West Virginia Rideshare Lawsuits & Settlements
As Uber and Lyft use increases in West Virginia, so has the number of rideshare accidents. Personal injury claims involving Lyft or Uber drivers often involve different issues than typical auto accident claims because different types of insurance coverages usually apply. These claims often involve negotiating with multiple insurance adjusters and recovering fair compensation for your injuries can be difficult without the help of an experienced accident lawyer.
If you were injured by an Uber or Lyft driver as a passenger, pedestrian, or while driving or riding in another vehicle, we invite you to contact us for a Free Case Evaluation. Call us toll-free at 1-877-943-WEST (9378). There’s No Fee unless you recover compensation.
Overview of Uber and Lyft Insurance Complexities
West Virginia law requires Uber and Lyft drivers to maintain private bodily injury auto insurance in the amount of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. Uber and Lyft also provide additional bodily injury coverage for up to $1 million, depending on the circumstances. That said, establishing that Lyft or Uber is liable for your injuries claim is necessary to access their higher insurance limits. Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees so Uber or Lyft may use this fact to try and deny responsibility for your claim.
Uber’s and Lyft’s auto insurance policies are complex and their three layers of insurance coverage depend on the specific “phase” of the ride your driver was in at the time of the crash. Below are the three primary scenarios “phases” that determine how much bodily injury insurance is available for your Uber or Lyft claim at the time of this writing:
Phase 1~ The Uber or Lyft Driver Wasn’t Working
If the driver had their Uber/ Lyft app off and wasn’t working at the time of the accident, they are only covered by their own auto insurance policy. As mentioned above, West Virginia requires at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident bodily injury coverage, and your driver may have elected to maintain more than that. Also, other insurance policies may apply, which is just one reason it’s usually helpful to at least speak with an experienced injury before settling a claim.
Phase 2 ~ The Driver Mode Was On, but there Was No Active Ride
If the rideshare driver had their Uber/ Lyft app on but didn’t have an active ride at the time of the accident, liability insurance covers the following:
$50,000 per person for bodily injury
$100,000 per accident total for bodily injury
$25,000 per accident for property damage
Phase 3 ~ From when the Driver Accepted the Request Until the Passenger Exits
From the moment a driver accepts a trip request until that passenger is dropped off at their destination, the following auto liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage applies.
Up to $1 Million per accident for injuries
Property damage is covered by contingent collision and comprehensive cover up to the cash value of the vehicle or the repair cost, whichever is less
Who Pays for an Uber or Lyft Rideshare Accident Injury Claim?
If you were hurt in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver (“Uber”), there are four general scenarios that determine who is responsible for the injury claim:
- You were injured as a passenger of an Uber car, and the Uber driver was at fault
- You were injured as a passenger of an Uber car, and another non-Uber driver was at fault
- You were a driver of another car and injured in an accident caused by an Uber driver. In this scenario, it matters whether or not the Uber driver had a passenger in their car at the time of the accident. If so, at least three separate insurance adjusters and three separate settlement offers could be involved: your own insurance company, Uber’s corporate insurer, and the Uber driver’s personal insurance company.
- You were a pedestrian and injured in an accident caused by an Uber driver
- If you were working and “on the clock” at the time of the crash, additional insurance coverage will likely apply
What to do if You’re Injured in a West Virginia Uber Accident?
Both Uber and Lyft instruct their drivers to call 911 if they are involved in an accident and to make their passengers are safe. Under West Virginia law, 911 must be called if anyone in an automobile accident sustains a physical injury or there is over $500 in property damage. Because crashes typically involve tons of colliding steel, even mild crashes can cause injuries such as whiplash, concussions, broken bones, strains, sprains, and sometimes even wrongful death.
If you are injured, it’s important to not delay getting the medical care you need. Your medical care is essential to your recovery, and your records are essential to proving your injury to insurance carriers. Insurance adjusters often use delays in medical treatment as an excuse to pay less than fair value on a personal injury claim.
As with all car accident claims, proving who is at fault is vital to your claim, so if you are able, try to document what happened in as much detail as you can. You can note road conditions, the driver’s actions, and take photographs of the scene. Witnesses can be critical, so try your best to get their contact information before they leave, especially if they try to leave before the police arrive.
What Compensation is Available for Uber Accident Injuries?
Your compensation will depend on the details of your claim, including what injuries and lost wages you sustained and what bodily injury insurance is available. Below are the most common forms of compensation that are available for auto accident claims, including those involving Uber and Lyft.
- Past and future wage loss
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future loss of capacity to earn money
- Past and future loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, in limited circumstances
Get a Free Case Evaluation with an Experienced West Virginia Rideshare Attorney
If you were injured in an accident because of the negligence of another, including an Uber or Lyft driver, we invite you to call West Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-943-WEST (9378). There’s also no cost to you unless you recover compensation. We are located in Charleston, West Virginia and serve clients throughout the country.