Can You Sue if You Are Injured by an Uber or a Lyft Driver in Virginia?
We are sometimes asked about liability for crashes involving ride-hailing services and whether a passenger can sue if he or she is injured by an Uber or a Lyft driver in Virginia.
Uber and Lyft ride-hailing services have become increasingly popular in recent years but concerns about liability linger. The drivers are independent contractors presenting difficulties over claims against the companies.
Rides-hailing is a cheaper way of getting around than traditional taxi services. The massive growth of these app-linked companies has likely prevented many drunk drivers from getting in their cars.
The liability issue has been a concern, though. What if you are injured by a negligent Uber driver or by an uninsured motorist who hits the car you are riding in?
Your auto insurance policy excludes coverage for using a car for hire like a taxi service. The Uber driver’s policy may not protect you.
New Law Helped People Injured by an Uber or a Lyft Driver in Virginia
Fortunately, a law enacted in 2016 in Virginia attempted to close the loophole by requiring $1,000,000 in coverage for rideshare drivers. Insurance companies are now offering coverage to Uber and Lyft drivers.
Virginia also says Uber and Lyft must abide by a zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of drugs and alcohol by their drivers.
As well as the states, the ride-hailing companies have improved their coverage.
In 2013, for example, Uber added insurance coverage to its UberX service, which uses drivers lacking commercial licenses or commercial insurance. Originally, it only covered drivers after they accepted a ride request and while they were transporting a passenger. Uber expanded its remit to cover drivers during their entire time on duty under certain circumstances. However, an insurance gap remained.
If you have been hurt while taking a ride-hailing service, you should first get medical attention and report the incident to the police.
This remains a very complicated area of personal injury law so you should get legal advice.
A claim should be set up with the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance, the insurance of the other at-fault driver if you were hurt in a multi-vehicle accident, and with your own auto insurance.
Many people now have the apps for ride-sharing services. Fortunately, many of the initial issues regarding a lack of regulations have been ironed out. Other states like North Carolina have also regulated Uber.
If you have been hurt while taking an Uber or Lyft service or your car was hit by a rides-hailing car, you have rights. However, the situation is still complex. It makes sense to call an experienced Hampton Roads car accident injury lawyer at (757) 455-0077.