Using a rideshare vehicle (Uber / Lyft) is a wise choice for so many people in Massachusetts. It can be a responsible decision when enjoying a night out or an economically sound decision when needing to get somewhere. Although you may feel safe using a rideshare vehicle, Uber and Lyft vehicles are not immune from motor vehicle accidents.
With so many rideshare vehicles on the roads in Massachusetts and all over the country, the risk of serious injuries while using a rideshare still remain. Recently, we represented a client who was a passenger in an Uber ride that was rear-ended by a newly licensed driver. The Uber car was stopped at a traffic light on Route 9 (Boston Worcester Turnpike) in the Town of Westborough. She suffered serious injuries in the crash. Another client of ours, a taxi driver, was hit broadside by an Uber driver in South Boston, resulting in fractures to his wrist and leg. His injuries and lost wages were very substantial.
Both clients had the same questions – “Whose insurance will cover my injuries?” This is a great question and, unfortunately, the answer is not simple. Both the examples above present different scenarios resulting in different auto insurance policies applying. Let’s break it down.
Negligence and Liability for Ridershare Drivers
Remember, the usual theory of negligence and liability applies to these types of car accidents. Using the accident examples above, even though our client was in an Uber, the rear-end crash in Westborough was caused by another negligent driver. So, the other negligent driver’s auto insurance policy will apply to a bodily injury claim.
The other crash in South Boston was different. In that example, our client was hit by a negligent Uber driver. In that type of crash, where the Uber or Lyft driver was negligent or careless and caused the accident and injuries, then their auto insurance coverage will apply to your bodily injury claim.
Uber and Lyft Carry Their Own Auto Insurance Policies
Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are required to carry auto liability insurance that cover bodily injury and property damage. Their car insurance policy covers injuries to passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles involved in accidents with Uber drivers. The amount of bodily injury coverage depends on the facts of how the accident occurred and the status of the rideshare driver.
When the Driver is Logged In to the Rideshare App
Once an Uber or Lyft driver has logged into the app and is waiting for a rider, any accident or injury that occurs is covered by the ridesharer’s insurance policy (i.e., Uber or Lyft). When a ride is accepted by the Uber or Lyft driver and he/she is on their way to pick up the passenger, the company’s $1 million insurance policy is in effect. Should an accident occur with another driver or pedestrian during this time, then this coverage of the policy applies.
If the Uber or Lyft driver is logged into the app and is waiting for a passenger ride request, the bodily injury coverage is $50,000.00 per person, $100,000.00 per accident with property damage limited to $25,000.00. You must note, however, this only applies when an Uber or Lyft driver is on duty and logged into the app at the time of the accident.
When the Driver is Not Logged In to the Rideshare App
If the rideshare driver causes a crash and injuries to another while off duty, then the driver’s personal car insurance is responsible for covering any accidents and injuries that they may cause.
Tips To Follow If You Are Involved in an Accident with an Uber or Lyft
As with any car crash, we always recommend accident victims follow Three Of The Most Important Things To Do Immediately After A Massachusetts Car Accident. Your health and safety should always be your number one concern. Therefore, it is prudent to have the police and paramedics called as soon as possible. This will allow the local or state police to obtain some of the much-needed information and document the accident and any injuries. The paramedics will, of course, evaluate your injuries and provide the medical attention you need.
If, for some reason, the police and ambulance are not called, you must seek immediate medical attention to document all injuries you suffered. This is a very important step because weeks later when the insurance companies are involved you do not want any confusion as to what injuries were suffered and/or whether they were related to or caused by the accident.
You should also collect as much information as possible, such the driver’s names, vehicle information, witness names and exact location of the accident. With the technology of the phones we all carry in our pockets, do you best to try to snap some photographs – these almost always come in handy later on in the injury claims process.
Injured in a Rideshare-Related Crash? Then You Need Experienced Representation
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a ridesharing company, you need experienced legal representation. Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has recovered millions for our clients. We have the knowledge and experience to obtain the maximum settlement or verdict to fully compensate you for your injuries. We are committed to our clients and to ensuring that they are compensated to the maximum amount for the injury they suffered.
Speak with an Experienced Massachusetts Injury Lawyer Today
It is imperative to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before making any statements to insurance companies. Mahaney & Pappas, LLP have decades of experience in handling motor vehicle accidents, especially those involving ride-sharing companies. We know how to conduct investigations and work with experts, all with the focus of getting our clients the financial compensation they deserve.
Mahaney & Pappas, LLP is a personal injury law office centrally located in Framingham, Massachusetts representing victims of accidents throughout Boston, Worcester, and surrounding towns. If you’ve been injured in a Uber or Lyft accident, we are here to fight to get you the financial compensation you and your family deserves. We understand the stress of being injured and can help guide you through the personal injury claim process and take the immediate action needed on your case. If you, or a loved one, has been injured in an accident, please contact us online or call (508) 879-3500 to schedule a free case evaluation.