As a Los Angeles accident lawyer, I’m signing up more and more cases involving Uber and Lyft.
A question that comes up in these cases is how they might differ from an ordinary Los Angeles car accident.
In a typical car accident case, an injured driver or passenger would be compensated through the insurance company of the driver at fault for the collision.
Uber and Lyft cases are slightly different.
When riding in an Uber or Lyft, and another driver collides with your car, your injuries should be covered by the at-fault party’s insurance. If that party has low policy limits, these limits must be exhausted before Uber or Lyft’s ridesharing policy will pay out.
For example, my office recently handled a case where an Uber transporting 4 people was violently rear-ended on the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles. The offending driver carried California’s minimum insurance coverage of $30,000.00 per accident. Naturally, the $30,000.00 was nowhere near enough to compensate all 4 Uber passengers and the Uber driver for their serious injuries.
After the 4 parties divided the $30,000.00, the next step involved accessing Uber’s “excess” coverage. This coverage was vital to making sure all 4 passengers were made whole–that is, put in the position they had been in prior to the rear-end collision. Uber carries “excess” coverage precisely for situations like this one.
What happens if you’re riding in an Uber or Lyft, and the Uber or Lyft driver are responsible for the collision?
In that case, the injured Uber or Lyft rider would present a claim to the ridesharing company’s insurance coverage. Uber drivers and passengers are covered for situations like these as soon as the passenger is picked up and the app is turned on. The same holds true for Lyft.
As an example, my office recently handled a claim where an Uber driver blatantly ran a stop sign. My client was a passenger in the back seat when the Uber got sideswiped in Los Angeles at a high rate of speed.
In this scenario, the Uber driver was at fault. Uber’s insurance stepped in to compensate my client for his injuries and pain and suffering.
With the proliferation of ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft in Los Angeles, the reality is that more of these cases will come up.
If and when they do, be sure you speak to an attorney knowledgeable about the caveats of handling car accident claims involving Uber or Lyft.