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These days, ridesharing is becoming more and more popular. And while Lyft and Uber can certainly be convenient ways to get where you need to go, figuring out the best steps to take if you’re in a car accident involving one of their drivers can be somewhat complicated. Our team of experienced West Virginia personal injury attorneys can help.
If you are a passenger in a Lyft or Uber car that is in an accident and you are injured, the first thing you will want to do is take stock of your injuries (as well as any injuries suffered by other drivers and passengers) and seek medical attention if necessary.
After that, you’ll want to determine whose insurance will cover your medical bills. The driver of the Lyft or Uber car most likely has private insurance that has a “business use exemption” and won’t cover injuries that happen while the car is being used for business purposes. While the driver may have a commercial insurance policy that will cover your injuries, it’s not likely.
In most cases, you will use your own insurance. But luckily, Uber and Lyft both have third-party liability insurance coverage that covers up to $1 million in personal injuries and property damage and will kick in after your insurance maxes out. This also applies if you are the driver of another car and get into an accident with a Lyft or Uber driver.
What if you want to file a lawsuit to attempt to receive damages? According to Lyft and Uber, their drivers are independent contractors, not employees. This means the companies are not likely to be considered legally responsible for their drivers’ negligence (though this may be different in California, due to a State Supreme Court decision). Therefore, filing a claim against one of these companies will be difficult. However, there is an argument to be made that the companies share some level of responsibility. You can always file a claim against the individual driver if you feel you have sufficient evidence to demonstrate their negligence.
If you were in a car accident and you’d like advice on filing a claim, feel free to contact our team of West Virginia personal injury attorneys anytime at 877.526.3457. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond right away.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law