What Happens when an Uber Driver Causes an Accident?
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Mon Nov 2016
Many recognize the name Uber as a ride alternatives. Instead of calling for a taxi, a smart phone application sets up your ride. Wonder who is behind the wheel and what happens if they get in an accident? What if you suffer severe injuries and need to make a claim?
It’s common knowledge that taxi drivers are the most adamantly opposed to Uber and other comparable services such as Lyft. Obviously, the rideshare services are dipping into their pockets. Taxi companies are subject to extreme regulations. Cabs must be inspected and are required by law to display the word “taxicab” on their vehicles.
Taxis also have stringent insurance requirements. For this reason, it is easier to ascertain insurance coverage if you are involved in a taxi cab accident. But, what happens if you sustain injuries while riding in an Uber or Lyft car?
Uber and Lyft Driver and Insurance Requirements
Uber and Lyft have gained popularity because they often charge less than traditional taxi cabs. Drivers use their own personal vehicles to transport passengers. They are dispatched to locations by a computer application.
Obviously, whether you take a ride in a taxi or rideshare vehicle, you really don’t know who is driving the car. It helps to take a look at the requirements for those who wish to provide rideshare services. Here’s the basics:
- Drivers use their personal vehicles. For Uber, cars must be four door and at least 2005 models. Lyft requires 2004 models or newer four door vehicles.
- Age requirement for drivers is 21.
- Must pass criminal and driving record background checks.
- Drivers are not required to possess specialized licenses
- Taxi cab drivers are fingerprinted. Uber/Lyft drivers are not.
Now, let’s take a look at insurance requirements. Taxi cabs are considered commercial vehicles and are insured as such. However, Uber and Lyft drivers are using their own personal cars. What are their insurance requirements?
Both companies require vehicle operators to have in-state licenses. In addition, drivers must be named as the insured on the New Jersey insurance policy. Notwithstanding, Uber and Lyft also have insurance policies. This insurance comes into play when a designated operator has accepted a ride and is in an accident while transporting someone.
Insurance issues can be very confusing to the average consumer. For this reason, it is important to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney if you are injured in an accident. Whether you were the Uber driver, passenger or in another vehicle, you will most likely need help determining your rights. You should also check out our article on important steps to take after an Uber accident.
Any type of car accident represents a sense of uneasiness. If you have been involved in an automobile accident involving an Uber or Lyft ride, we would like to provide you with legal advice. Contact us to see how we can assist you.