As Uber, Lyft and other ride-share programs begin to take over the roads, some are wondering exactly who pays for damages after you are injured in an accident with a vehicle that has been contracted out.
Both Uber and Lyft extend a $1 million insurance policy to their drivers, but it is only extended when the app is turned on and a passenger has been picked up. When the app is off and the vehicle has not been hired out, the drivers personal insurance becomes their primary coverage.
During that in-between time though, sorting out which insurer will cover an auto accident or injury can prove to be tricky. In some cases, insurers may not even cover a driver if they’re using their vehicle as a ride-share, as these companies see the vehicle as one being used commercially. As a result of this, some drivers are choosing to not disclose their ride-share job with their vehicle insurer.
Ohio lawmakers are actually pushing ride-sharing companies to expand auto insurance coverage for their drivers the entire time they are on the app, regardless of whether there is a passenger in their vehicle.
In California and Virginia, a similar bill has already passed and could make resolving accident claims involving ride-sharing drivers easier as well as prevent personal insurance rates from increasing.
Unfortunately, Uber claims that the proposed regulations could be burdensome and may even force them to disclose private data about drivers. If the bill passes, drivers are less likely to lie to their insurance company and fewer personal insurance claims could keep insurance rates low for everyone.
As a passenger, you should be covered by the ride-share company’s insurance policy or the drivers insurance policy. In either case though, getting the compensation you deserve could be difficult.
Ultimately, consumer safety needs to be a top priority for ride-share companies rather than pushing against a law that could help passengers receive the compensation they deserve if they are injured in an accident.
If you or someone you love is injured in an accident with a hired driver or while riding in ride-share company vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. The injury attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can help you determine what your legal options are.