Colorado Springs Rideshare Car Accident Attorneys
You see them in the windshields of cars in most mid to major cities around the world: the black and white Uber symbol and Lyft's bright pink logo. These companies, both launched in 2012, are part of the emerging "rideshare" economy that is growing rapidly.
In ridesharing, drivers using their own vehicles, receive ride requests through the rideshare company's app on their smartphone. The app's GPS then guides the driver to the ride requester's location, and, once the rider is picked up, guides the driver to the rider's desired destination. Fares are calculated by the distance traveled, the duration of the trip, and the demand for rides in the area at that time. No cash is involved. All transactions are carried out via the ride requester's credit card. In most cities, using a rideshare company is more convenient and cheaper than using a taxi. This is why the rideshare industry is growing in popularity. But, as with any new business spawned by emerging technology, legal and liability issues have grown along with it.
If you have been in an accident while using a rideshare company, or been in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, it is very important that you contact an experienced Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer. There are growing questions concerning insurance coverage and liability involving rideshare drivers and you need to protect yourself.
The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. has been representing car accident victims in Colorado Springs for over 20 years and has a proven track record of winning substantial settlements for their clients. With all the gray areas and loopholes involved in rideshare liability, you need a concerned advocate who will fight on your behalf against insurance companies that will go to great lengths to deny responsibility. Call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. today at (719) 475-2555 for a free initial consultation.
Unlike taxi or other livery drivers, rideshare drivers ARE NOT required to carry commercial driver's insurance. Both Lyft and Uber provide $1 million liability coverage, which may sound like an excellent coverage plan, but that amount varies depending on which “period” the driver is in when the accident occurs.
- Period 0: The driver isn't working, as in not logged into the rideshare app. No coverage is provided, but the driver's personal insurance may apply.
- Period 1: The driver is working, logged into the app, but hasn't taken a ride request. In this case, Lyft/Uber provides up to $50,000 per person and a total of $100,000 in liability coverage.
- Period 2: The driver accepts a ride and is on their way to pick the customer up. This is when liability actually increases to $1 million.
- Period 3: The customer is in the car. Here the liability coverage of up to $1 million applies, as well as limited coverage for any damage done to the driver's car and even uninsured motorist coverage.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of disagreement about who is providing coverage while a rideshare driver is waiting for a ride request or driving to a ride requestor's destination. If a rideshare driver's insurance company finds out they are working for a rideshare company, they may choose to cancel the driver's policy.
A tragedy happened in San Francisco in 2014 when an Uber driver struck and killed a young girl. The driver was logged on to the app and waiting for a ride request at the time of the accident. Both Uber's insurance and the driver's personal insurance denied liability, leading to extensive lawsuits and continued questions concerning possible gaps in coverage.
In 2014, Colorado passed Senate Bill 14-125. The bill titled "Concerning the Regulation of Transportation Network Companies, and, in connection Therewith Requiring Transportation Network Companies to Carry Liability Insurance, Conduct Background Checks on Transportation Network Company Drivers, Inspect Transportation Network Company Vehicles, and Obtain a Permit from the Public Utilities Commission" was the first law passed in the nation to address the rideshare industry. The law regulates insurance coverage for rideshare companies, established requirements for rideshare drivers, and laid out safeguards for rideshare vehicles. Read the full text of Senate Bill 14-125 here.
This bill requires that Uber and Lyft give their drivers background checks before approving them to drive, making sure customers are not put in a vulnerable and unsafe situation. It also mandates routine vehicle inspections be implemented.
The rideshare companies are also obligated to provide insurance for their drivers in the case of an accident. Before the law, it was argued that Uber/Lyft should only have to give insurance if there was a customer in the car. The bill is sure to stipulate, however, that insurance must be provided once the driver is logged in to the rideshare app, whether there is a customer in the car or not.
The esteemed Colorado Springs car accident attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can answer any questions you might have regarding rideshare liability and how to seek compensation if you are injured. Remember, in a personal injury case, Colorado has a three-year statute of limitations to file a claim, so it's important to act fast. Call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. today at (719) 475-2555 for a free consultation.