Who Is Liable for Damages After a Rideshare Accident?

Rideshare has become one of the most popular transportation options for getting around Las Vegas. Although calling an Uber or Lyft is certainly safer than attempting to drive back to your home or hotel under the influence, rideshare vehicles can get into collisions just like standard motor vehicles. If you suffer injuries or property losses in a Las Vegas rideshare accident, find out who is financially responsible – or liable – according to state law.

Who Caused the Accident?

Nevada is a fault-based car insurance state. This means that the driver or party at fault for causing the collision is who must pay for related damages. In states that use no-fault car insurance systems, on the other hand, all drivers seek coverage from their own insurance companies, regardless of fault for the collision. According to this Nevada law, you must determine who caused your rideshare accident before you can file an insurance claim.

If the rideshare driver caused your car accident, he or she will be held liable. Rideshare drivers are often at fault for collisions due to mistakes such as distracted driving, cell phone use behind the wheel, speeding, red-light running and failing to yield the right-of-way. Payment for the car accident will come from the driver’s individual car insurance plan and/or Uber or Lyft’s liability insurance policy, depending on the circumstances.

Insurance Coverage Offered by Uber and Lyft

If the Uber or Lyft driver does not have enough personal insurance to cover your losses, the rideshare company will provide supplemental coverage, with amounts based on the phase of the ride. Uber and Lyft will also pay for a car accident that injures a rider if someone else is at fault and does not have adequate insurance, such as a third-party driver. Both Uber and Lyft offer the following amounts of insurance:

  • Phase 1. The driver does not have the app on or is not logged in. In this phase, the rideshare company will not be liable for an accident and no company insurance coverage will apply.
  • Phase 2. The driver has logged into the app and is available or waiting for a ride request. Uber and Lyft will offer up to $50,000 in bodily injury insurance per person, $100,000 in bodily injury insurance per accident and $25,000 in property damage insurance for accidents in Phase 2.
  • Phase 3. The driver is traveling to pick up a rider or has a rider in the vehicle. Both rideshare companies offer up to $1 million in insurance coverage for injuries and property damage in Phase 3, as well as uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.

If you are eligible for insurance coverage from Uber or Lyft, the company will pay for your damages up to the policy limits. It can be difficult, however, to negotiate a fair settlement from Uber or Lyft’s insurance claims adjusters. You may need to hire a rideshare accident attorney for assistance going up against such a large and powerful defendant.

Third-Party Insurance Coverage

There may be other types of insurance coverage available besides holding the rideshare driver or company responsible for your car accident. If a third party caused or contributed to the crash, you may be able to hold this party partially or fully liable, as well. If you were riding in an Uber or Lyft and another driver crashed into you, for example, that driver may have to pay for your losses out of his or her insurance. Other examples of third-party liability are a product manufacturer for a vehicle defect and the government for a road defect.

For more information about your financial recovery options after a rideshare accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, contact an attorney at Koch & Brim, LLP to discuss your specific case. We offer free case consultations.