Rideshare accidents occur when you’re injured in a crash with a rideshare driver. Among the largest employers of rideshare drivers, or contractors, are Uber and Lyft.

While most Lyft and Uber rides go smoothly, accidents do happen. And if you’re injured, you deserve to know what legal rights you have. So, what happens if you’re in a crash with a rideshare driver? Can you rely on rideshare insurance to protect you, and how do you claim the damages you deserve?  

Our attorneys frequently handle Lyft and Uber auto accident claims. Below, we explain the basics of how rideshare insurance coverage works. For advice tailored to your unique situation, though, we recommend you call us today for a free consultation.

What Is Rideshare Insurance?

Let’s start with the basics: what is rideshare insurance, anyway? 

Rideshare insurance is a type of auto insurance policy. It covers drivers for Uber, and other transportation network companies (TNCs), when they’re logged into the app. They don’t need to be en route to collect a passenger, or actively carrying a passenger. They just need to be “available”.  

We can think of rideshare insurance as a bridge. It covers the gap between what personal auto insurance covers – and what it doesn’t.  

  • Personal auto insurance covers rideshare drivers when they’re using their car in a personal capacity.  
  • The moment a rideshare driver switches on the app, waiting for a ride request, they’re no longer covered. This is because personal auto insurance “switches off” when a driver is using the vehicle for employment purposes.   

Don’t companies like Uber insure their drivers? Yes, but this insurance may not be enough to provide full coverage. All rideshare drivers are advised to have rideshare insurance to cover their own losses.

Commercial Insurance for Uber and Lyft Requirements

There are legal minimum levels of insurance that every rideshare driver must carry in California. We can break these levels down as follows.

Rideshare App “Off”

California requires drivers to have personal insurance worth at least:  

  • $5,000 for property damage 
  • $15,000 for single-person death/injury 
  • $30,000 multiple deaths/injuries  

Lyft and Uber provide limited insurance coverage to their drivers during this period. For example, Lyft provides $50,000 for bodily injury if the personal insurance policy won’t cover the crash. The issue is that the insurance at this stage may not protect the rideshare driver – only other injured parties.

Rideshare App “On”

The rideshare company’s commercial liability insurance kicks in at this stage. This should be worth $1 million. It covers, for example, uninsured and underinsured motorists, and and bodily injury.

Closeup of rideshare driver app driver logged in while on route to collect passenger

Does commercial rideshare insurance provide comprehensive collision coverage? Only if the driver’s own insurance includes comprehensive collision coverage. Otherwise, the rideshare driver won’t be covered for all losses while they’re driving for Uber or Lyft. These losses include, for example, their own medical expenses and lost wages.  

Commercial rideshare insurance is complex and varies by state. Drivers are advised to seek legal advice if they’re unsure what protection they need.  

What happens, then, if you’re a Lyft or Uber passenger, and you’re injured? Or you’re in a crash with a Lyft or Uber driver? Let’s consider how the claims process works.

What Is an Uber Accident Claim?

An Uber accident claim is any claim involving an Uber rideshare driver. It occurs at any point from the moment the driver switches on the Uber app. Such car accidents include: 

There are many causes of Uber accidents, from driver fatigue to faulty brakes. The cause of the crash may determine who you can sue and what insurance policy applies, as we’ll see below.

Filing an Uber Auto Accident Claim

There’s a specific process for filing an Uber accident insurance claim in California.  

  • Report the accident to Uber (and, if appropriate, your own insurance company).  
  • Gather any evidence you might need e.g. police accident report, medical records.  
  • Do not admit fault or accept liability. Instead, contact an attorney to value your case and explain your legal options.  
  • Insurers must complete their investigations within certain timeframes. Your lawyer will ensure this happens.  
  • Negotiate a settlement with the parties involved. If a settlement is not forthcoming, or it’s too low, your attorney may recommend further legal action.

Time Limits for Accident Claims

You should file any Uber auto accident claim promptly – ideally within 24 hours. Otherwise, the rideshare company, or other at-fault party, may question the delay.  

If you plan on making a personal injury claim for damages, then you have two years from the accident date to file. However, evidence can be lost or weakened over time. The sooner you start the claims process, the better. Contact our Uber accident lawyers for more information.

Common Challenges in Uber Auto Accident Claims

Rideshare accident claims present unique challenges, which is why hiring a lawyer is recommended. Common difficulties we see as Uber accident lawyers include: 

  • The driver may claim they weren’t logged in, although they were actually working. Evidence will be required to prove the driver’s status at the time of the crash.  
  • Uber is at fault e.g. hiring a driver without a valid license. This could mean not only suing the driver, but also suing the rideshare company.  
  • Depending on when the accident occurred, pedestrians – and cyclists – may not be covered by a rideshare insurance policy. This makes compensation claims all the more challenging for these vulnerable road users.  
  • If you’re in another vehicle, rather than the Uber car, we need to determine who to sue. This could depend on, for example, whether there’s a negligence claim.  

Our rideshare accident attorneys can advise on your legal options and how to overcome the challenges you might face.

What Is a Lyft Accident Claim?

Similarly, Lyft crash claims involve Lyft drivers who have their rideshare app switched on. And again, Lyft crashes are often caused by: 

  • Driver negligence 
  • Driver fatigue 
  • Negligent hiring of Lyft drivers 
  • Improper vehicle maintenance 
  • Speeding or aggressive driving  

If the app is off, it may not be a Lyft accident claim. However, you could still have a personal injury or property damage claim against the driver personally.

Filing Lyft Claims

The easiest way to file a Lyft accident claim is by hiring our attorneys to complete the paperwork for you. However, should you choose to file alone, you should notify Lyft promptly. And if you must notify your own insurance carrier, do so as soon as possible. 

If you receive a settlement offer, it’s best to consult an attorney before accepting it. Otherwise, you risk settling for less than you deserve. If you accept an offer to settle, this is final. The result is that you could lose out on the full value of your claim.

How Do I Know Who to Sue in a Lyft Claim?

Determining who to sue in a Lyft claim is challenging, just as it is with Uber claims. However, the general position is that: 

  • Rideshare App Turned Off: The driver is on their own time, not Lyft’s. You can claim against the driver’s own insurance policy, but not the rideshare insurance.  
  • App Switched On, Not Working: Lyft may cover some damages associated with the accident. The exact coverage will depend on the facts of the case.  
  • App Switched On, Working: Lyft’s commercial insurance may cover your losses in a crash with a working driver.

Tips for Making Lyft and Uber Accident Claims

Whether it’s a Lyft claim or Uber accident claim, here are some tips to maximize your chances of success.  

  • Keep records of your losses. This includes medical bills, lost income, and any other losses connected to the crash. The more evidence you have, the easier it is to prove your claim.  
  • Take pictures or videos of your injuries. Combined with medical records and accident reports, images are powerful evidence.  
  • If you must contact your insurance company, stick to the facts. Even if you think you were partly to blame for a crash, don’t admit fault! Let your attorney, and the insurance companies involved, determine where the fault lies.  
  • Similarly, don’t apologize to any other drivers or passengers at the scene. Apologies imply fault, which could jeopardize your claim.  
  • Contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Our Lyft and Uber accident claims lawyers are standing by, waiting to assist right away. We will protect your legal rights, explain your options, and determine what your claim may be worth.

How a Rideshare Accident Lawyer Can Help

Still unsure if you need a lawyer for rideshare services gone wrong? Here’s why the May Firm rideshare accident attorneys can help. 

  • Lyft and Uber accident lawsuits are complex. It’s not always clear who to sue or how to file a claim. Our attorneys keep the process simple by handling the legalities for you.  
  • Insurance companies can be challenging to deal with. They will look for any excuse to reduce compensation, or not pay anything at all. Our team will ensure that you are treated fairly – we will not allow car insurance companies to take advantage of you. 
  • You may be unaware of what losses you can claim. We will gather all relevant evidence and determine the full value of your claim. Our attorneys leave no stone unturned in fighting for the compensation our clients deserve.  

After a crash, you deserve time to recover. To focus on healing. Our Uber and Lyft attorneys are here to support you and help you move forward. Let us take care of the paperwork while you heal.

Lyft and Uber Accident Claims Attorneys in California | May Firm

No one calls Uber or Lyft for a ride, expecting to be injured. However, accidents can – and do – happen. And if you’re injured in a rideshare accident, you need experienced attorneys on your side. 

Closeup of rideshare driver’s hand index finger tapping phone screen while driving

That’s where the May Firm can help. Our rideshare accident attorneys help clients across California get justice after a crash. It’s our privilege to hold rideshare companies to account. We won’t let insurance companies take advantage of you.  

After all, we treat clients like family.  

You’re not just a client to our rideshare lawyers. We become personally invested in your success.  

When you retain us, you will be treated with the utmost respect and compassion you deserve. We don’t charge anything unless we win your case, and all initial meetings are free. So don’t waste any more time looking for a rideshare attorney. Contact the May Firm now for a free consultation.  

Disclaimer: The content in this article is provided for general informational purposes only and may not represent the current law in the recipient’s jurisdiction. The article should not be interpreted as professional legal advice from The May Firm or the individual author, nor is the information intended to substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. The article, nor any of the information included, should not be used to act or refrain from acting without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s jurisdiction. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.