How Do Rideshare Companies Work?
Rideshare companies, also called transportation network companies, provide on-demand driver-for-hire services. They contract freelance drivers who use their personal vehicles to transport passengers. Freelance drivers and passengers connect with each other through the rideshare company's app.
This business model offers convenience for all parties involved. However, rideshare companies become far from convenient for people who get into accidents with their drivers or while in a ridesharing car.
Are Rideshare Drivers Required To Carry Insurance?
Usually, when a driver gets into an accident while working, the company's insurance policy covers the costs. Meanwhile, for individuals, their PIP insurance coverage will cover their costs as well as their passengers'. However, a freelance rideshare driver is somewhere between an employee and a private individual. Furthermore, most PIP insurance do not cover ridesharing. Indeed, the situation is confusing and complicated.
Fortunately, the state of Florida has established a solution for this in 2017. Specifically, the state required rideshare drivers to carry higher insurance coverage than private individuals. They are required to carry:
• $25,000 (PDL) property damage liability coverage
• $100,000 per accident personal injury protection (PIP)
• $50,000 per person
Because of these requirements, rideshare companies are expected to make sure their drivers carry the sufficient insurance coverage. This is important for passengers since the other party's insurance, through Florida's no-fault laws, will not cover the passenger's damages.
Will Rideshare Companies Cover An Injured Passenger's Damages?
Rideshare companies do carry insurance and will cover damages for both the driver and the passenger for certain circumstances:
If the driver is actively transporting a passenger or is on the way to pick up a passenger when they cause an accident, they will be covered by the company's insurance. For these instances, Uber and Lyft have $1,000,000 per accident liability, $250,000 for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and $1000 deductible for contingent property damage.
If the driver is not engaged in transporting or picking up a passenger, but is available through the ridesharing company's app when they cause an accident, the two companies have $50,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage, $100,000 per accident coverage, and $25,000 for property damage.
What To Expect When Your Rideshare Driver Gets Into An Accident
If you are injured in an accident as a rideshare passenger, you can expect the following:
• If your driver carries a PIP insurance coverage, the driver, you, and other passengers will share the $100,000 PIP coverage.
• If your driver's insurance coverage has lapsed, you may be eligible for the company's insurance coverage. The driver's fault in the accident, however, will affect your eligibility and how much you will receive.
• If your driver is underinsured, you may be allowed to sue the other party for damages but only if your driver is not 100% at fault.
What About Drivers?
While passengers have various options to recoup damages if they are ever in an accident in a rideshare vehicle, drivers are often left to their own devices. Rideshare companies do not cover damages sustained by their drivers. This is why they require drivers to carry their own PIP.
Need Assistance To Navigate Murky Waters?
Rideshare accident claims can only be described as murky waters for now. We can only hope that these will become clearer and simpler as time goes by. For now, it's best to let an experienced car crash lawyer help you figure out how you can recoup any damages and costs resulting from an accident involving a rideshare drivers.