In the past few years, rideshare companies like Uber® and Lyft® have surged in popularity. Their business model is simple: drivers are hired to transport passengers, who arrange to be picked up via a smartphone app. But what happens when a rideshare driver is involved in a car accident? More specifically, who’s responsible if you’re hit by a rideshare driver? Here’s the answer according to Virginia law.
If I’m Hit By a Rideshare Driver in Virginia, Who’s Responsible?
To file a claim, you’ll need to prove that the driver was liable for the accident and that you suffered damages—just as you would after a non-rideshare car accident. However, while a non-rideshare driver would pay for your losses through their personal car insurance, a rideshare driver usually doesn’t. That’s because the two most popular rideshare services, Uber and Lyft, will pay for your losses instead, depending on the situation.
If the driver is not logged into the rideshare app, the company will not offer coverage, and the driver’s personal car insurance will cover your losses instead. If the driver is uninsured or underinsured, you could use your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if you have it.
If the driver is logged in to the app and waiting for a ride request, Uber will cover at least $50,000 in injury liability per person, $100,000 in total liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident. Lyft will cover up to $50,000 in injury liability per person, $100,000 in total liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident. However, Lyft will only cover what the driver’s personal car insurance won’t.
If the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger or has already picked up the passenger, Uber will cover at least $1 million per accident. Lyft will cover up to $1 million per accident, though, again, they will only cover what the driver’s personal car insurance won’t.
What Should I Do After I’m Hit By a Rideshare Driver?
First, call the police so they can investigate the crash scene and file a report. Be sure to take pictures of the scene so you have as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Ask everyone involved in the car accident and any witnesses for their names, contact information, and insurance information. Report the accident to the rideshare company and seek medical attention promptly if you’ve been injured.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, turn to Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law in Roanoke, VA. With over 100 years of combined experience, these personal injury attorneys will work with you every step of the way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Learn more about their commitment to justice online, and call (540) 342-2000 for a free consultation.