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Rideshare and Insurance

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Whose insurance pays if I get in a wreck in an Uber?” When rideshare services like Uber and Lyft first began operating in Georgia they were in a legal grey area. A car wreck involving a rideshare driver involved a mess of conflicting insurance coverage and was very case specific. But in 2015 the Georgia legislature passed laws legalizing rideshare companies and creating mandatory insurance laws for the industry. If you are involved in a wreck with a rideshare vehicle consider a free, no obligation consultation with an attorney.

What happens if I am hurt while a passenger in a rideshare vehicle?

The short answer is you are protected by at least $1,000,000 of insurance. The long answer is below:

If you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle and the rideshare driver is at fault then your claims will proceed in the following order:

Your first claim will be against the rideshare company’s liability policy. Currently this policy is required to be, at a minimum, $1,000,000.
Your second claim would be against any excess or commercial insurance the rideshare driver held on his personal insurance policy.
Your third and subsequent claims would be against one or more personal UM policies.

If you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle and the rideshare driver is not at fault then your claims will proceed in the following order:

Your first claim will be against the at fault driver’s liability insurance.
Your second claim will be against any excess or umbrella coverage the at fault driver has.
Your third claim will be against the $1,000,000 UM policy provided the rideshare company.
Your fourth and subsequent claim is against any personal UM policies you are covered by.

A few tidbits that provide additional coverage. Because the $1,000,000 policy is also a UM policy it covers you even if the wreck is a hit and run and the at fault driver is never found. It also protects you while you are in the process of entering or exiting the rideshare vehicle.

What happens if a rideshare driver hits me while I am driving my personal vehicle?

If the rideshare driver has accepted a ride and has a passenger in the vehicle or is in the process of picking up the passenger the $1,000,000 liability policy is in effect. If the rideshare driver is logged in to the rideshare network, but has not accepted a ride, they are only covered by a $100,000/$300,000 policy, in addition to any other applicable insurance. Your personal UM policies are unaffected.

The 2015 laws simplified the insurance situation of rideshare drivers and made it easier for victims to receive compensation for their injuries. But this doesn’t mean these cases are easier. Fearful of losing their job, drivers may lie about the circumstances of the collision or whether or not they were using the rideshare app in order to save their income at the expense of your injuries. If you are involved in a car wreck consider a free consultation.  

Robert Cairns