Getting compensation after most car crashes is a straightforward process. You get the information for the driver who caused the wreck and you file the necessary paperwork with their insurance company.
It is usually obvious who is responsible and what policy will reimburse you for the losses you suffered. It can be a lot more confusing for those who get into crashes while riding in a rideshare vehicle. If the person driving works for Uber or Lyft, who pays for the injuries you suffered?
Who was at fault?
In California, the car insurance program requires liability coverage. If the other vehicle is the one that caused the crash, that driver’s policy will likely need to cover your losses and any losses suffered by the rideshare driver transporting you.
Was the driver on the clock?
Perhaps the most important question after a Rideshare crash is whether the driver is someone you know personally who works for Uber or Lyft or they are a stranger that you hired through the app. The reason this distinction is important is because of its impact on your insurance rights.
If you hire someone to give you a ride through the app, the company’s coverage will typically protect you. Both Uber and Lyft have corporate policies that protect you during a ride. However, if the person is a friend of yours who you hired under the table or who offered to give you a ride for free, their personal policy will protect you.
How do you handle a claim after a rideshare accident?
If you got hurt in the vehicle of a driver who was actively logged into Uber or Lyft and contracted through one of those apps by you, the company will be the one that evaluates your claim and eventually pays you for your medical expenses, lost wages and property damages.
Typically, you will have to follow the company’s procedure for reporting the crash initially, but you may switch over to the insurance company’s process eventually. You may need to negotiate a settlement or risk not receiving a fair amount of compensation.
Understanding whom you have to notify and who will pay your claim can make it easier to get compensation after a crash in a rideshare vehicle.