Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have increased in popularity throughout the United States, including the greater Chicago area. Many people find rideshare companies more convenient and affordable than traditional forms of public transportation. From an app on their smartphone, a person can view driver reviews, schedule a ride, and pay the driver. However, as companies like Uber and Lyft became more popular, the risk of rideshare accidents increased. Tragically, accident victims were often left without legal recourse to recover compensation after a rideshare accident.
Personal Vehicle Insurance vs. Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Rideshare drivers use their personal automobiles to transport paying passengers. The drivers are not employees of Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare companies. Therefore, when an Uber or Lyft driver was involved in a traffic accident, the question of liability was complicated.
Uber and Lyft denied liability for accident claims because the drivers were independent contractors. The rideshare companies argued that they were not responsible for accidents caused by their rideshare drivers. However, insurance companies for the drivers denied coverage because car insurance policies do not cover accidents when the driver is transporting a passenger for a fee unless the driver has a commercial insurance policy or a special insurance rider. Therefore, accident victims were caught in the middle.
Rideshare Companies Provide Limited Insurance Coverage for Drivers
Facing lawsuits and new laws enacted by state legislatures regarding insurance for rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft announced that they would provide limited insurance coverage for their drivers. Now, Uber drivers and Lyft drivers are covered by limited insurance provided by the rideshare companies.
- Uber Insurance Coverage
Uber provides its drivers with third-party insurance coverage while the driver is available or waiting for a ride request. The insurance coverage increases to $1 million in third-party liability coverage when the driver is traveling to pick up a passenger and during trips.
- Lyft Insurance Coverage
Lyft provides contingent liability insurance coverage when the driver mode is on, but there is not a passenger in the vehicle. The company provides $1 million of liability insurance coverage when a ride is accepted and throughout the ride.
Rideshare Insurance Policies Do Not Guarantee Payment of Accident Claims
Rideshare insurance coverage is complicated. Even though rideshare companies may provide limited insurance coverage, there are many limitations for the insurance coverage offered by rideshare companies. Furthermore, when you file an accident claim for an Uber accident or Lyft accident, you are dealing with a large corporation and its insurance provider. These companies attempt to limit their liability for rideshare accidents whenever possible.
Furthermore, the driver’s personal insurance provider may also be a party to the claim. The insurance companies often battle each other to shift liability for a claim whenever possible. In addition, liability for the accident could be in dispute. If another driver is involved, the issue of liability can become even more complex.
A Chicago rideshare attorney can help you by investigating the accident to determine fault and liability. An attorney familiar with Uber accidents and Lyft accidents understands the issues involved in filing claims and how to deal with rideshare companies and their insurance providers.
Causes of Uber Accidents and Lyft Accidents in Chicago
Auto accidents involving Uber and Lyft vehicles occur for a variety of reasons. One of the common causes of a rideshare accident is distracted driving. A driver who is using a rideshare app can easily be distracted, especially when the driver is using multiple cell phones to drive for several rideshare companies.
Some of the common reasons for a rideshare accident include:
- Rideshare Driver Error — Speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, fatigue, reckless driving, aggressive driving, etc.
- Driver Error by Other Motorists
- Weather Conditions
- Road Debris and Other Road Hazards
- Mechanical Failure or Defective Auto Parts
- Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance
What Should I Do After a Rideshare Accident?
If you are involved in an Uber accident or Lyft accident, make sure that the police respond to the accident to file a report. Whenever possible, take photographs of the accident scene and obtain the names and contact information for eyewitnesses.
Because insurance companies use a delay in medical care to deny claims, you should see a physician as soon as possible to document your injuries. You should also keep a detailed record of your financial losses related to the accident.
Contact a Chicago Rideshare Accident Attorney As Soon as Possible
Be very careful if you speak to an insurance adjuster or another party regarding a rideshare accident before speaking with Chicago Uber or Lyft accident attorneys. Any statements you make to an insurance adjuster or other representative of the parties involved in the accident could be used later in your claim to hurt your chance of recovering full compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.
To learn more about Uber accident and Lyft accident claims, contact the Costa Ivone Injury Lawyers at (708) 400-0000 for a free consultation. Our legal team is available to help you as you seek a fair settlement for your rideshare accident claim.