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Who is responsible for a rideshare auto accident?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Using rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to get around town is a great convenience. Whether you’re on your way to the airport for a trip or need a safe ride home after a few beers at happy hour, using rideshare is an affordable, accessible and sometimes life-saving option.

While all rideshare drivers undergo background checks and must meet certain driving requirements, they are still human beings, capable of mistakes – including getting into car accidents. In a car accident involving a rideshare driver, the rules around who is responsible for damages depend on what period or phase of the service the driver is in. 

  • Period 0: The driver is in period 0 if their ridesharing app is off. This means they are using their vehicle for personal reasons. If they cause an accident during this period, their personal car insurance policy is in effect.
  • Period 1: This begins the moment the driver turns on the app and ends when they pick up a passenger. During this time, the rideshare company’s policy is active. While the driver is required to carry personal insurance, it will only cover themselves. In the event of an accident during Period 1, the rideshare company’s policy will come into play. The claim may also go through the driver’s insurance policy if it applies.
  • Period 2: The rideshare company’s policy is active if an accident occurs during Period 2, which starts from the time a driver accepts a passenger request until the driver drops the passenger off.
  • Period 3: This begins when the ride ends in the app or when the passenger exits the car. Again, the rideshare company’s policy is in effect during this time until the driver turns the app off. If an accident occurs during this time, the company may require the driver to submit the claim under their personal insurance as well.

Responsibility depends on the context of the accident

Being in a car accident can be scary, and the ripple effects can be significant. If youʻve been in an accident due to a rideshare driver, you may want to consult with an attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for medical costs and other damages. Understanding who is responsible will help you maximize your payment.



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