Considering how much they have simplified the transportation process, it should come as no surprise that Lyft and Uber are becoming increasingly popular. A large number of New Orleans residents and tourists have grown to depend on rideshare programs such as these to perform daily tasks, travel to the Louie Armstrong International Airport (“MSY”), Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras or to enjoy a night out in The French Quarter. Rideshare may even serve as a replacement for owning a vehicle. Rideshare drivers, however, still get into motor vehicle accidents. In these situations, it is critical to understand the complex issues involving liability. While rideshare companies are sometimes prepared to resolve the issue, this is not always true.
There are a number of people who might be able to initiate a claims for injuries and property damage, including drivers of rideshare vehiclest, any passengers involved in a rideshare accident, bicyclists or pedestrians who have been hit by a rideshare vehicle, and other drivers who were harmed in an accident where the opposing party was operating a rideshare vehicle. While there are a number of elements that will influence how much compensation you will be able to receive, one of the most substantial issues involves the status the driver was “in” at the time the accident occurred. Some of the types of driver statuses include having the rideshare app open and activated at the time of crash (i.e. being in “driver mode”), being en route to pick up a rideshare passenger at the time of crash, or being en route with a passenger already within the vehicle.
In rideshare accidents, there are a number of complex Uber car accident insurance issues involved with the company and the drivers. As is the same with any motor vehicle accident, injuries are not always visible. Furthermore, insurance companies often want to settle matters quickly. To navigate these matters, it is often critical to retain the assistance of a skilled accident attorney to file an Uber car accident lawsuit.
The responsible driver in a rideshare accident is determined in the way that an at-fault driver would be identified in any other type of accident. Establishing the responsible insurance company after a rideshare accident occurs, however, is often particularly difficult. The City of New Orleans mandates certain coverage limits during various phases of the trip. For example, a New Orleans Uber driver involved in an accident is required to have $1,000,000.00 for death, personal injury and property damage and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage during that time the driver accepts a passenger match until the driver has completed the transaction, or the last passenger exits the vehicle, whichever is later.
Uber states its auto liability insurance coverage applies in a limited capacity while the Uber driver is waiting for a request and that more expansive coverage kicks in when the Uber driver is in on the way to pick up a rider and during a trip. However, the driver’s personal automobile policy applies when driver is driver her car for personal use. UberBlack, UberSUV, and UberTaxi also have their own special rules.
Lyft also has a precise insurance policy for its drivers; Lyft coverage is offered from the time the driver accepts a ride request until the time the ride has ended in the app. When driver mode is off, the driver’s personal insurance is usually the applicable insurance policy. However, the driver’s personal policy may or may not apply when the driver is using her vehicle in connection with the Lyft digital network or software application, either while logged in to the network or engaged in a prearranged ride, depending on its terms.
No matter the facts surrounding a car accident, if you have been involved in a vehicle accident, it is important to immediately contact law enforcement so that a police report can be written. It is also important to write down the description of the vehicle involved in the accident as well as the license plate number, and the contact information and insurance details of the other driver. If it is possible and safe to do so, it is also often important to take photographs of the scene of the accident. Most rideshare drivers are also required to contact their respective rideshare company immediately.
If you have an Uber car accident claim, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable accident attorney. At the Lavis Law Firm, our attorneys are familiar with the complex issues that can arise when accidents occur. Contact us today to schedule an initial free case evaluation.
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Review by: Zyiesha Marshall-Carter
Reviewing: Lavis Law Firm