Insurance Issues in Accident Cases Involving a Ride-Sharing Vehicle
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have become popular throughout the country, and Kentucky is no exception. These services are often touted for their convenience and safety. They are especially popular in downtown areas, where it is difficult to find parking, and both companies have been praised in the past for getting more drunk drivers off of the road.
While ride-sharing services may boast some safety benefits, contracted drivers for any ride-share service are not immune to the possibility of getting into an accident on the road. When this happens, who is held liable for the accident? In addition, which insurance company should those who are injured contact? Is it the driver’s own personal insurance company, or the insurance company of the ride-sharing service?
These are all questions that make a ride-sharing accident so much more complicated than most other accidents on the road. Generally speaking, however, there are some guidelines that passengers, contracted drivers, and other drivers can follow in the event of an accident.
Passengers Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Accident
In the event of an accident, passengers of an Uber or Lyft typically have the most protection. This is due to the fact that they can seek accident benefits through both the driver’s insurance policy, and the insurance policy of the ride-sharing company.
Passengers will need to first obtain benefits through the driver’s personal insurance. When these benefits are not enough to cover the cost of injury, they can seek benefits through the ride-share company’s insurance. Both Uber and Lyft drivers are insured by the James River Insurance Company up to $1 million for accidents. As long as injuries do not exceed this threshold, accident victims should have access to this insurance.
Uber or Lyft Drivers Hurt in an Accident
Uber and Lyft drivers enjoy the same protection offered by the ride-sharing company’s insurance policy as passengers do. A driver is only eligible for the insurance provided by the ride-sharing company if they had already accepted a fare and were carrying passengers at the time of the accident.
Ride-sharing drivers are also subject to the same stipulations as passengers. This means that a driver must go through their own insurance policy first before asking the ride-sharing company’s insurance for additional benefits.
Many insurance companies require that ride-sharing drivers purchase more insurance than the minimum PIP amounts outlined by Kentucky law. If it is found that the driver did not have this additional insurance and was carrying passengers at the time of the accident, an insurance company may deny the claim altogether.
Uber and Lyft specifically also provide coverage for their drivers when they are not carrying passengers, but are instead between rides. That is, the driver is still working, but they do not currently have any passengers. When this is the case, the amount of insurance available to the Uber or Lyft driver drops to $100,000.
Other Drivers Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident
When another driver is injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft, and the ride-sharing driver is found to be at fault, the other driver will have the same rights as an Uber or Lyft passenger. They must first file a claim with the ride-sharing driver’s insurance company. If the accident benefits obtained through that company are not enough to cover the cost of injury, they can then file a claim with the ride-sharing service’s insurance company.
Anyone Injured in a Ride-Sharing Accident Needs a Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer
When an accident happens on the road that involves a ride-sharing vehicle, anyone injured needs to speak to a Kentucky personal injury attorney. While any accident on the road will have its own complications, things can become extremely complex when dealing with multiple insurance companies. In addition, a lawyer can speak to the insurance company on the injured individual’s behalf to ensure they get a fair settlement.
If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or any other ride-sharing service, contact the Morrin Law Office at (859) 358-0300. We’ll help you get the accident benefits you need to get you back living your best life as soon as possible.