The ease of hailing a rideshare driver for errands and appointments in Henderson brings a layer of unease when considering the liability and responsibility of the rideshare companies in the event of an accident. The rideshare companies pose the same questions as their drivers and passengers: Who is responsible, and what is the degree of liability?
The legal team at Koch & Brim wants the rideshare passengers and the drivers to know and understand the procedures of filing a claim should there be an unfortunate experience of an accident. Let’s begin with the relationship between rideshare companies and drivers.
The Complicated Relationship Between Rideshare Companies and Their Drivers
The passengers need to know that the relationship between the rideshare companies and the drivers is not at all like the relationship between cab drivers and taxicab companies. Cab companies own their fleet and employ their drivers. As employers, the companies have a duty to be responsible for the actions of their employees when performing work-related functions and for injuries suffered by third parties.
Uber and Lyft are major players in the gig economy where people use their property (the car) and their talent (driving) to earn money on their schedule. The rideshare drivers are independent contractors of the rideshare companies.
Independent contractors are personally responsible for their property and their actions. Thus, the basis of the public relations disaster as passenger claims were denied by the insurance carriers of the drivers. Most drivers were either underinsured or did not carry the proper coverage for the commercial use of their vehicles.
Uber and Lyft responded by extending their commercial insurance policy coverage to drivers and passengers under certain conditions.
The Commercial Insurance Policy Coverage and Rideshare Accidents
These commercial policies will not cover all accidents. As a passenger or a driver, it is important for you to know that a claim can be covered if:
- the rideshare driver caused the car accident;
- the passenger was inside the vehicle when the accident occurred; and
- the accident was caused by the other driver, and this driver proved to be either uninsured or underinsured.
The rideshare commercial policies also cover pedestrians and bicyclists who may suffer an injury caused by their drivers.
The Liability of the Rideshare Company
Whether the rideshare company is Uber, Lyft or another ridesharing service, the structures for determining accident liability are identical. The level of liability and compensation will depend upon the status of the driver and the rideshare app.
The list below is the status of the ride and the corresponding level of liability.
- When the driver app is off, the driver’s personal insurance will apply should the driver cause an accident. There is a chance that a passenger’s claim could be denied by the driver’s carrier if the driver does not have the appropriate coverage. The rideshare companies have no liability at this status.
- When the driver is available but without a ride request, the driver’s personal policy is the first tier of coverage. If a passenger’s or other party’s claim is denied, then the rideshare policy will cover damages up to
- $50,000 of bodily injury per person
- $100,000 per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
- When the driver receives a ride request and is en route to the passenger or when transporting a passenger, then the rideshare company becomes liable. The policy will cover:
- $1 Million for bodily injury and property damage to their driver, their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians
- uninsured and underinsured coverages should another driver be at fault and without sufficient insurance; this includes hit-and-run accidents
The Statute of Limitations
In Nevada, a personal injury claim must be filed with a state court within two years from the accident date. Before a claim is filed, your attorney will advise on the best strategy for you to take to receive the maximum amount of damages to which you are entitled.
Contact a Henderson Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today
The attorneys at Koch & Brim have the experience and expertise to handle your Uber/Lyft accident claim. Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.