Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are increasing in popular use, but like any other vehicle on the road, Lyft and Uber cars can wind up in automobile accidents. Because these ridesharing companies are fairly new to the driving scene, some people in Louisiana may not know what would happen if an Uber driver collides with their vehicle. Actually, rideshare driver accidents are not much different than ordinary auto accidents, involving many of the same steps that typical drivers would take if they were caught in a wreck.
Insurance is one major concern. If a rideshare driver is involved in an auto collision, how is the rideshare driver covered? Nerdwallet points out that rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber provide insurance coverage for their drivers should they get into an accident. However, rideshare insurance may not cover accidents that take place while a rideshare driver is waiting for a riding request. Such gaps may have to be covered by the driver’s personal coverage.
Naturally if the accident involves injury, emergency services should be called first. Even if there is no injury, a rideshare driver should call the police. As with any auto accident, a rideshare driver should exchange insurance information with the driver involved in the accident. A rideshare driver may have to provide the certificate of the rideshare company if the company’s rules call for it.
Additionally, some motorists who are impacted by a rideshare driver may be confused about who should compensate them if the rideshare driver is at fault. An article on the TIME magazine website says that rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, not regular employees, so in the event of a wreck, the rideshare parent company will not be considered liable for the damages. As with typical car accidents, the injured party will have to seek compensation from the rideshare driver’s own liability insurance, although if the rideshare driver has coverage from the driver's parent company, that coverage can take care of some of the payments as well.
Finally, it is important to note that rideshare laws vary by state. What applies in California may not apply in the state of Louisiana. Motorists who experience accidents where rideshare drivers are involved would be well served by asking for legal counsel to help navigate state laws regarding rideshare companies and their responsibilities to the driving public.