigate through these complex situations.