It seems hard to remember a time with Uber and Lyft were not ferrying us around. These app-based services were such a revelation because you could order a car with a simple to use the app and then track it until it picked the passenger up. It was less expensive than traditional taxis or hired cars and generally seemed relatively stress-free. Still, driving is a dangerous activity here in California and elsewhere.
Those who remember riding in a cab may recall seeing posted paperwork that included commercial insurance for operating a taxi at all times, whether there is a fare or not. This means overhead for the cab’s owner, which was not the case for the rideshare drivers.
The issue is an important one for motor vehicle crashes. The carrier for the negligent driver is obligated to honor their agreement, but they may dispute who caused the crash and injuries. The good news here is that victims who are injured by a rideshare driver can recover damages, regardless of whether they in the car or another car or are a pedestrian or on a bicycle.
New system of coverage
Driver coverage is divided into periods. Each has different levels of coverage and obligation based on the rideshare driver’s status:
- Period 0: The driver uses their own insurance because their app is off.
- Period 1: The driver’s app is on, but they have no one to pick up.
- Period 2: The driver has a fare to pick up.
- Period 3: The driver is transporting their fare.
circumstances will dictate the coverage
The bad news is that insurance carriers may dispute who is responsible for the injuries. This slows down the resolution of the case and can leave the injured and their family in limbo. The insurance companies and the rideshare platforms will be in no hurry to settle in most cases, so it is best to contact a personal injury attorney who handles motor vehicle crashes. These legal professionals can help cut through the confusion and secure the compensation that the victims deserve.