Texas Lyft & Uber Accident Lawyer
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have been rapidly expanding across the United States as a more reasonably-priced alternative to riding in taxicabs. Because they are not subject to the strict regulation of taxicabs, their drivers do not undergo the same training or testing that a taxicab company may require. Thus, you never know for sure what kind of driver is operating an Uber or Lyft vehicle. If you are involved in a collision with a Lyft driver or an Uber driver, you need to consult an accident lawyer. Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. today for a free consultation.
Liability for Uber and Lyft Accidents
Like a taxicab driver, Lyft and Uber drivers are common carriers. As such, they must exercise the utmost care, skill and diligence in transporting passengers safely from destination to destination. This is important to know since the jury will be instructed that the duty of care is a “high duty of care.” This is defined as that degree of care that would be used by a very cautious, competent, and prudent person under the same or similar circumstances. This is a higher degree of care owned than the typical driver who must only exercise ordinary prudence.
The higher standard of care must be timely requested by the attorney seeking to impose the standard upon the Uber or Lyft driver. Failure to timely request the standard and accompanying instruction will result in a waiver of the imposition of the higher standard. This is one reason why it is important that you have a knowledgeable Uber accident lawyer or Lyft accident attorney handling your case. Call us to learn more about this and for a free consultation about your case with a Lyft accident attorney.
How Insurance Coverage Works for Uber and Lyft
Insurance coverage for Lyft and Uber drivers can be tricky if you are not familiar with how it works. If you are injured in an accident due to the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver, the coverage may vary depending upon which one of the three fact scenarios your collision falls under:
- The driver was not logged in to the Uber or Lyft App. If the driver is not logged in, that is he is not working at the time nor waiting on an assignment, then you are covered solely by his own personal auto insurance coverage. This may be as low as $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident as is required by the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act found in Texas Transportation Code 601.051 and applicable to all drivers.
- The driver was logged in but waiting on a fare to be assigned. Once the driver logs in, both Uber and Lyft provide the driver with liability coverage of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident and $25,000 in property damage.
- Driver has been assigned a fare. Once a fare has been matched to a driver, Uber and Lyft provide that driver with $1,000,000 in both liability insurance coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Implication for People Hit By an Uber or Lyft Driver
If you are hit by an Uber driver or a Lyft driver while you are not a passenger in their vehicle and the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, then the amount of liability coverage the driver has will depend entirely upon his status above. Thus, if he is assigned to a passenger there is 1 Million in coverage. If he is logged in and waiting but unassigned, there is $50,000 per person up to $100,000 total. If he is off duty then his personal insurance applies–which varies from state-to-state but may be as low as $30,000 in Texas. (But beware if you are traveling, some states allow as low as $10,000!)
Implications for Lyft and Uber Passengers
If you are a passenger riding in a Lyft or Uber, you should be covered with $1,000,000 regardless of whether the Lyft or Uber driver is at fault or another driver causes the collision. The only possible loophole might be that you could lose his underinsured motorist coverage in a scenario where he is dropping you off and he marks his fare as complete in order to get the next fare assigned and then gets hit. This would be important where the driver who hits you has no or insufficient insurance and you have no or insufficient uninsured motorist coverage.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.