Who is Liable if I Am Injured While Using a Rideshare Service Like Uber or Lyft?

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In the last few years, ridesharing services have exploded in popularity. By using a phone app to connect passengers and drivers, companies such as Lyft and Uber utilize private drivers and their cars to provide transportation services to travelers. Users like the ease and convenience of scheduling a ride through the app. However, when accidents occur while using these services, it can be anything but convenient. Keep reading to learn more about who can be held liable for a rideshare accident and how you can safeguard your legal rights by taking some simple steps after a crash.

Whose Insurance Will Cover My Rideshare Accident Injuries?

Similar to all Wisconsin car accidents, liability for a rideshare accident lies with the individual(s) at fault for the crash. You can seek compensation from the insurance of the liable party.

There are three potential insurers you may be able to file your claim with, including:

  • The rideshare driver’s insurance: If your driver was at fault for the accident, you can try filing a claim against their auto insurance. However, many insurers have exclusions for accidents that occur while the driver is transporting passengers for money. 
  • The other driver’s insurance: If the other driver caused the crash, you could seek compensation from their insurance. However, they may not carry enough coverage to pay for all your losses if you have severe injuries or if several people were hurt in the accident.
  • Uber or Lyft’s insurance: If you’ve been injured in a ridesharing accident, you will likely be eligible to file a claim against the company’s third-party liability insurance. It provides coverage if their driver was at fault, if the other driver who caused the accident was uninsured or underinsured, or if the accident was a hit-and-run and the at-fault driver cannot be found.

There may also be rare cases where a third party, such as a bicyclist, pedestrian, or even a government entity responsible for road maintenance, could be fully or partially liable for the accident. In these complex situations, it is critical to contact an experienced Wisconsin rideshare accident attorney who can investigate the crash and help you determine how to recover damages from the responsible parties.

How Much Insurance Do Uber and Lyft Carry for Passengers?

As required by law, Uber and Lyft carry significant third-party liability coverage for passengers hurt while using their services. These policies provide up to $1 million for property damage and injuries suffered by victims. They also offer $1 million in coverage if the other driver is uninsured/underinsured.

However, there are some limitations to their insurance policies that victims should know about:

  • Their coverage is only applicable if the driver was logged into the ridesharing app and was recorded as actively transporting a passenger.
  • Their insurance will only begin to pay out once all other insurances have paid their maximum, so it may require filing multiple claims with different companies.
  • If you are filing an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, you must support your claim with sufficient documentation of the at-fault driver’s insurance, or lack thereof, or you must prove that the accident was a hit-and-run and the driver could not be identified.

What Steps Should I Take After an Uber or Lyft Accident?

Accidents happen very quickly and can leave you in shock. Your well-being should always be your first concern following a crash. However, if you can take certain steps at the time of the accident, it may make it easier to recover compensation later:

  • Get prompt medical care: If anyone involved in the crash is seriously hurt, call 911 immediately. If you have minor to moderate injuries, seek treatment at a local urgent care, ER, or doctor’s office. Even if you feel uninjured, you should get a medical evaluation as soon as possible because you may have injuries masked by adrenaline from the stressful event.
  • Contact the local police: A police report provides essential information about the crash, its causes, and those involved.
  • Collect insurance information from the rideshare driver: Under Wisconsin state law, the driver must carry proof of insurance at all times and present it to all interested parties upon request after an accident.
  • Take a screenshot of your rideshare app: Having proof of your passenger status at the time of the accident can be critical to your claim against the rideshare company’s insurance coverage.
  • Photograph the accident scene: Pictures of the accident are valuable for determining liability for the crash.
  • Get contact information for eyewitnesses: First-hand accounts can be useful for reconstructing the accident, if necessary.
  • Call a trusted personal injury lawyer: A lawyer with experience in rideshare accidents can advise you on your next steps and ensure that your legal rights are upheld.

How Can a Rideshare Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Liability in rideshare accidents can be a complex topic. Determining which insurance or combination of insurances will cover your damages is often challenging. As a rideshare crash victim, you deserve to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side who understands the intricacies of Uber and Lyft accidents and how Wisconsin law affects your unique case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will work to help you recover the best possible settlement for your losses, including damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

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