Compensation Complexities when a Lyft or Uber Driver Hits a Pedestrian

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Oct 23, 2020 in Auto Accident

male driver operating rideshare app at nightRidesharing is a convenient mode of transportation that is likely here to stay. But when an rideshare driver hits you while walking, who will pay the bills to make it right? Many drivers live paycheck to paycheck, work second jobs and thus, carry minimum limits. As a result, few drivers have a commercial policy or an “endorsement” to the driver’s personal policy to cover any significant claim. After some pressure, Uber and Lyft responded to this coverage void by offering liability insurance to drivers should the driver’s policy be insufficient.

Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft often declare drivers “independent contractors” to make direct claims against rideshare companies more difficult and to limit the rights of the drivers. These inequalities have spurred calls for laws to protect drivers.

Rizk Law talks about Lyft and Uber rideshare drivers, how these two companies view liability and what an attorney can do for you in this situation.

If you were injured after being struck by a motor vehicle, we recommend that you contact one of our Hillsboro car accident attorneys to discuss your claim in a complimentary legal consultation. There is no obligation to hire our services after this meeting. However, if we take your case, you can employ our legal team without paying us anything out of pocket. This means no upfront costs or attorney fees. We only get paid at the end of your case, and only if we recover compensation for you.

Can You Recover Compensation if Hit by a Rideshare Driver?

The short answer is maybe. Both Lyft and Uber require contracted drivers to purchase car insurance, in addition to the company coverage that is provided while the driver is working. However, whether you can recover compensation from a Lyft or Uber driver depends on various factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Did the Lyft or Uber driver operate in a careless or negligent manner?
  • Was the driver issued a ticket for a traffic violation, such as speeding or driving impaired?
  • Are rideshare drivers employees, or independent contractors?
  • What insurance may apply in your situation?
  • Did you contribute to the cause of the accident?
  • What injuries did the accident cause you to suffer?
  • Did the driver have the app turned on?
  • And more…

How much Insurance Applies to My Lyft / Uber Pedestrian Accident?

Obtaining compensation after a Lyft, Uber – or other rideshare vehicle hits your person is tricky. Yes, at least one rideshare company refers to available $1M coverage, but few drivers choose to purchase that much. Additionally, the driver must have had his app on (if that evidence has been preserved), and you may be too injured to remember what happened. All these rideshare caveats give the insurers room to argue it was not at fault, coverage does not exist or it is limited.

It is easy to see why it is a good idea to speak with an attorney before giving a statement or attempting to settle. An experienced lawyer will help preserve evidence, determine fault and access proceeds to pay for the loss.

Regardless of how the accident happened, do not let COVID or anything else delay you from seeking medical attention for your injuries. They may be more serious than you initially think, and untreated injuries are difficult to prove.

Here is Uber’s policy for when its insurance may apply:

The Driver Has App Off and is Not On-Call to Pick Up Passengers

Uber’s insurance is not applicable. In this scenario, only the driver’s personal insurance policy applies.

Available to Pick Up a Passenger; App is Turned On

Uber provides insurance, but not $1 million. Instead, the offered coverage in this scenario when the driver’s insurance does not apply is:

  • $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person in a single accident
  • $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 of property damage coverage per accident

Actively Picking Up or Transporting a Passenger

Uber’s $1,000,000 third-party liability insurance only kicks in when the driver has accepted a request to pick up a passenger or is already transporting a passenger. Additional coverage includes uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage – up to the cash value of the driver’s vehicle ($1,000 deductible applies)

Lyft’s insurance policy is very similar to Uber’s, although their deductible for contingent comprehensive and collision coverage of $2,500 is higher.

How Might an Attorney Benefit a Claim Against a Rideshare Company?

A claim against a rideshare driver can be complicated, in part because you may be dealing with multiple insurance companies. Additionally, insurance companies are not on your side. Their goal is to pay out as little on a claim as possible. Having an attorney representing you from the beginning can help to make sure that the value of your claim is protected throughout the legal process. Rizk Law attorneys are prepared to fully investigate the cause of your accident, gather strong evidence to support your claim and handle all communications with third parties, including the insurance companies.

Call Rizk Law today at 503.245.5677 today to schedule your free initial consultation. We have more than 20 years of experience and during that time have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. This proven track record includes a $250,000 recovery for a pedestrian struck by a car while walking in a crosswalk.