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What Happens if Your Ride-Sharing Driver Gets into an Accident?

Ride-sharing services are convenient, but what happens if there’s an accident while the driver is taking you to your destination?
More people are using ride-sharing and ride-hailing services, but few of us know what to do if the Uber driver rear-ends the person in front of him, or if another car runs a red light and rear-ends the car were traveling in.
In 2015, 245,000 people have been injured in accidents in Texas alone, and 19,000 people were killed in accidents in the whole United States.
Who pays the bill for the accident? And will you be held liable in any way?
Ridesharing and Liability in an Accident
If you’re using a service like Uber or Lyft and the driver gets into an accident, you – the passenger – will likely not be held liable.
Drivers are required to have their personal insurance coverage, and they also have insurance included in their ride-sharing contract.
But here’s the thing – if you, as a passenger, are injured in the accident, you may have a hard time getting compensation for your injuries. Why? Because UberX drivers use only a personal insurance policy. They don’t have commercial liability insurance, and they aren’t licensed chauffeurs. If the driver gets into an accident, the insurance company can deny the claim.
Your Account of the Accident
In 2015, Fortune ran an article that discussed the issue of ride-sharing accidents. The author was a passenger in an Uber driver’s vehicle when he collided with another vehicle.
While the author wasn’t held liable for any of the damages, Uber did contact her to ask questions about the accident – presumably to see how much responsibility the company could avoid.
So, if you happen to be in the vehicle when your driver collides with another vehicle, you can expect to talk to Uber’s insurance company to discuss the details of what happened.
Changing Laws
Laws are constantly changing when it comes to ride-sharing and accident liability. Some states are taking steps to address accidents in the industry, while other states have yet to even consider the issue.
New Jersey recently enacted the Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act, which requires both drivers and ridesharing companies to meet specific insurance coverage standards.
For drivers who are not logged into the ridesharing app, personal auto insurance policies apply. But those who are logged into the app, the driver, ridesharing app or a combination of both parties will need to maintain certain levels of coverage. Passengers would have their medical bills covered by either the driver, the ridesharing service provider, or a combination of the two.
The law requires that coverage is maintained by the ridesharing company and will not be dependent on the private passenger insurance denying a claim.
California has similar requirements, and hybrid insurance coverage is available for ridesharing drivers. Still, many transportation network carriers continue to operate without the appropriate insurance coverage. Only 23% of ridesharing drivers have ridesharing insurance.
Despite the fact that ridesharing accidents are on the rise, 43% of adults still believe that Uber and Lyft drivers should not have to follow the same rules as taxi drivers.

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What Happens if Your Ride-Sharing Driver Gets into an Accident?