Finding yourself in a car accident is stressful, scary, and traumatic – no matter what the situation. If you find yourself injured as either the passenger or the driver of a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, however, you may be wondering how your claim will be different than that of a personal vehicle injury. While many aspects are similar to personal injury claims, there are some key differences in how insurance will cover the claim.
What To Do When in an Accident
The first thing you should do when you are in any type of vehicle accident is check for injuries. Call 911 if necessary, and assess the situation to determine how badly you or the other party is hurt. Call the police to also assess the situation and file a report. If possible, get the information from the other driver such as insurance details. Taking photos of both vehicles can help your claim, so be sure to take them if you can. Additionally, make sure not to admit fault or make any statements before contacting an attorney to advise you. This can jeopardize your claim later on.
How Do Uber and Lyft Claims Differ?
Ride-share services like Uber and Lyft differ from normal accidents when it comes to insurance payouts for damages. Drivers are required to be covered by a commercial insurance policy, even though they are driving their personal care. Additionally, the amount of coverage that someone is eligible for will differ depending on if you were a driver who was searching for a passenger or if you were a driver or passenger on an active ride.
During an active ride, all parties in the car are usually protected under a $1 million commercial policy. This means that if you are injured while you are a passenger in the car, you will be protected under this policy. If the other driver is found to be at fault for the accident, their insurance will primarily pay for the damages. If their insurance is insufficient, the rest may be covered by the ride-sharing company’s underinsured motorist coverage.
Alternatively, if you are the driver of an Uber or a Lyft and you get into an accident while actively searching for a passenger, you are usually covered by a liability insurance policy. This policy is generally up to $50,000. The determining factor in whether or not you were looking for a passenger will be if your app was on. If your app was off and you get into an accident, it will be the responsibility of your personal insurance policy to cover the damages.
If you have been injured in an accident as part of a ride-share service, be sure to contact a car accident attorney in Des Moines, IA to help represent you.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and Uber and Lyft accidents.