Thousands of people use ridesharing apps to get around Alabama every day. In July 2018, Uber announced a statewide expansion, allowing users to hail rides using their app outside of Alabama’s major cities. Lyft, another popular rideshare company, is also available statewide. While this growth has made affordable, accessible transportation available to more Alabamians, it’s not without risks.
If an Uber or Lyft driver injured you, it’s important to understand your legal options and rights. Keep reading to learn about car accident liability and your options after getting in an accident with a rideshare driver.
What Happens When a Rideshare Driver Causes an Accident?
When you’re in a car accident involving an Uber driver, as another driver, passenger, or pedestrian, you must prove negligence and damages to successfully obtain financial compensation. However, depending on the facts of your case, you may have claims against a variety of insurance companies, including those of the driver, the rideshare company, and your own carrier.
If you’ve suffered because of an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence, you’ll be looking at these companies’ $1 million liability policies for compensation, but this coverage isn’t guaranteed. To identify who is financially responsible for your injuries, you’ll need to determine whether the driver was logged into the rideshare company’s app and working at the time of the crash.
How Does Insurance for Uber and Lyft Drivers Work?
Uber requires all of their drivers to have personal car insurance, and they provide additional insurance coverage in the event the driver gets in an accident. This additional coverage only applies when drivers are logged into their app and accepting passengers. Without the app open, Uber and Lyft’s liability policies do not apply.
RELATED EBOOK: Everything You Need to Know About Alabama Car Accidents
When you consult with a rideshare injury lawyer, one of their first tasks will be identifying whether the at-fault driver was actively working for Uber or Lyft.
Stage One: The Driver Isn’t Logged in to the App
If an Uber or Lyft driver is not logged into the app, their personal insurance policy applies. In Alabama, drivers must have a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, capped at $50,000 per accident, and another $25,000 for property damage.
Stage Two: The Driver Is Logged in and Waiting for a Fare
If a driver is logged in but has not accepted a ride, Uber provides coverage for any accident that’s the driver’s fault up to $50,000 per person or $100,000 in total injuries and $25,000 for damaged property. However, this policy is secondary, meaning that you must file a claim with the driver’s personal policy first, and Uber or Lyft should cover any unpaid damages—up to these policy limits.
Stage Three: The Driver Has a Ride Request
Once a driver accepts a ride, Uber and Lyft’s policies apply, covering up to $1,000,000 in your losses. This coverage applies whether the driver is en route to pick up their passenger or are transporting someone.
Additionally, you may have claims against your personal PIP or underinsured/uninsured motorist policy, or the driver’s own commercial driving policy (if they have one).
If you experience an accident with a Lyft or Uber driver, it’s in your best interests to contact a personal injury lawyer who can help parse through the confusing area of rideshare insurance coverage, and get you the compensation you deserve.
RELATED BLOG: What Is My Alabama Personal Injury Claim Worth?
What to Do if You Get in an Accident with an Uber Driver
If you get in an accident with an Uber driver, as a passenger or another motorist, first make sure you and those involved are not injured, and if you are, seek immediate medical attention. Next, call the police, or ask a bystander to call. If you can, we recommend taking these steps after your accident with an Uber or Lyft driver:
- Get names and contact information from those involved
- Take down names and contact information from witnesses
- Get your case number from the responding officer, as well as their name
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident, including the Uber sticker in the driver’s windshield
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured badly
These simple steps can help you preserve valuable evidence for your claims.
RELATED SUCCESS STORY: Madeline’s Story: Finding Peace After a Catastrophic Crash
Complex Rideshare Cases Demand Experienced Lawyers
Uber and Lyft are large and growing companies with a team of lawyers dedicated to saving their companies money. If an Uber or Lyft driver has injured you, you need a lawyer with a track record of aggressive representation who’s not afraid to take on powerful companies.
Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Fighting for Rideshare Crash Victims in Alabama
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’re not afraid to stand up to powerful businesses or insurance companies. If you or a loved one needs help after a devasting crash involving someone driving for Uber or Lyft, our don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients and fight tirelessly for our clients. Please call (251) 888-8888 today for your free case evaluation or complete a simple online form.
Moench, M. (2018, March 2). Uber, Lyft can now operate across all of Alabama. Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/money/business/2018/03/02/uber-lyft-can-now-operate-across-all-alabama/389030002/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.