If you are an Uber or Lyft driver, knowing what to do in the case of an accident is essential. Understanding what steps to take and how insurance policies work is also important. Both rideshare companies have car insurance, but the extent of that coverage and when and how it might come into play is complicated.
As a Driver, Am I Covered?
Both Uber and Lyft require people who wish to drive for their companies to maintain the minimum insurance coverage required by the driver’s state.
Each company also offers third-party liability coverage if a driver causes an accident while waiting for a ride to be assigned, en route to pick up the passenger, or while driving a passenger. You might think, “OK, great, I’m covered.” But it is not that simple. Uber and Lyft’s third-party liability policy is secondary to the driver’s personal insurance coverage. For instance, it may apply if the driver’s coverage denies a claim or the injuries and damage exceed the driver’s policy limits.
Uber or Lyft Insurance Coverage Quick Reference
Typically, the availability of this policy plays out in three different scenarios.
- Scenario #1: You are not logged in. If you are a rideshare driver, but either the app was not on,or you were not logged in, you are not considered to be working at the time. In that case, your personal auto insurance applies.
- Scenario #2: You were logged in and waiting for a request. If the company’s app was on and you were logged in but waiting for a ride assignment, you are generally covered by Uber or Lyft’s basic policy of $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage.
- Scenario #3: You are en route to a pick-up or already have a passenger. Whether you accepted a ride request and are en route to pick up the passenger or already have the passenger in your car, your coverage with Uber or Lyft is up to $1,000,000 for third-party liability.
Regardless of the driver’s status at the time of the accident (e.g., logged in or transporting a passenger), if the accident is another driver’s fault, the Lyft or Uber driver can file a claim for compensation through the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy.
What to Do If You’re in an Accident as an Uber or Lyft Driver? Steps to Take
Knowing what to do in an accident while driving for Uber or Lyft can help you feel better prepared in the worst-case scenario. Below are five steps to take if you are an Uber or Lyft driver in a car wreck.
Ask: Is Anyone Injured? Call 911
Although it may seem obvious, in the chaos and shock of an accident, it is common and normal to freeze up and forget to assess injuries and call 911. If there are no immediately apparent severe injuries, you should still call law enforcement for a police and paramedic response to the accident scene.
Stay Calm and Do Not Admit Fault
It is essential to remain calm and clear-headed after an accident. Be careful about what you say at the scene, no matter the circumstances. You do not want to accept blame or admit fault. Even something simple like, “I’m sorry I didn’t see you,” can be construed as guilt. Remember, even if you believe you know what happened or caused the crash, you might not have the whole picture. Remain calm and cooperative.
Get Witness Names and Information
You should try to gather witness names and contact information, including from any passengers riding in your vehicle. While you will have the name of the person who requested the ride, you will likely be limited to their first name and will not have other passengers’ names or contact information. If you believe eyewitnesses saw the crash, you should also obtain their information.
Document the Scene
If you are uninjured, it is a good idea to document what you can of the accident scene. The simplest, most effective way is to take photos with your phone. This can help with verifying events and details later on.
Contact the Rideshare Company
Rideshare Driver Accident Attorneys
At Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., we have dedicated our practice to helping accident victims seek the compensation they deserve. If you are a rideshare driver in an accident, you may be overwhelmed and need clarification about what to do next. Don’t fret. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.