Just as you do in any other situation where you are the passenger in a vehicle, as a rideshare passenger you run the risk of being involved in an auto accident. If you are involved in an auto accident in a rideshare vehicle, any injuries that you incur should be covered under the vendor’s supplemental insurance policy; although not all injuries are always covered.
As a rideshare driver, you are covered by the rideshare vendor’s supplemental insurance while you are on the app and available to pick up passengers or while you are driving passengers. Uber, for example, offers liability coverage for up to $1 million to drivers and passengers while the driver is on the app and available to pick up / currently driving passengers. If the driver is not on the app and available to pick up / currently driving passengers, they are considered a personal vehicle and covered only by their personal vehicle insurance.
Uber and other rideshare vendors have found a loophole to avoid paying out these policies – by classifying their drivers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees”, they are able to avoid liability in some instances where a driver has had an accident.
If there is a gap in the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage and the rideshare vendor’s supplemental coverage, the driver, any injured passengers, and any other parties injured as a result of the accident may not actually be covered by insurance. It is not uncommon for rideshare vendors to refuse payout or fight insurance claims made by both drivers and passengers who have been injured in an Uber accident, Lyft accident, or other rideshare accident.
Unlike other “ride-hailing” passengers, rideshare passengers can also share fault for an accident. If a passenger does something to initiate the accident, they can be held liable. Even if the passenger did not cause the accident, they can still share fault for putting themselves in harm’s way – for example, a rideshare passenger injured in an accident while not wearing a seatbelt can be held liable for their own injuries. In these cases, the injured passenger or other injured parties may have to file an Uber lawsuit, Lyft lawsuit, or other rideshare lawsuits in order to receive compensation for their injuries.
Self-operating rideshare driver supplemental insurance works similarly to other rideshare supplemental insurance policies. The driver is covered partially by the vendor through limited coverage. The driver also pays a fee for 3rd party coverage. Like other rideshare programs, vendors have been known to try and get out of liability for an accident. If you are a self-operating rideshare driver or were involved in an accident with one, you should contact an experienced auto accident lawyer right away.