What to Do if I'm in an Uber or Lyft Accident


Rideshare is quickly sweeping the nation as a practical alternative to calling a cab. Several companies have sprouted, assembling regular people who own decent cars allowing them to drive their own cars for extra cash. Two main companies currently have a stronghold on the market: Uber since 2009 and Lyft as of 2012. These companies boast hundreds of thousands of drivers on the roads, 40% of whom drive for both at the same time. With so many available cars, passengers are bound to find themselves into an accident the more frequently they use these services.

Since peer-to-peer ride-sharing is a relatively new concept, laws around insurance are still developing. In general, as a passenger aboard a rideshare, you are covered by the rideshare company's policy or that of the other car; whoever is at fault.

Rideshare Insurance Policy

Both Uber and Lyft provide substantial auto insurance for their drivers. The $100,000 liability coverage is double the coverage carried by the average U.S. driver. Liability coverage ensures that all passengers or third parties are covered when they have sustained injuries because of a Lyft or Uber accident. Their contingent liability coverage kicks in when the app is in driver mode.

If a driver is not in driver mode, he must appeal to his own insurance company or that of the other driver. For this reason, rideshare drivers usually carry two forms of insurance -- that from the rideshare company and their own personal policy. If you are a passenger while the driver is mistakenly not in driver mode, chances are high that either Lyft or Uber will compensate you for damages regardless.

Relative Safety of Rideshares

Generally speaking, hailing a ride from a rideshare company is a safe activity. It can be as safe or even safer than driving yourself around, as cars are expected to be under 10 years old and are submitted to inspections in several states. Both companies background check drivers and within the apps for both companies, passengers use a star-rating system to rate the quality of their ride. You can review any driver's rating before requesting a ride from him.

For more information about New Jersey insurance laws as they pertain to rideshare companies, you can speak with attorney James Vasquez. Practicing personal injury and taking on car accident claims throughout the Garden State, he provides a personal touch through his legal practice. You can call The Law Offices of James P. Vasquez, PC at (862) 247-8711 for a free consultation.