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What are the liabilities of ride-sharing companies in accidents?

One of the initial stumbling blocks to ride-sharing was determining what occurs when a Lyft or Uber driver has an accident on the job. Who is responsible for the injuries and/or damages?

Both companies previously sought to avoid liability in these instances whenever possible. Sometimes companies instructed drivers to file all claims initially through their own auto insurers.

But personal auto insurance policies were quite clear — their coverage didn't extend to those passengers or other drivers who were injured in accidents during commercial ride-sharing enterprises.

Uber then agreed to cover drivers while they transported passengers but not going to and from pick-ups. This, too, then changed, with Uber expanding its coverage to include their drivers throughout their entire shift, under certain circumstances.

A spokesperson for Uber declined commenting on the frequency rates for accidents involving the company's drivers. Uber has a policy stating that both riders and drivers who consistently are involved in serious accidents as passengers or drivers will be barred from using Uber.

But that doesn't mean that these companies won't still attempt to shirk liability in some instances. Ride-sharing is still a new industry that is evolving even as it grows in popularity all across the nation. It is understandable that some growing pains can develop during the process.

However, those injured in accidents involving ride-sharing services deserve to be as fully compensated as others who are harmed by at-fault drivers. If you find that your claim is denied or that the insurance company doesn't want to offer fair compensation for your injuries and other damages, you may be forced to take legal action.

Source: Fortune, "Here's what happens when you get in an Uber crash," Kia Kokalitcheva, accessed Dec. 16, 2016

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