Don’t get stuck having inadequate insurance coverage in case of a Lyft/Uber car accident
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Many Valley-wide residents are making the decision to become a rideshare driver for the extra income, but it comes with some risks. It is very important to be diligent to protect yourself and your clients should you become part of a car accident. There are many contributing factors that can land even the safest of drivers in the middle of a catastrophic collision.
As a rideshare driver, it is recommended to sign up for both personal and commercial auto insurance policies. Some states may even require you to apply for and be granted a commercial’s driver’s license before you can get commercial auto insurance coverage.
Our Mesa car accident lawyers recommend that if you are going to be driving a vehicle for a rideshare program to choose the highest levels of liability limits for your personal and commercial auto insurance policy. Most commercial policies offer coverage that maxes out at $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident. These kinds of policies can have high premiums and deductibles but are excellent coverage should you be a part of a car accident while operating under Uber or Lyft rideshare services.
When a Lyft, Uber, or another type of rideshare driver does not have adequate coverage, they risk facing costly legal action and financial devastation to cover car accident injuries for all parties involved. There is help though. Rideshare drivers can opt-in for excess liability coverage from their service provider. This extra policy amounts up to $1 million liability per incident and only kicks in beyond personal or commercial insurance maximums. There are conditions. In fact, Lyft or Uber insurance coverage will only kick in their big dollar coverage
- if the Uber app is on, and
- if the driver has either already accepted a ride request or is carrying a passenger at the time of the accident.
Both rideshare programs also have a liability amount reserved for car accidents without passengers. If the driver is not transporting a rider and has not accepted a ride request, then they can qualify for this coverage, which is
- $50,000 per person (ie. applicable towards the rideshare driver, pedestrians, and the other vehicle’s driver and/or passengers)
- $100,000 per incident (ie. towards medical costs)
- $25,000 towards property damage (ie. vehicle damages)
In serious Mesa car accidents, there can be multiple victims in all affected vehicles. If each receives medical treatment that amounts to the thousands, it can bankrupt the at-fault party, especially if they are uninsured. That is why it is still important for you to have your own personal and commercial auto insurance coverage in place. Simply put, it protects you as a Lyft or Uber driver in the event of a car accident.
As a personal injury law firm, we know that some car accidents are inevitable. Always be defensive and aware of your surroundings to avoid striking another vehicle, person, or animal. Here are some car accident prevention tips that may help you as a rideshare driver:
1. When picking up a ride, get out of the flow of traffic. Try to arrange to pick up in load-only zones or in a spare parking spot whenever possible.
2. Always ask your riders to buckle up. Seat belts are proven to help reduce nearly half of severe internal injuries sustained in car accidents.
3. If you are playing music for your riders, ask what their music preference is and set the volume to the rear seats. This reduces distraction for you in the driver’s seat.
4. Try to keep conversation with your riders to a minimum, so you can focus on the road. Most riders sit in the backseat, so if you turn your head or use your mirrors to talk with them, you’re not paying attention to the road.
5. If you are a new rideshare driver, restrict your radius to the areas you are most familiar with to prevent driver confusion. This gives you more time to get used to the new way of driving in your town.
6. Let your riders know which route you plan to take to drive them to their destination, and ask your rider if this is ok. Your rider might have alternative routes that they prefer.
7. Follow all rideshare provider policies including keeping your provider’s light on when in service and keep all signage in clear visibility. This is a preventative measure to ensure the rider does not enter the wrong vehicle.
It is possible to avoid a car accident as a Lyft, Uber or other rideshare service provider. It takes conscious effort and planning to protect yourself as a commercial driver. If you have more questions about how the Lyft or Uber insurance coverage works, contact our car accident attorneys in Mesa, AZ. We can advise you on how to best protect yourself in the event of a collision.
Skousen, Gulbrandsen, & Patience, PLC, provides legal representation for car accident victims throughout Mesa, the East Valley, and the metro Phoenix areas. Our accident injury lawyers are available both to rideshare as well as riders to protect the rights of all car accident victims that use Lyft, Uber, or other rideshare services. If you have been injured while using rideshare services, we can help. Contact us 24/7 at 480-833-8800 or fill out a request for a free initial consultation with our legal team today.