Ridesharing: Car Accidents in the Age of Uber and Lyft

In 2009, the transportation industry forever changed with the advent of the ride share. What is ride sharing? Ride sharing is a service that arranges one-way transportation for a fee. Ride sharing is available via downloadable applications, such as Uber and Lyft. Today, it is estimated that 36% of Americans have used a ride sharing app for their transportation needs. Most of these users are younger generations. And ridesharing seems to be more popular in urban cities compared to rural areas.

Unlike traditional taxi cabs, ridesharing apps rely on independent contractors rather than employees. Ride share drivers set their own schedule, maintain their own vehicle, and provide their own insurance. This arrangement presents unique challenges for those that are injured in accidents involving ride sharing drivers and passengers.

Although Kentucky drivers are required to have insurance coverage for their vehicles, often, this coverage has special exclusions for those that utilize their vehicles for “business purposes” such as those that earn money as a driver through ridesharing services. Some ride share companies provide additional insurance coverage for their ride share drivers however, this coverage often depends on what the ride share driver was doing at the time of the accident and whether or not a passenger was in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

What does this mean for those injured in car accidents involving ride shares? Crashes involving ride shares usually also involve spotty and confusing insurance coverages so it’s important to get an experienced personal injury attorney involved as quickly as possible. Your attorney will be able to ascertain whether the ride share driver has insurance, what coverage is applicable, and which coverage to go after in order to compensate you for your bodily injury claim and pain and suffering.

What should you do when you get in an accident with a ride share driver?

  1. Assess injuries. Check yourself and others to see if everyone is safe and unharmed. Call for emergency medical responders if necessary and visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic to get assessed if you are injured.
  2. Call law enforcement. Once you are in a safe place, call law enforcement and request that a police report be made.
  3. Gather information. Take down the names and contact information for all those involved in the crash. Don’t forget to ask the ride share driver what company they are affiliated with and whether they were driving for that company during the time of the accident. Take pictures and video records of the damage.
  4. Call an experienced personal injury attorney. Call your attorney as soon as possible and let your attorney know that you were involved in an accident with a ride sharing vehicle. Your attorney will be able to assess your rights and properly report the incident. They will also handle communication with adjusters so you can focus on getting well.