Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies have become more popular than ever in recent years. The two rideshare giants, Uber and Lyft, have captured a major share of passengers departing from or arriving at the Colorado Springs Airport, according to an article in The Gazette. This increasing presence of rideshare drivers poses a risk for others on our roadways. If you are involved in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, you will want to know who you can file a claim against to recover compensation.
What Parties Are Considered Liable in the Event of a Rideshare Crash?
Colorado is an at-fault state for car accidents. This means the party who caused the accident, or that party’s insurance company, is responsible for paying everybody’s damages. In the case of a crash caused by a rideshare driver, either the driver alone or both the driver and the rideshare company may be considered liable, depending on when and how the accident occurred.
As a passenger in a rideshare crash, you may have more options. If another driver struck the Lyft or Uber you were in, then that driver is responsible for paying compensation. In turn, if your accident was caused by your Lyft or Uber driver, then you can file a claim under his or her liability policy. Lyft passengers may also be covered under MedPay and UM/UIM policies.
Can Some of the Fault for an Accident Be Assigned to the Injured Party?
Colorado has modified comparative negligence laws, meaning either party in an accident can be assigned degree of fault. An injured party who is found to be 50% or more at fault for the crash will not be able to recover damages. This comes into play in the courtroom. The jury will assign a percentage of fault to both parties, and any damages awarded to the victim will be reduced by that percentage. For example, if a jury awards a total of $100,000 to the victim, who is assigned 10% of the fault, the award is reduced by $10,000 to $90,000.
How Much Liability Insurance Do Rideshare Drivers Carry?
Both rideshare drivers and the companies they drive for are required to carry liability insurance in Colorado. Like other motorists, Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry minimum liability insurance with coverage amounts of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident
- $15,000 for property damage
Rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are also required to carry commercial liability insurance in case their drivers cause accidents. The amount of coverage available depends on what the driver was doing when the accident occurred.
When a rideshare driver is off duty, the driver’s personal insurance coverage applies to any crashes. If the driver is logged into the rideshare app and waiting, but has not yet accepted a fare, the company’s liability insurance policy covers:
- $50,000 for bodily injury per person
- $100,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
However, if an Uber or Lyft driver is transporting a passenger or on the way to pick up a passenger and causes an accident, the rideshare company’s liability insurance applies, with policy limits of $1,000,000 per accident.
How Do Uber and Lyft Drivers Cause Wrecks?
Like any other drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers sometimes cause accidents. Rideshare drivers spend more time on the road. They often check the app for fares or to navigate to different locations. Time is money, and they may be in a hurry to get to the next location to pick up or drop off a passenger. Common contributing factors in rideshare crashes include:
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a rideshare driver, consult with an experienced lawyer at your earliest opportunity. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we have a successful track record for our injured clients. Colorado Springs car accident attorney Timothy R. Bussey has been awarded membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Attorney Phillip Shadwick has an in-depth understanding of Colorado insurance companies and how to deal with them. Call us at (719) 401-0585 to schedule a free consultation and learn about your options under the law.