Go to main navigation
1307 State Street, Second Floor, Santa Barbara, California 93101

Your Legal Remedies If Injured as an Uber or Lyft Passenger

rideshare accidents

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft offer a convenient alternative to taxis and public transportation. However, their popularity can cause increased traffic and a consequent higher risk of accidents. If you have been hurt as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft car or in another vehicle involved in a rideshare accident, you have remedies for recovering compensation for your medical costs and other losses. 

Rideshare services — known formally as transportation network companies (TNCs) — provide on-demand transportation through online platforms. Unlike traditional taxi or limousine companies, TNCs do not maintain fleets of vehicles or hire drivers. They rely instead on independent contractors who get their business through dedicated phone apps.

TNC drivers are required by California law and regulations to purchase liability insurance beyond that required of noncommercial drivers. This enhanced coverage is necessary because state law permits a personal auto insurance provider to exclude coverage during times that the insured party is acting as a TNC driver, unless he or she pays extra for a rideshare policy endorsement.

The additional coverage required is based on the driver’s level of activity, as follows:

  • During the time between accepting a ride request and picking up the passenger, the driver must have liability coverage of at least $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident and $30,000 for property damage. 
  • During the time after the driver picks up a passenger and until the passenger is discharged, the total coverage for bodily injury (including death) and property damage must be at least $1 million.

If an accident occurs and the driver does not have sufficient coverage, the TNC company is required to provide coverage and has a duty to defend the claim. Uber, Lyft and certain other companies voluntarily carry liability insurance for their drivers up to the limits described above.

Sometimes, fault for an accident might be shared between the TNC driver and the other vehicle’s driver. The injured person needs to file claims against both of them. For example, if you’re a passenger in an Uber car that collides with another vehicle, and the Uber driver is 67 percent at fault, you could recover that percentage of damages from your driver’s rideshare insurance or from Uber’s coverage. The other 33 percent would come from the other driver’s liability insurance. But if that policy is insufficient to cover that driver’s portion of damages, you may have to seek the remainder from the Uber driver’s uninsured and underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage, if it exists.

The complexities of obtaining financial compensation after a rideshare accident demand having an experienced automobile injury attorney by your side. Your attorney can determine the available sources of coverage and handle the claim effectively, negotiating the fair and adequate settlement you deserve. 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a rideshare accident in Santa Barbara or the surrounding areas, call Pulverman & Pulverman, LLP at 805.259.3581 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *