Ridesharing is quickly becoming an essential part of our society, especially in urban areas of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. But since the service is vastly different from a traditional taxi service, there are many questions about ridesharing insurance claims.
If you have been in an accident with a ridesharing driver, gotten injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft, or been hit by another driver while driving for one of these companies, you may be wondering how to handle the insurance claim.
The process varies depending on the situation, who caused the accident, and how you were involved. To help you get a sense of the claims process, here’s a breakdown of what to do based on your involvement with the accident.
If you drive for a ridesharing company and you get into an accident, you should contact the authorities and share your insurance details with the other driver — just as you do normally after an accident. Show the other driver a copy of your personal insurance policy as well as the policy from the ridesharing company. With Uber and Lyft, you can find copies of the insurance in the app.
In New Hampshire and other fault-states, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages, and the other driver can make a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company or to the ridesharing company’s insurance policy, if applicable. If those policies are not extensive enough to cover all the damages, the injured person may need to make a claim against the at-fault driver’s personal assets. For instance, if you are driving for a ridesharing company and another driver causes an accident with you but their insurance policy doesn’t cover all the damages, a lawyer can help you bring a claim against that driver.
In contrast, Massachusetts is a no-fault state, so regardless of who caused the accident, you may end up making a claim on your own insurance policy or on the ridesharing company’s policy. If the other driver was at fault, you can make a claim against their coverage if your medical bills exceed $2,000 or your injuries are permanent or include serious disfigurement, fractured bones, or loss of hearing/vision. In cases, where you caused the accident, the other driver has to meet those thresholds to make a claim against your insurance or the ridesharing company’s insurance.
When you’re driving and you get into an accident caused by a ridesharing driver, you may be able to make a claim against the driver’s personal insurance policy or against the ridesharing company’s insurer. Again, in no-fault states such as Massachusetts, you may end up working with your own insurer unless your injuries exceed a certain threshold.
Ridesharing drivers rely on their own coverage when they are signed into the app but don’t have a passenger or a passenger request. If they are on the way to get a passenger or have passengers in the car, the ridesharing insurance policy covers damages related to accidents. The exact amount of liability coverage varies, but if ridesharing company offers you a lowball settlement or if their insurer refuses to cover all of your damages, a ridesharing attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you are injured by a ridesharing driver as a pedestrian, you should make an insurance claim against the driver’s insurance or against the ridesharing company’s policy. As indicated above, Uber offers the following levels of coverage for the following situations:
In some cases, insurance companies have rejected claims from ridesharing drivers based on the fact that drivers have personal policies that do not cover accidents that happen while the driver is using their vehicle for commercial purposes. Luckily, both New Hampshire and Massachusetts have laws requiring ridesharing drivers to get commercial coverage so you don’t have to worry about that risk.
Ridesharing companies have million-dollar liability insurance policies in place when ridesharing drivers have a passenger in the car. So, if you are injured as a passenger in an Uber, Lyft, or any other ridesharing company, you may have the right to make a claim against that policy.
If the accident was caused by another driver, you may have to make a claim against their insurance policy. You can make a claim for the medical bills you incurred as a result of the accident, but if you are unable to work, experience intense pain, or suffer other losses, you may also be able to make a claim for those damages as well.
In minor accidents that just involve a bit of damage to a vehicle, making an insurance claim is generally pretty straightforward. However, when you’re dealing with extensive injuries or if you’re unsure which insurance company you should be contacting, the situation gets a lot more complex. To ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries, you should contact a ridesharing attorney.
At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we work with people who have suffered from injuries after accidents with ridesharing drivers. Let us help you navigate the system and negotiate a fair settlement. To set up a no cost case evaluation, contact us today.