What Happens When an Off-Duty Rideshare Driver Causes a Crash?
When Lyft or Uber drivers cause crashes while in the process of transporting a passenger, you likely know what to do next. You contact the insurance company provided by the rideshare company while the driver is on the clock. Then, that insurance provider will pay for the fees associated with the incident, such as damage to your vehicle, your medical bills, lost time at work, and other expenses related to the crash.
However, what if the Lyft or Uber driver does not have a passenger at the time of the accident? Is the rideshare insurance policy still in play? These types of cases can be complicated, and injured parties should consult with a New Jersey rideshare crash attorney at Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC in order to construct a strong case.
The Basics of Rideshare Driver Insurance
Just like other drivers, drivers for Uber or Lyft are required to carry basic auto insurance that covers them any time they are traveling in a motor vehicle. The majority of rideshare drivers do not only use their cars for ridesharing. They also use them for their own personal uses, including running their own errands, getting to and from work or school, or just getting around town.
When rideshare drivers are off the clock — when they are not actively working for Uber or Lyft — they use their personal auto insurance to cover them in the event of a crash. Personal liability insurance will cover any damages to your vehicle up to the limits on the policy, as well as providing some coverage to help with your medical bills or to cover lost income resulting from the collision. Comprehensive insurance or collision insurance will offer coverage for your vehicle as well as their own.
When a driver is actively working for Lyft or Uber, specifically when they have a rideshare passenger in the vehicle, they are covered by the rideshare company’s comprehensive insurance policy. The policy provides coverage regardless of who is liable for the crash and will help cover injuries sustained by any rideshare passengers, your injuries, and damages to your car.
If the Uber or Lyft driver is using their app but has not yet accepted a passenger, they are still covered by the company’s insurance plan. The contingent collision policy provides coverage when the app is in driver mode before the driver has received a ride request if personal injury coverage does not respond. In these cases, the rideshare driver still has coverage — even if they do not carry a personal auto insurance policy — and you have options for ensuring that your damages resulting from the crash are covered.
How Should You Proceed After Being Involved in an Accident with a Uber or Lyft Driver?
Following a crash with a Lyft or Uber driver, despite if the rideshare driver had a passenger at the time of the collision, you should start by gathering information that you would take from any other driver after a crash: license information, contact information, and insurance details.
The Lyft or Uber driver may not carry a card in their wallet that provides you with the coverage they have on their rideshare insurance policy. They may instead need to provide you with a screenshot from the app with their policy number, driver number, and other relevant information. Store this information on your smartphone or somewhere else where you will not lose it because it will be required when seeking coverage.
If you have sustained only minor injuries following an Uber or Lyft collision, you should contact your personal insurance provider and give them the information that you gathered. You may have to make a statement about the incident, which you should write down immediately after the accident to prevent forgetting crucial details.
However, if you have sustained severe injuries, you may need the help of a rideshare crash attorney in New Jersey who specialized in rideshare collisions in order to navigate the claims process. An attorney can increase the compensation that you can receive and make it easier for you to gather evidence or prove the extent of your injuries.
If you suffered injuries in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver who was on or off the clock, you should contact Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC to discuss your case today.
Uber & Lyft Collisions in New Jersey
All drivers on the roads of New Jersey are at risk of causing catastrophic accidents, including those who are tasked with transporting passengers from place to place. There is a common myth that rideshare companies have made the roads safer, but other studies have found that this may not be the case. There have been recent studies establishing a link between the creation of Uber and an increase in roadway fatalities in the United States. Across the country, traffic fatalities have increased, with some sources claiming a 2 to 3% rise in roadway deaths nationwide since Uber was established. This means an additional 1,100 people are dying annually. Why this is the case isn’t exactly clear at this time. However, more Uber drivers mean that there are more cars on the road and more miles being driven. Also, many drivers for Uber and Lyft aren’t provided the necessary training to make sure that they will not put their passengers in danger.
We will fight to make sure that you recover the compensation you deserve so that your life can get back on track. Contact our New Jersey attorneys today at (201) 997- 0030 if you or a loved one has been unfairly injured in a crash involving a rideshare driver.