The rideshare industry has completely transformed the way we move throughout our cities. Uber and Lyft have become two of the largest companies in the world, with over 11 billion trips given worldwide, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, as these services have become more popular, accidents involving Uber and Lyft vehicles have become more common.

Uber and Lyft are especially popular in Las Vegas, as tourists often use them to move up and down the Strip. If you have recently been injured in an accident caused by a negligent Uber or Lyft driver, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. You can learn more about your legal rights after a rideshare accident by contacting The Cottle Firm’s Las Vegas car accident lawyers.

Key Legal Aspects of Uber and Lyft

The ridesharing industry is unique in how it classifies the people who work within it. Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees, but independent contractors who use their own vehicles for work. This distinction is often relevant when determining liability for accidents involving rideshare drivers. 

When an accident happens involving an employee driving during the course of their job duties – such as a commercial truck driver – liability can fall on multiple parties. The driver may be considered negligent and held liable for causing the crash, and their employer can also potentially face liability depending on the circumstances of the crash.

Rideshare drivers also do not go through the same training as other types of professional drivers. Platforms like Lyft and Uber do conduct background checks and other safety provisions, but drivers are largely untrained. This means that poor drivers who do not have a history of accidents can still drive for the platform and cause accidents through negligence.

How Are Uber and Lyft Drivers Insured?

Drivers for Lyft, Uber, and other rideshare services are required to maintain a personal insurance policy, which is typically the same policy that covers them when driving off the clock. In addition, both Lyft and Uber provide additional insurance coverage for accidents that happen when the driver has passengers or has the app activated and is accepting new passengers.

In accidents involving Uber and Lyft vehicles, liability generally depends on the status of the rideshare driver at the time of the crash. If the driver was not currently accepting fares at the time of the crash, a personal injury claim would be filed against the driver’s personal insurance policy. If the driver was available for rides but between fares, the personal insurance policy would still kick in, but Uber would also add contingency insurance of $50,000 per person in liability coverage, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage.

Lyft Driver Insurance Coverage

Lyft offers insurance coverage to drivers whenever they are using the app, but this coverage only becomes active if the driver’s auto insurance policy is unavailable for some reason. This applies whether the driver currently has a passenger or has the app turned on while they wait for a ride request. 

When a driver accepts a ride, Lyft provides insurance coverage for accidents. This lasts from the time the driver leaves to pick the passengers up until the passengers have been dropped off. 

Both Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies offer up to $1,500,000 in coverage, which covers injuries and property damage for someone other than the driver – including both passengers and other motorists who have been involved in an accident. Nevada law requires $1,500,000 for the drivers of all transportation network companies, as set forth in NRS: CHAPTER 690B of the Nevada State Legislature.

Uber Driver Insurance Coverage

Uber’s driver insurance policy is very similar to Lyft’s. Both companies offer up to $50,000 in coverage for bodily injuries, $100,000 in total coverage per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. If a driver gets into an accident while on the way to pick up passengers or en route to the destination, Uber offers up to $1,500,000 in liability coverage for victims.

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft For an Accident?

Since Lyft and Uber both offer up to $1,500,000 in liability coverage in Nevada, it is often not necessary to file a lawsuit to secure financial compensation. In many rideshare accident cases, this insurance coverage is more than enough to cover all damages. However, these companies could be sued for accidents caused by their drivers under certain circumstances.

To have grounds for a lawsuit, the company itself must have been negligent in a way that contributed to the crash. If the company negligently hired or retained a driver with a history of serious driving violations, they could face liability. For example, if an Uber driver caused an accident while intoxicated and had a history of drunk driving offenses, Uber could potentially be held liable.

However, in the vast majority of Uber and Lyft accident cases that require a lawsuit, the lawsuit would be filed against the rideshare driver for negligence. 

How Can An Uber and Lyft Lawyer Help?

Regardless of whether a lawsuit is necessary, an experienced Uber and Lyft lawyer can provide valuable legal guidance for people seeking financial compensation after a rideshare accident. 

Determining Liability

If you hire a lawyer, one of their first steps will be determining who was liable for the rideshare accident. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, one or more parties could be deemed negligent and held liable for damages. This could include the rideshare driver, other motorists involved in the crash, and in some cases, the rideshare company.

Your lawyer will investigate all aspects of the crash to determine who was responsible for causing it. If they determine that you were not at fault, they can provide guidance during the insurance claim process or the personal injury claim process, if necessary.

Dealing With Insurance Companies

Although companies like Lyft and Uber do carry large insurance policies, the claims process can be complicated and typically involves negotiations with the company’s insurance carrier. Personal injury lawyers understand the strategies insurance companies use to reduce or reject payouts and how to navigate these strategies to reach a fair settlement offer. 

Without legal representation, an insurance company may attempt to take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge or offer an unfair settlement based on the damages you suffered. An attorney can gather evidence to present a strong case and use their negotiation skills to recover the financial compensation you deserve.

Fighting For Fair Compensation

Victims of rideshare accidents and other types of motor vehicle accidents often suffer extensive damages, such as unaffordable medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress. A dollar figure must be assigned to these damages, and the sum of all damages determines how much financial compensation should be pursued. A lawyer with experience in these cases can use their professional knowledge to assign accurate values to all damages and fight for financial compensation that covers all damages suffered.

Uber and Lyft Accident FAQ

What Should You Do After an Uber Accident?

Whether you were a passenger in the Uber or an Uber driver collided with your vehicle, it is important to carefully consider your actions following the crash. The standard procedure is essentially the same as any other motor vehicle accident. 

Consider following these steps to protect yourself and your legal rights:

  • Seek medical care – Your health is the top priority, so check on everyone else in the vehicle and call for emergency medical personnel if anyone is injured. This step also helps your insurance or personal injury claim, as medical records are key evidence.
  • Call the police – The police will need to come to the scene to make an official police report for the accident. Remain at the scene with the Uber driver and anyone else involved in the crash because the police will interview all parties. 
  • Gather contact info – Collect contact information from all parties involved in the crash, as well as any witnesses. 
  • Report the crash – Along with the police, several other parties should be notified of the crash. This includes your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, and the rideshare company involved in the crash.
  • Consider contacting a lawyer – Although you have the right to seek financial compensation on your own, an experienced Uber and Lyft lawyer can guide you through the process and help you fight for a fair settlement.

Do Uber Accident Cases Go to Court?

No, fortunately, the vast majority of Uber accident cases are settled outside of court. Filing a lawsuit may be an option for those struggling to receive fair financial compensation, but this should be viewed as a last resort. An experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer can represent you throughout the claims process and work towards securing a settlement that reflects the full extent of the damages you suffered in the crash.

Contact Our Las Vegas Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyers

If you were recently injured in a crash caused by a negligent rideshare driver, you have legal rights. Whether you were a passenger, in another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist, the Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at the Cottle Firm are prepared to stand by your side. Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation.