In recent years, rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft have become popular modes of transportation in California. Like other drivers, rideshare drivers are susceptible to crashes linked to negligence. If you were involved in a rideshare crash, determining who is liable can be confusing. That’s why your crash needs to be investigated by an experienced attorney.
While companies like Uber and Lyft contract people to drive for them, rideshare drivers still use their personal cars and carry their own insurance. In order to drive for Uber, drivers must have at least one year of licensed driving experience – three years for drivers under the age of 23. Uber also requires its drivers to have a valid U.S. driver’s license and use a 4-door car that passes a safety inspection.
How rideshare insurance works in California
Independent contractors who drive for rideshare companies are required by California law to be covered by rideshare insurance when using a rideshare app. Insurance coverage pertaining to app usage is classified as:
- Period 0: The driver’s personal insurance policy is active when the app is off. The minimum requirements are:
- $15,000 for bodily injury coverage per person injured per crash
- $30,000 for bodily injury coverage per crash
- $5,000 for property damage per crash
- Period 1: The rideshare insurance is active when the app is on, but the driver hasn’t yet been paired with a passenger. The minimum requirements are:
- $50,000 for bodily injury coverage per person injured per crash
- $100,000 for bodily injury coverage per crash
- $30,000 for property damage per crash
- Periods 2 & 3: When rideshare drivers are paired with passengers or carrying passengers, the rideshare company’s insurance is active. In California, rideshare companies are required to carry a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance. This covers rideshare drivers and passengers in the event of a crash. Uber provides $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist and comprehensive and collision coverage to its drivers. Lyft provides comprehensive and collision coverage to its drivers who already have collision coverage on their personal insurance policies.
Determining who is liable for a rideshare crash
Crashes involving rideshare drivers happen in the following ways:
- The rideshare driver causes a crash with another driver.
- The rideshare driver hits a pedestrian or bicyclist.
- Another driver causes a crash with a rideshare vehicle and injures the driver and passenger(s).
If you were involved in a crash with a rideshare driver, speak to an experienced Walnut Creek car accident attorney to discuss your legal options. Clancy & Diaz will launch a thorough investigation into your crash and find out who was responsible. We will also deal directly with the insurance companies to negotiate for a fair financial settlement on your behalf. If a settlement can’t be reached, we’ll be prepared to take your case to trial. Contact us to find out how we can help you.