Without question, one of the faster growing industries around the world is the app-based, ride-sharing service industry, highlighted by Uber and Lyft.
As with any pay mode of transportation, there are questions as to who pays for claims when these vehicles are involved in an accident while carrying passengers. These new services present an array of legal issues with regards to insurance liability coverage based on their business model.
The Problem with Ride-Sharing Services and Insurance
Taxi services and buses are usually covered by a single insurance policy that protects all of their respective vehicles,drivers/employees and passengers. Uber and Lyft drivers are not full-time employees and, therefore, labeled as independent contractors.
This presents complex issues for the following reasons:
Insurance companies don't care
As we previously noted, insurance companies are not in business to accommodate you, insurance companies want to make money. With regards to app-based, ride-sharing businesses, whether the company policy covers the driver depends on whether he/she is “on the clock” at the time of the accident and logged into the ride sharing app.
Insurance may not cover the accident
If a hired driver hits your vehicle and is not carrying passengers, then the company’s liability insurance policy may not apply. Only the driver’s personal policy is applicable.
Personal insurance denies business transportation claims
Most personal insurance policies will deny the claim if the driver is using his/her said vehicle for business transportation purposes without first disclosing this to his/her personal insurance carrier. Therefore, most drivers-for-hire must take out an additional/excess policy to cover their ride sharing employment. This would play an important part in a claims process is you are a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by a ride-sharing driver.
What You Should Do After a Ride-Sharing Accident
Whether you are a passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle or are struck by a ride-sharing vehicle, you should immediately file a claim with their respective services. If you are injured, you should contact an experienced attorney to guide you through the claims process.
Even if you are not injured and merely have a legal question, contact The Chiozza Law Firm at 901-526-9494. We are happy to assist you in any way possible.
We understand the pain, confusion and frustration that can come with being in an auto accident, but we try our very best to make each day easier for our clients during this difficult time. As evidenced by our client testimonials and verdict history, we are a family-owned-and-run law firm that strives to treat each client as family.
If you have been involved in an accident with a taxi cab, Uber or Lyft driver, request your free consultation below or contact Brian Chiozza, firstname.lastname@example.org, for immediate assistance. It costs absolutely nothing to speak with an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm about your case, but it can cost you more than you think should you not consult with an experienced attorney.
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