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What Happens If My Uber/Lyft Driver Crashes?

Posted on April 22, 2024

Uber and Lyft make it a little bit easier for Chicago residents and visitors to get from point A to point B, but what happens if your rideshare vehicle is involved in a vehicle accident with you inside?

Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft accident claims can become complicated quickly, especially if the Uber driver was at fault. These drivers are classified as independent contractors, which muddies the process of determining liability and recovering money for your injuries or property damage expenses.

What Happens If My Uber/Lyft Driver Crashes?

Steps to Take Right After the Collision

If you find yourself involved in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, there are critical steps you should take immediately:

  • Seek medical care. Even if you feel okay and injury-free after the incident, some injuries might not be immediately apparent. It’s important to get checked by a healthcare professional right away.
  • Call the police. A police report is a vital document when filing insurance claims or legal actions. It provides an unbiased third-party account of the incident.
  • Report the incident to the rideshare company. Both Uber and Lyft have in-app features that allow you to report accidents. This alerts the company and activates its insurance process.
  • Contact an attorney. Given the complexities involved in rideshare accidents, consulting with an attorney can help protect your rights and ensure you navigate the claims process effectively.

Understanding Uber and Lyft Insurance Periods

Uber and Lyft have structured their insurance policies to cover drivers and passengers based on the driver’s status at the time of the accident:

  1. Offline/personal driving. If the rideshare app is off, the driver’s personal insurance is the only coverage in effect.
  2. App on, no ride accepted. When the driver is logged into the app but hasn’t yet accepted a ride, both companies provide limited liability coverage. This typically includes liability coverage for injuries and damages to others if the driver’s personal insurance doesn’t apply.
  3. Ride accepted to passenger drop-off. From the moment a ride request is accepted to passenger drop-off, Uber and Lyft provide $1 million in liability coverage designed to cover any party involved in the collision.

This structured coverage means that the level of insurance protection varies, significantly impacting how damages are claimed and compensated in the event of an accident.

Liability in Uber and Lyft Accidents

Determining liability in a rideshare accident can be complex. While rideshare drivers are independent contractors, Uber and Lyft provide substantial insurance coverage, which can be accessed depending on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. However, if another driver caused the accident, their insurance would be primarily responsible.

In Chicago and the surrounding areas, dealing with multiple potential liable parties requires a thorough investigation into the accident. An attorney with experience in rideshare accidents can help determine all liable parties and navigate the interplay between personal insurance and rideshare company policies.

Compensation You May Recover After an Uber or Lyft Crash

If you are involved in a rideshare accident in Chicago, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses. Coverage for hospital visits, treatment, medication, and ongoing care.
  • Lost wages. Compensation for the time you were unable to work due to injuries.
  • Pain and suffering. Non-economic damages related to trauma, pain, and suffering experienced due to the accident.
  • Property damage. Reimbursement for repairs to or replacement of personal property damaged in the accident.