Ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber have become popular over the past few years. But as these companies continue to grow, so, too, do the chances of getting involved in a wreck with one of their drivers.

These types of accidents can be very complex as multiple parties are involved. Trust that the experienced Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns have the legal know-how necessary to sift through all of the confusion in order to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Here’s what you need to know should you fall victim to such an accident.

What Makes a Car Accident Involving a Ride-Sharing Company So Confusing and Complex?

These ever-popular methods of transportation are growing fast in the state of Texas, and, unfortunately, the law is struggling to catch up.

Take, for instance, Uber. As Uber became a go-to for local transportation, more drivers were hired to accommodate client needs. These drivers are technically considered independent contractors instead of employees. This is a legal distinction that, in a sense, protects the ride-sharing company from car accidents, giving them the ability to deny a claim.

How? In short, companies like Uber and Lyft require their drivers to have their own car insurance. Since these drivers are independent contractors, their car insurance company can then deny the claim by stating that the driver is using a personal vehicle for business purposes.

While this may seem like doom and gloom if you are involved in an accident with a Lyft/Uber driver, that isn’t necessarily the case. The truth of the matter is that both Uber and Lyft carry liability coverage for car accidents, but it all depends on the specific circumstances of your crash.

The knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns can help you to uncover who is liable for your accident.

Determining Liability

There are a few things that a car accident attorney must discern when determining who is liable for a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver:

    1. Was the Driver Logged In To His/Her Ride-Sharing App? – If the driver was NOT working at the time of the accident, then their own personal car insurance will be responsible. If the driver was logged in and actively participating in a ride (or in-between rides), then the ride-sharing company may be responsible.
    2. What Coverage Does the Driver Have? – This aspect of your case can become very complex. That’s why you’ll want an experienced and qualified attorney to help handle your case.

The Texas Insurance Code Sec. 1954.052 requires that ride-share drivers are covered with a 50/100/25 policy. Uber, for example, covers drivers up to $50,000 for bodily injury or death of each person in a car accident, $100,000 for bodily harm or death of a person per car accident, or $25,000 for the damage and/or destruction of property of others. The policy can be used to supplement a personal policy.

Lyft has the same kind of policy. However, with Lyft, the policy only activates in the event a driver’s personal insurance policy does not cover that much. Also, the state of Texas has a fail-safe in Texas Insurance Code Sec. 1954.054 that requires that ride-sharing companies cover claims if the driver’s policy has lapsed or isn’t covered.

  1. Was the Ride-share Driver “Engaged in a Ride?” – The law states that whenever a driver of a ride-sharing company is in transit with — or on their way to pick up — a  passenger, that driver is “engaged in a ride.” Should the driver be involved in a car accident, they are covered by a $1 million coverage policy provided by the company in accordance with state law. If the driver were to crash, and was at fault, this $1 million policy should offer coverage of damages to passengers and third parties.

To clarify, Uber offers:

  • $1 million coverage for any damages that were caused by the driver.
  • $1 million for damages caused by an uninsured/under-insured motorist.
  • Supplemental coverage for collisions.
  • Supplemental coverage for personal policies.

Lyft offers:

  • To take over as the primary insurance provider.
  • $1 million coverage for any damages that were caused by the driver.
  • $1 million for damages caused by an uninsured/under-insured motorist.
  • Supplemental coverage for collisions.
  • Supplemental coverage for personal policies.

I Was Injured in an Uber/Lyft Car Accident. What Should I Do Now?

Whenever any kind of accident occurs, the first thing that anyone should do is to seek out medical treatment as soon as possible. Your health is paramount and any medical documentation provided to you can help should you decide to seek compensation.

Next, you should contact the police so that they can investigate the accident. You should also follow up later on with the police department responsible for the investigation to ensure that all information on the police report is accurate.

Then, seek out the strong representation that only Lapeze & Johns can deliver. You can do so by contacting us at (713) 766-4855 to schedule a free legal consultation.

Have you or someone you love been involved in a ride-sharing car accident? Our experienced car accident attorneys are ready to hear your story.

It is clear that ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber won’t disappear any time soon, but we all must take caution. If you are involved in an accident with a Lyft or Uber driver, trust that your Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns will sort everything out for you so that you can concentrate on healing.



Contact us today at (713) 766-4855 to set up your free, no obligation consultation.

About Keith Lapeze

Keith Lapeze co-founded Lapeze & Johns with the focus of delivering dependable legal services to individuals hurt in accidents caused by negligence. After graduating third in his class from Louisiana State University Law Center, Mr. Lapeze continued his calling through commercial, environmental, and tort litigation where he is admitted to practice in both Texas and Louisiana, the United States Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Read more about Keith Lapeze here.

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