With ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft becoming ever more common, the likelihood of being involved in an accident with one of their drivers rises as well. For someone who is injured in an accident involving a rideshare driver—whether the injured person is the passenger, a pedestrian, or in another vehicle—the involvement of the ridesharing company can have consequences for the resulting legal dispute.
Ridesharing and insurance
Ridesharing companies typically provide coverage for their drivers under commercial insurance policies similar to what conventional taxi companies carry. Nevada law requires ridesharing drivers to be covered under personal or commercial policies with limits that vary based on where the driver is in the ridesharing process (NRS 690B.400 et. seq.):
- While waiting for a passenger (Phase 1): While a driver is cruising around with the ridesharing app active waiting for a passenger to request a ride, his or her liability insurance policy must cover at least $50,000 per injury, per person; $100,000 bodily injury per accident; and $25,000 in property damage.
- While on the way to pick up the passenger (Phase 2) and while carrying the passenger (Phase 3): Once the driver is matched to a passenger, and until the passenger leaves the vehicle, the driver must be covered for not less than $1.5 million of liability per accident.
Ridesharing drivers can also buy additional ridesharing endorsements from their personal auto insurance providers. The main purpose of buying add-on coverage like this is to protect the driver from the coverage limitations of a typical ridesharing company’s policy. For example, a driver may want more than the minimum coverage during Phase 1 waiting. A ridesharing endorsement can also protect a driver from deductibles payable by the driver under the company’s commercial policy ($1,000 for Uber, $2,500 for Lyft).
Keeping track of details
A person injured in any car accident hopefully has an opportunity to collect essential information about the crash before the people involved leave the scene. Most of the important details are the same as for any car crash, and include:
- Names and contact information for drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
- Insurance policy information for everyone involved.
- The name and contact information for the ridesharing company.
Winning the battle over fault
In any legal dispute following an accident, someone who has been injured may wish to sue both the individual driver as well as the ridesharing company. The ridesharing companies expect this and are insured to deal with it.
Insurance companies prefer to settle auto accident cases rather than take them all the way to trial. Settlement can give injured parties faster relief as well. But in an accident the insurance companies involved will try to shift the blame for the accident away from themselves. In the ridesharing context, that can mean the driver’s personal insurer and the company’s commercial insurer may end up arguing about who should pay.
GGRM is an auto accident law firm in Las Vegas
For over 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients who have been injured in auto accidents. Although ridesharing has introduced novel problems onto Nevada’s roads, it hasn’t altered the basic legal framework of car accidents. If you have been injured in an accident involving a ridesharing driver, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or reach us through our contact page.