In the past few years, the use of app-based ride sharing has exploded. In the past, car alternatives included public transportation, bicycles, and taxi rides. For many people, the taxi cab experience left a lot to be desired because of long wait times, no-show cabs, trouble paying with a credit card, and cab drivers taking roundabout routes to the rider's destination. Companies like Lyft and Uber have addressed those issues and are giving people more options when it comes to transportation alternatives.
As a new industry, there may still be some uncertainty with how to handle Lyft or Uber when something goes wrong. When a passenger is injured in an accident as an Uber or Lyft passenger, they may be unsure if the driver or the company is responsible for their damages. When another vehicle is involved with an Uber or Lyft driver, where does the injured driver turn for compensation for their injuries? If you are injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, talk to your experienced Maryland personal injury attorney, to make sure you can recover your damages in full.
Insurance Liability for Uber and Lyft Drivers
All drivers are required to have the minimum levels of insurance coverage to drive in Maryland. Commercial drivers are usually covered by their employer's company insurance policy. Uber and Lyft drivers may fall somewhere in between. When an Uber or Lyft driver is off the clock and not picking up or dropping off passengers, their personal car insurance policy may be in place. If they get into an accident while driving for personal use, their personal auto insurance policy will apply. However, under Maryland law, drivers have to have insurance coverage for claims up to $100,000.
However, if the Uber or Lyft driver gets into an accident while they are responding to a ride request, transporting a passenger, or waiting for a rider to get into the car, the rideshare company insurance may apply. Commercial-use transportation insurance policies have higher coverage limits than personal policies. Lyft and Uber both have insurance coverage in Maryland, which applies from the time a ride is accepted through the end of the ride when the passenger is dropped off.
Car Accidents Involving a Lyft or Uber Driver
Just like any other vehicle, Lyft or Uber drivers can be involved in an accident. Uber or Lyft drivers may be more likely to be involved in an accident if they are putting in more time behind the wheel. These drivers may also be more likely to be distracted while driving. Rideshare drivers may be paying attention to the ride request and directions on their smartphone, taking their eyes off the road. Once they arrive at the pick-up point, they may be looking around for the rider, not watching the vehicles around them.
Additionally, Lyft and Uber drivers may also be driving through unfamiliar areas. They may not be aware of the traffic patterns when they go to pick up or drop off a passenger. They may be unaware of one-way streets, blind intersections, or confusing traffic signals. If the Uber or Lyft driver is not safely operating their vehicle, they may cause an accident with another vehicle or a pedestrian. Injuries can range from minor to serious, and in some cases, accidents can be fatal.
Uber or Lyft Accidents as a Passenger
If a passenger is injured while riding in their Uber or Lyft ride, the driver and the ridesharing company may be liable to the passenger for any injuries. Uber or Lyft may be liable for any physical injuries, medical bills, future medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The insurance company may try and deny your claims or limit your recovery. Before accepting any settlement offer, talk to an attorney to make sure you are receiving the full compensation you deserve.
Baltimore Uber or Lyft Accident Lawyers
If you were involved in an accident with a taxi, you may not know where to turn. It may be overwhelming to deal with your injuries and vehicle damage while fighting with the taxi company. The taxi company may give you the runaround, and refuse to pay for your injuries. Their insurance company may not be any better. You need an advocate to fight for you, to make sure you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovery. If you or someone you love has been injured, please contact the team at Gilman & Bedigian. We offer a free consultation and will fight for you to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.