Ridesharing has grown explosively in the last several years, and both Uber and Lyft are now multibillion-dollar companies. With so many people grabbing rides on their phone, collisions are inevitable. Unfortunately, the question of compensation is an emerging area of law and can depend on several factors. What happens when you’re injured by a Lyft or Uber driver?
What’s Fare Is Fair
One of the key factors in determining insurance liability is whether the ridesharing driver was on the job at the time. If you were a fare-paying passenger in the car and sustained an injury because of the driver’s negligence, you’re theoretically eligible for coverage by the company -- both Lyft and Uber have $1 million in primary coverage for these instances.
Of course, keep in mind that ridesharing companies are notoriously aggressive when it comes to insurance claims. Any adjuster that you speak with from Lyft or Uber will do their best to undermine your story and minimize your injuries, since that protects their bottom line. Before speaking with any insurance representatives, it’s imperative that you consult an attorney who understands the nuances of this process.
The legal situation is significantly murkier if you’re injured by a ridesharing driver while you’re not one of their paying customers. Maybe an Uber driver ran a red light and hit your car. Maybe they weren’t looking and collided with you in a crosswalk. The possibilities are endless.
Unfortunately, the insurance scenarios are almost endless, too. Because Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as contractors, not employees, the availability of corporate liability coverage varies quite a bit. Specifically, the companies will look at whether the driver was transporting another fare-paying customer, whether they were on their way to pick up a passenger, or whether they were between fares. Not surprisingly, the companies will often argue that their driver was subject to the lowest level of coverage they provide, even when that might not be the case. An attorney can help you ensure that this determination is fair.
In Minnesota, it’s sometimes possible to receive injury reimbursement from a ridesharing driver’s personal insurance. However, this is often complicated by the fact that the driver was engaged in commercial activity, which personal policies tend not to cover. Again, a staunch legal advocate can get you the compensation you deserve in the face of these barriers.
The most important thing is that you take care of yourself. If you’re injured, get the treatment you need. Document everything. Take pictures. Talk to witnesses. And, as soon as you can, talk a lawyer that can help you. Ridesharing settlements are available, but corporate profit motives will try to make them as small as possible. Don’t let that happen.