Your Rights as a Passenger Using Uber or Lyft
Author: Attorney Daniel Villalobos
Just a few years ago in San Francisco, UberCab hit the streets as a new type of ride sharing service for people needing transportation but who did not want to call a typical taxicab. Uber drivers are vetted by Uber, but are independent contractors who use their own meticulously maintained automobiles to transport riders to and from their destinations.
Uber riders use an app on their smart phones to schedule pick-up and drop-off. All transactions are done by credit card on the phone. Even tips. No need for riders to carry cash and they know what the cost of the ride is prior to pick-up. The business model was so successful, it was followed shortly thereafter by a company called Lyft. Now, Uber and Lyft, transportation network companies (TNC) operate in most major cities across the U.S.
Uber and Lyft Car Sharing
Both companies now have extended their ride sharing programs: UberPool or LyftLine. When you request a ride through the app, you tap an icon if you want to share the ride. The driving company matches you with other riders going your direction. The cost of the ride is split among the riders.
Legal Liability Issues When an Uber or Lyft Driver Causes an Accident: Driver or Passenger
As long as you are a passenger when the driver causes an accident, the company policies will cover your damages up to $1 million. This is more than the average driver generally carries. For drivers who are injured, it depends on where they were in the process whether or not they are covered by their own policy or by the company policy. For example, if they were logged in as available, and driving around waiting for a call, coverage is different than if they were on their way to pick up a rider or had a passenger in the car. Drivers who are at fault will generally need to look to their personal auto policy for coverage.
Rights of a Person Injured from an Uber or Lyft Car Share Service
Make certain your driver has his company app turned on during the ride. Only then are you covered by the company insurance. If for some reason, the app is off, the TNC may be able to deny coverage. The driver’s personal coverage may not provide coverage since many such policies exclude coverage if the driver is transporting passengers for economic gain.
If you were injured in an automobile accident while an Uber or Lyft passenger or a driver, call Attorneys Dell & Schaefer for a free consultation in order to evaluate your rights and pursue compensation.