A man takes a picture of the damage of a car accident

How Do Rideshare Insurance Policies Work in the Event of an Accident?

Today, ridesharing services are more popular than ever before, but one aspect that can still be confusing for drivers is how their insurance policies work in the event of an accident that occurs on the job. It’s essential that you know what your coverage applies to, and any passengers involved in such an accident need to know whether they can claim damages.

The Stages of Rideshare Driving 

Understanding your insurance coverage while ridesharing requires that you first consider the three phases of a rideshare app: 

  • Available: The driver is available to pick up passengers
  • En Route: The driver is on the way to pick up a passenger
  • On the Trip: The driver is taking a passenger to their destination

When your rideshare app is off, your personal car insurance applies, but once you’re on the job, certain companies, including Uber and Lyft, provide some coverage. That said, if your app is on but you don’t have a passenger, you may have mixed coverage. The company you work for might offer contingent liability, which provides limited coverage that would be supplemental to your personal car insurance.  

If your app is on and you have accepted a passenger — even if they are not yet in the car — the rideshare company’s commercial insurance policy is in effect, and that continues to be the case until you drop the passenger off. A rideshare company usually includes liability, contingent collision, and comprehensive coverage, as well as underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. 

Keep in mind that your personal auto coverage will likely not cover accidents that occur during rideshare trips, as insurers price their policies assuming that drivers use their cars for themselves, not commercial purposes. If you’re making money by driving your car, you need special rideshare insurance. 

What happens if you’re a passenger?

If you’re the passenger of a rideshare driver who gets into an accident, you have legal options. If the rideshare driver was clearly at fault for the crash, you can bring a lawsuit against them, but in many instances, their personal car insurance may not cover these kinds of accidents. 

Under California Vehicle Code Section 5430, rideshare companies must carry $1 million in insurance in the event that personal injury, death, or property damage is caused by one of their drivers. With that said, in the majority of situations, passengers need only sue the ridesharing company, not the driver. It is also possible in California to file a claim against the ridesharing company if the other driver was not insured or underinsured. 

If the driver was not at fault to begin with, though, you can bring a lawsuit against the driver of the other car involved in the accident.

Damages You Can Claim After Being in a Rideshare Accident

Whether you were the driver or a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle that was involved in a car accident, you have the chance to recover damages, such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future pain and suffering 
  • Wrongful death
  • Past economic losses
  • Loss of future income 

In instances that involve reckless or outrageous driver behavior, you may also be able to claim punitive damages, but you’re better off turning to a personal injury attorney for help instead of taking on a case alone. Attorneys will have the necessary experience negotiating with insurance companies to be able to get you the best compensation possible.

Get Help From Experienced Lawyers

When you turn to Saeedian Law Group in Los Angeles, CA, you receive help from lawyers who have years of experience fighting for clients’ rights. A personal injury lawyer will help you gather all of the necessary evidence to support your claim whilst fighting in your corner against insurance companies. 

Don’t go through the process of filing a personal injury claim on your own; trust Saeedian Law Group in Los Angeles, CA, for all of your personal injury needs.