The Steps to Take When You Have Been in an Uber/Lyft Accident
The rideshare concept has exploded across the country, as technology has taken a old concept—the taxicab—and dramatically enhanced the ease and convenience of finding transportation just about anywhere you want to go. When you’ve been injured in any type of an accident involving a rideshare operator, whether as a passenger, driver or pedestrian, you may be surprised when you try to recover compensation from the rideshare company. Chances are they’ll insist that the driver wasn’t an employee, but an independent contractor. In Texas, they may very well succeed with this claim. Where does that leave you?
The Requirement of Binding Arbitration in a Rideshare Accident
When you install a rideshare app on your phone or device, you will be required to comply with terms and conditions established by the rideshare company. That typically includes an agreement that any disputes you have with the rideshare company will be resolved through arbitration (meaning you cannot file a lawsuit for damages). As a general rule, these types of agreements are enforceable in court.
Accordingly, if you downloaded the app and requested the ride, you will likely be limited to binding arbitration. However, if you didn’t request the ride…you were a passenger only or the driver of another car…the arbitration clause will typically not extend to you.
What about Insurance Coverage?
After a motor vehicle accident, your first course of action is typically to turn to an insurance company for reimbursement of your losses. Because Texas is not a no-fault state for the purposes of motor vehicle insurance, you must find another insured party with responsibility to recover for your losses.
- Uber requires all of its drivers to carry auto insurance that meets state minimum financial responsibility requirements. In addition, Uber carries insurance that covers all drivers anytime they are logged into the app.
If a driver is available or waiting for a ride request when an accident occurs, the coverage provides $50,000 in bodily injury per person injured, with a cap of $100,000 per accident. There’s also $25,000 in coverage for property damage.
- If a driver is en route to a ride pick-up or actually transporting passengers, there’s a $1 million liability policy, as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uber will also pay up the actual cash value of a vehicle, minus a $2,500 deductible
- The driver’s personal insurance must cover any losses suffered while the app is turned off
Lyft provides the same coverage.
Negligence by the Rideshare Company
While the rideshare company may successfully claim that the driver was an independent contractor, the rideshare company may still have legal liability if you can show that they acted negligently. Accordingly, if the rideshare company failed to properly screen applicants, or failed to confirm that drivers carried auto insurance, you may still be able to successfully recover damages from them.
Contact the Proven Personal Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we understand the devastating impact any type of personal injury can have on every part of your life. We’ll aggressively protect your rights throughout the legal process, acting as your intermediary with insurance companies and as your voice in all meetings, hearings and legal proceedings. Contact us by email or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.