Ten years ago, ridesharing car accidents were unheard of. Uber and Lyft weren’t even in existence. Now they’re multi-billion dollar companies with drivers across the country. Of course, the more drivers that these companies have on the road, the more ridesharing car accidents they’re involved in. Injured passengers never got compensated in some of those accidents. Both companies now provide certain insurance coverage for their drivers and Texas has mandated other coverage. What coverage applies depends on what the driver is doing at the time of an accident.
The business plans of Uber and Lyft are almost identical. A person downloads their app on their mobile phone. He or she provides account and credit card information. If the person needs a ride, he or she uses the app, and a nearby driver accepts the request and picks the person up.
When the Uber or Lyft app isn’t on
During this period, the vehicle is either parked or being used for the driver’s own personal purposes. Since the app isn’t on during this period, the driver’s personal insurance provides coverage.
The driver has now turned on the Uber of Lyft app. He or she is awaiting a ride request. Texas law now requires minimum liability coverage during this period at $50,000 per person, $100,000 per occurrence and $25,000 in property damage coverage.
The driver has accepted a ride request by using the Uber or Lyft app. He or she is now on the way to pick up the person who requested a ride. Both Uber and Lyft provide $1 million in liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage during this period.
The passenger has been picked up, and the driver is transporting the passenger to his or her destination. The same $1 million coverage applies. That coverage ends when the passenger exits the vehicle.
Insurance coverage and liability issues can get cloudy in ridesharing car accidents. If you’ve been in an Uber or Lyft accident, call Stevenson & Murray for a free consultation and case evaluation.