The exploding popularity of the ride-share apps Lyft and Uber, as well as similar services, has created a gray area in insurance coverage that could put some drivers and passengers at increased risk in the event they are involved in an accident with someone who is working as a driver for a ride-share service. Although the most popular ride-share companies provide insurance for passengers once they are in the vehicle, the coverage is not absolute, and other accidents involving a ride-share driver may not be covered by any insurance whatsoever.
Personal Versus Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage
The recent boom in the popularity of ride-share services comes in part from the ease with which people can become drivers and support themselves using only their personal vehicle and the services provided by the app. Most ride-share drivers, however, only carry personal insurance coverage for their vehicles, and they may not be covered for any accidents or incidents that occur while they are engaged in business activities, such as driving a passenger for a fee though the app. According to a recently published national news report, the most popular ride-share services, Lyft and Uber, offer insurance that covers passengers and other vehicles both while a passenger is in the vehicle and while the driver is traveling to pick up the passenger after receiving a call. Passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers who are injured by a ride-share vehicle during these times should be covered for damages by making a personal injury claim against the ride-share driver.
There is No Coverage for Accidents That Occur While the Driver Is Waiting on a Fare
According to the article, there is a gray area that exists in which accident victims may not be covered by any insurance in the event of a crash with a ride-share operator. If a driver is waiting for a notification to pick up a passenger while driving around, they are technically engaged in commercial activity, although the insurance that is provided by the ride-share companies is not in effect. Since the driver is seen as a commercial driver, their personal auto insurance may not offer coverage in the event of an accident. Ride-share operators are encouraged to obtain coverage for these situations, although it is common for them to continue operating a ride-share vehicle with no insurance coverage for these situations.
Accident Victims Remain Entitled to Compensation Whether a Driver is Covered or Not
In the event of a South Florida accident involving a negligent ride-share operator, an accident victim should not assume that they will be unable to get compensation by making a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. Many drivers carry supplemental insurance for such events, and the insurance provided by the ride-share companies may offer coverage. In the event that a driver was within the “gray area” when an accident occurs, even without insurance coverage, the driver may be held personally accountable for damages related to their negligence. Accident victims injured by a ride-share driver, whether as a passenger or while in another vehicle, should consult with a qualified accident attorney to discuss the options for pursuing compensation in their case.
Are You a Victim of Negligence?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a South Florida car accident involving a vehicle being used for a ride-share, there could be several options available to seek compensation for your loss. The skilled Miami accident attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank can help you decide on a course of action for your effort to hold the negligent party responsible. With our aggressive representation, you can be comfortable that your claim will be taken seriously by the defendants as well as the courts. At Friedman, Rodman & Frank, we represent clients in Miami and throughout South Florida in personal injury cases, including auto accident and wrongful death lawsuits. If you have been injured, contact us toll-free at 877-448-8585 or via our online contact form for a free consultation.
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