Laws are often slow to catch up with new technology, and the recent ridesharing craze is no exception. Uber and Lyft have battled with competition laws, employment laws and insurance laws. Fortunately for you, the insurance laws related to ridesharing seem to benefit riders.
While the protocol to follow if you are in an accident for which your Texas Uber driver is responsible is not much different from the steps you should take after an accident in your personal vehicle, it may help you to understand the way ridesharing insurance works and the challenges you may face when trying to claim benefits after an accident.
Ridesharing insurance coverage
Your Uber driver certainly has auto insurance. This is a requirement of ridesharing companies. However, personal auto insurance typically includes the exception of using your vehicle for business. For example, your policy may not cover you if you are in an accident in your personal vehicle while delivering pizzas for your part-time job.
As long as you were not responsible for distracting your Uber driver or contributing to the accident, Uber insurance should cover you. From the moment your driver accepts your ride request until he or she drops you off at your destination, Uber's policy covers up to $1,000,000 in liability damage. You can file a claim for coverage of any of the following:
- Hospital fees
- Prescription medications
- Past and future lost wages
- The cost of any personal items lost or damaged in the accident
The complications arise when your Uber driver fails to report the accident to Uber's insurance company. You should also expect to provide detailed documentation of your injuries and the medical care related to them. This is why you should not skip the step of seeking medical treatment immediately after the accident and at any time afterward if new or unusual symptoms arise.
The downside of ridesharing
Uber and Lyft ridesharing capabilities rely on smartphone technology. This means your driver may frequently be checking the app on his or her phone for navigational information, new customers and settings changes. It is no secret that distracted driving is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents.
While ridesharing is a cheaper and more convenient alternative to public transportation or traditional taxi cabs, the risk of being in an accident exists. Filing a claim for coverage from any insurance policy is complicated, and you may benefit from the assistance of a legal professional who has experience dealing with rideshare insurance companies.