Should you worry about the financial and insurance repercussions of being involved in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver?
When you’re involved in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver, the circumstances are different from traditional taxis. Such cab companies carry vehicle insurance that is clear and straightforward, according to the law. But it isn’t necessarily clear whether drivers for ride-sharing companies are independent contractors or employees.
A 2016 survey of rideshare drivers found that the rideshare drivers, not passengers or the other drivers, face the greatest financial risk in a crash. The survey of more than 1,000 drivers revealed that 77 percent of driver had not purchased ridesharing insurance coverage beyond what is offered by Uber and Lyft. The drivers are covered for up to $1 million, but only if the crash occurs when a driver has a passenger in the car or is on the way to pick up a rider. When the driver is waiting for a passenger to call, that coverage drops by 90 percent.
“Rideshare drivers might not realize that if they get into an accident while waiting for a call, neither Uber nor Lyft will cover damage to the driver’s vehicle. …In most cases, if you’re in an accident where the other driver is at fault, you are better positioned to be compensated for injuries and damages if that other person is a rideshare driver,” according to nerdwallet.com. “Depending on the state and accident, you may be able to sue the rideshare company for damages beyond the policy cap. …The risks of rideshare drivers going without additional insurance coverage is largely theirs alone.”
That is not the only risk run by rideshare drivers. How safe are these “gig economy” workers? In August, a Lyft driver in Los Angeles was brutally attacked at a gas station in what she called a ”road rage incident-turned-robbery.” During the winter holidays, several Uber and Lyft drivers were attacked. Some of the attacks included the use of weapons by customers. Drivers are picking up total strangers, who are often intoxicated, “and taking them to unfamiliar destinations at all times of the day and night,” reports a workplace safety blog that asks whether these drivers should be allowed to carry weapons.
Richard Manger, principal of Manger Law Firm, has extensive experience in litigation and settlements, with a focus on personal injury and workers’ compensation law. We are proud of the strong relationships of loyalty and trust we develop with our clients. We go above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. You can contact Richard Manger via email at email@example.com, or by calling (336) 882-2000.