Rideshare Accidents

Our Rideshare Accident Attorneys Can Help

Prefer not to drive but need to get somewhere? Rather than carpool or take public transit, using a ridesharing service like Lyft or Uber is another option.

Ridesharing is convenient and usually inexpensive, making it a popular choice for getting around. However, there’s one aspect of ridesharing that’s not often talked about: what happens in a rideshare accident? Who is responsible? Are you protected as a passenger?

The team of car accident attorneys at Boller & Vaughan discuss how ridesharing works, who is liable in an accident, and what to do if an accident occurs.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a ridesharing accident in Wisconsin, call our office at 608-268-0268 or schedule a free consultation online.

What to Do in a Rideshare Accident

Whether you’re a passenger, rideshare driver, or pedestrian, your first step after an accident is to make sure everyone involved is safe.

Call 911 as soon as possible to request an ambulance and local law enforcement. The police will make an official report, which can serve as evidence if you decide to file a lawsuit.

Rideshare drivers and passengers should both report the accident to the rideshare company. Contact Uber support or the Lyft Customer Care team. They can guide you through your next steps. You should also contact your personal insurance company to report the accident.

While you wait for law enforcement and medical attention, gather information you will need for your insurance and a lawsuit, should you file.

Write down information such as:

  • Names, phone numbers, or email addresses of any other parties involved
  • Vehicle and driver’s license information
  • Insurance policy information
  • Details about the accident, such as location, time of day, road conditions, what the other parties were doing, etc.

Just because you are involved in a rideshare accident doesn’t mean that a rideshare driver is automatically at fault. Liability must be proven by the person who files the lawsuit, similar to the process for any car accident not involving rideshare drivers or passengers. From there, different levels of coverage must be considered.

Three Types of Rideshare Insurance Coverage

Rideshare drivers who work for Lyft or Uber are not employees; they’re legally considered independent contractors.

Because they are not an official employee, a driver’s company can deny responsibility, or liability, for the driver if they get into an accident.

Even though they can deny liability, rideshare companies do have insurance policies for their drivers. As a rideshare user, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these types of coverage to protect yourself.

Primary Liability/Third-Party Liability

  • If a driver’s personal insurance does not apply, this provides coverage when a driver is in Driver Mode, but no ride has been accepted yet
  • There is a $50,000 maximum limit in bodily injury per person, $100,000 maximum limit per accident, and a $25,000 maximum limit for property damage per accident
  • No deductible
  • This also acts as primary coverage from the time a ride request is accepted until the time the ride has ended in the app. In these cases, there’s a $1,000,000 of coverage per accident

Contingent Collision and Comprehensive

  • This provides coverage for physical damage to a driver’s vehicle resulting from an accident
  • Applies up to the actual cash value of the vehicle or the cost of repair, whichever is less
  • $2,500 deductible for Lyft
  • $1,000 deductible for Uber

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

  • This provides coverage in the event of an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured, and ultimately at fault for bodily injury caused to the driver or passengers
  • This may also apply in the event of a hit and run
  • Coverage limits vary by state
  • No deductible

It can be a little confusing knowing when one of these types of insurance coverages starts at which point during the ride. To understand that, let’s discuss how rideshare drivers break rides up into “periods.”

About Rideshare Insurance Coverage “Periods”

Rideshare insurance coverage depends on which “period” a driver is in. Only one policy applies; a driver can’t stack multiple policies. If they’re alone, on the way to pick up a passenger or have a passenger in their car with them, it will affect coverage.

Period 0: App is off

If a rideshare driver is offline, their personal insurance policy applies.

Period 1: Driver Mode

When a rideshare driver is in “Driver Mode,” i.e., logged in to their app and available to accept a request, Primary Liability/Third-Party Liability provides the following coverage until they accept a ride request:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

Primary Liability/Third-Party Liability remains in effect through the following periods, but the coverage amount changes.

Period 2: Match with a passenger

The moment a rideshare driver accepts a ride request and drives to pick up their passenger, the coverage amount increases to $1,000,000 per accident. UM/UIM and Contingent Collision and Comprehensive are both in effect once Period 2 begins.

Period 3: Passenger drop off

Once a passenger enters the car up and until they are dropped off when their ride ends, coverage up to $1,000,000 applies. Both UM/UIM and Contingent Collision and Comprehensive remain in effect through Period 3.

When the coronavirus pandemic began to spread in early 2020, Lyft added guidelines for rideshare drivers making essential deliveries, too. Essentially, a delivery is treated similarly to a passenger when it comes to insurance coverage.

If you were recently involved in a rideshare accident, navigating these different insurance coverage types and periods can get overwhelming. In Wisconsin, the Boller & Vaughan team can help.

Let the Boller & Vaughan team help

“Regular” car accidents can be tricky enough to navigate. You have to deal with the other party’s insurance company when filing a claim or settling out of court.

Filing a lawsuit for a rideshare accident can be just as complicated, if not more so. Because rideshare drivers are independent contractors, it’s not always clear if their personal insurance or the company’s insurance will handle the claim.

Figuring out liability and filing a lawsuit is not an easy task to take on alone. And if you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, this stressful process can get in the way of your healing. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for you.

The Boller & Vaughan team can help you understand your legal rights and file a lawsuit on your behalf, seeking the compensation you need to move forward.

If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident in Wisconsin, call Boller & Vaughan at 608-268-0268 or contact us online. You can also follow our firm on Twitter and Facebook.

Your initial consultation is free. If we take on your case, we will work on a contingent-fee basis, which means we only get paid for our services if we recover compensation on your behalf.


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After my son was injured in a daycare setting, Ms. Vaughan took the time to thoroughly investigate our case and my son’s injuries. Michele was approachable and had answers to our questions. Talking with her helped to relieve many of our anxieties.

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