Over the last several years, companies like Uber and Lyft have become wildly popular based on their convenience and the ability for anyone to both utilize and work for them. At the same time, these companies have had to deal with significant issues when it comes to their drivers and any accidents they’re in – who is liable in these cases, for instance?
At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we can help answer questions like these if you’re involved in such an auto accident. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over everything you need to know about how claims work when it comes to these incidents, including Utah’s insurance laws and how they’re relevant.
Utah and No-Fault Insurance
Utah is one of 12 states that has what are known as no-fault insurance laws in place. These laws require all Utah drivers to keep at least $3,000 in “personal injury protection,” which is also called no-fault coverage. This coverage eliminates the potential for compensation for pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages – to step outside this, your injuries have to meet certain thresholds (this is only for physical injury – car damage claims can be made against an at-fault driver with no limitations at all).
To pursue a liability claim after any accident in Utah, then, you must have incurred at least $3,000 in medical bills or have suffered specific serious injuries. These injuries include:
- Permanent disability
- Permanent impairment
- Permanent disfigurement or dismemberment
If your injuries surpass any of these thresholds, you are not limited by no-fault claims.
Rideshare Drivers Are Contractors
Companies like Uber recognize that their insurance could be liable for certain issues, so they’ve taken significant steps to distance themselves from their drivers – most importantly, naming all their drivers independent contractors. This creates a legal separation between these companies and their drivers, which can often transfer to legal issues in the case of an accident caused by the driver. However, there are still situations where Uber or Lyft insurance will come into play, which we’ll go over below.
Uber Accident Insurance
We’ll use Uber as our test example here, and the crux point often comes down to whether the driver is logged in and actively working for Uber at the time of the accident. If not, the driver’s personal insurance is on the hook.
If so, things are a bit more complex. Uber offers no collision coverage if the driver is logged in but hasn’t actively accepted a ride at the time of the accident, but does offer liability coverage for third parties involved in these accidents – up to $50,000 per injury, and up to $25,000 for property damage beyond the driver’s personal insurance.
Finally, if the driver is actively transporting a paying customer, Uber’s full $1 million collision and liability policy will kick in. It will have the following coverage:
- Third party liability coverage for all other drivers, pedestrians, and their property.
- Contingent comprehensive collision coverage for the Uber car, regardless of driver fault.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, if the Uber driver is not at fault and the other driver does not have enough coverage or cannot be identified.
For more on ridesharing companies and how liability works if you’re involved in an accident with one, or to learn about any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.