When is a Rideshare Company Liable for a Traffic Accident in Virginia?
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At Wind Law, our Richmond rideshare accident attorney knows that Uber and Lyft drivers are just as likely to be involved in a collision — whether it is their fault or another third party’s negligence which caused the crash — as any other driver on our Virginia roadways.
The question becomes, who is liable for the injured party’s damages that result from a rideshare accident? We have answers.
When is a Rideshare Company Liable for a Crash, Injuries, or Fatalities in Virginia?
If you are a motorist involved in a collision with a negligent Uber or Lyft driver in Virginia, there are a few things you need to know about whose insurance may be liable for your damages.
Simply because a rideshare driver has an Uber or Lyft sticker or light on their vehicle does not mean they are actively employed by either company when a crash occurs.
Instead, liability depends on the rideshare driver’s “mode” during the crash.
When Not Actively Working for the Company, the Driver is Personally Liable
If a rideshare driver is not logged into the rideshare app and actively working for the company at the time of the collision, the driver’s insurance may be liable for the damages that resulted.
Ridesharing companies require drivers working for them to have car insurance policies. Virginia’s state law requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $30,000 car accident liability coverage per person, $60,000 per accident, and $20,000 for property damage through December 31, 2024. For policies effective on or after January 1, 2025, the minimum coverage requirements increase to $50,000 car accident liability coverage per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
From a financial recovery standpoint, these collisions are considered the same as wrecks involving two non-rideshare drivers, even if the liable party regularly works for a rideshare company.
When Logged into the App, Corporate Liability May Be Limited
When rideshare drivers are logged into the app but have yet to accept a rider, the rideshare company may provide limited liability coverage. Pursuing limited liability coverage will be a challenge without an attorney, as the multiple layers of corporate policy, in-house legal counsel, and insurance company representatives will provide significant resistance for individuals filing a claim. We can help you overcome these obstacles, starting with a free consultation.
When Actively Working, the Rideshare Company May Be Liable
When rideshare drivers are actively working for Uber or Lyft, are in driver mode, have accepted a rider, or are physically carrying a passenger (including when the passenger is you), the rideshare company’s insurance policy may be liable for your damages up the $1 million policy limit each company is required to carry.
Pursuing the rideshare company directly will include the same challenges as seeking its limited liability coverage. Pursuing a claim without an attorney can mean the difference between getting the recovery you are entitled to and ending up with less than you deserve. We can help.
Contact Our Rideshare Accident and Injury Attorney Today
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