Can I sue Uber/Lyft for a car accident involving one of their drivers?
When Kentucky began regulating the ride-sharing industry, it required that the drivers for Uber and Lyft, as well as the companies themselves, purchase insurance policies that cover the vehicles and passengers just in case they were involved in an automobile crash. Most Uber and Lyft drivers use their personal vehicles to ferry passengers around. Most of the time, these vehicles only have a personal vehicle insurance policy covering them, but when they are working for Uber and Lyft by accepting rides from paying passengers, these vehicles would be engaging in commercial work. Most personal vehicle insurance policies do not cover commercial work; therefore, in the early stages of the industry, a lot of these vehicles were effectively uninsured when they caused a crash. The new laws fixed this problem. There are three phases that dictate the status of the driver and what insurance kicks in and how much insurance is available for anyone that is injured in an Uber or Lyft car accident.
1. Phase One: This phase covers the scenario where the driver is not logged into the Uber or Lyft app and is looking for passengers and is using their vehicle primarily for personal use. If during this stage the driver causes an accident then the vehicle’s personal insurance policy, whatever that is, will be responsible for any damage and injuries.
2. Phase Two: This phase covers the scenario where the driver is now working for Uber or Lyft and is actively searching for passengers by being logged into the app, but has not yet engaged with a passenger’s ride request. If the driver then is negligent somehow and causes an accident with another vehicle, Uber and Lyft are required to have their vehicle covered by a commercial policy that provides liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. This policy will also have coverage for $25,000 for property damage.
3. Phase Three: Upon accepting a passenger’s ride request and while they are driving to pick up the passenger, phase three coverage begins. Under this scenario, Uber or Lyft is required by Kentucky law to purchase a commercial insurance policy that provides $1 million worth of coverage for bodily injury liability and uninsured and underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. This coverage is in effect from the time that the Uber or Lyft driver accepts a customer’s ride request until such time as the customer exits the vehicle at his or her destination. The driver then turns the Uber app off, and coverage reverts back to the first phase.
If you have been injured in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the lawyers at Hessig & Pohl will be able to help you. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today to review your claim and discuss your legal options. No upfront payment is required and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you. Please contact us here or at (502) 777-1111.
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