Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become extremely popular in recent years. Many like the convenience of ordering a car from their device and the reasonable cost compared to traditional car services. Ideally, these platforms that connect riders and drivers can provide a safe and stress-free experience. Still, there are no guarantees when driving or riding in a car in Connecticut or anywhere else.
Car services have licensing and commercial insurance for operating their vehicle. Rideshare drivers outside of California (which passed new employment laws regarding contractors) work as contractors. This limits Uber’s or Lyft’s legal exposure, but they do provide insurance to cover the working driver under certain circumstances. Uber’s policy also protects against other drivers that are underinsured or with no insurance, and rideshare companies also carry third party insurance coverage.
Generally speaking, whoever caused the accident will be the negligent party at fault whose insurance will cover the damages. Fault will need to be determined if the victim is another driver, a rideshare passenger, bicyclist, or a pedestrian. The responsibility for covering damages may vary depending upon who is the victim is:
- The rideshare customer: The rideshare’s policy will likely cover the rider’s injuries.
- A non-customer: Those victims walking or driving/riding in another vehicle could have a more difficult time getting damages. The rideshare may not be responsible if the driver does not have a fare (a grey area would be if they were en-route to pick up a fare or have their work app on looking for a fare). The rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance likely covers damages if the driver does not have a fare but is at fault.
Insurance companies may dispute claim
Auto insurance carriers may dispute who is responsible for paying — the private insurance carrier may argue that it doesn’t handle commercial insurance claims. In either case, the carriers try to avoid paying out large amounts of money involved in severe injury cases. They do this by keeping attorneys busy fighting these claims. So, the rider, driver, biker or pedestrian victim should work with their legal team to determine fault. These legal professionals can invaluable in helping victims and their families secure the compensation they deserve.