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Ridesharing Accidents: Where Is the Liability?

Ridesharing is a great way to conveniently get around town without the hassle of driving and parking. Supplementing the local taxi market, rideshare services through transportation network companies (TNCs)—like Uber and Lyft—connect passengers with drivers via smartphone apps.

But unlike taxis, rideshare cars are not subject to the same strict regulations. Each TNC maintains its own policies, but drivers operate independently and contract directly with the passenger. This begs the question of who is responsible for the actions of the drivers if they get in an accident. Is it the driver or the rideshare company? To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the insurance requirements for rideshare drivers.

Insurance Standards for Rideshare Drivers

Rideshare drivers are required to carry liability insurance. Insurance coverage for rideshare drivers can change depending on what the driver is doing (i.e., waiting for a passenger, on the way to get a passenger, or with a passenger in the car.) The coverage we are concerned with in this blog is that which will cover the passenger in an accident.

As the TNC industry continues to grow, insurance companies are working on developing a coverage type that meets the needs of TNC drivers. Some insurance companies offer rideshare coverage in Illinois. This insurance typically works as a hybrid, covering the driver on a personal level and when “on the job.” This insurance can also cover passengers for bodily injury.

TNCs also have insurance that covers passengers. A standard policy limit is $1 million in liability insurance. But these companies often deny claims by disputing liability and fight aggressively in court.

Stay Smart and Safe

You can get safely from point A to point B using a rideshare service, but be an educated passenger. Choose well-reviewed drivers and verify their identity. Share your trip details with a friend, and ride in the backseat. Also, know the risks of using these services, and never assume you will automatically be covered if you are injured as a rideshare passenger. Although insurance coverage for ridesharing has become more sophisticated, gray areas in the law remain. For this reason, you should work with an attorney if you are in an accident while using a rideshare service. An attorney can work to defend your rights, hold the liable party responsible, and seek fair compensation for your losses.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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