Liability for Ridesharing Companies: Whose Insurance Covers an Accident Involving a Ridesharing Vehicle?

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In recent years, ridesharing has emerged as a popular alternative to expensive cab rides. Ridesharing companies use smart phones, GPS devices, and social networks to connect drivers with riders. Two of the most popular companies that offer ridesharing services are Uber and Lyft. 

Although ridesharing systems are a great alternative to cabs, if a ridesharing car gets into an accident, the issue of liability can be a tricky one. Under the current system, there's a gap in insurance coverage. It's unclear when a ridesharing vehicle's commercial insurance policy covers an accident, and when the driver's own personal insurance policy covers the accident.

A couple of tragic accidents that occurred recently have highlighted the need with ridesharing services and insurance coverage gaps. On New Year's Eve last year in San Francisco, a six year old girl was killed by a driver who was logged onto the Uber app to provide a ride, but wasn't currently transporting anyone. The family sued Uber, but Uber responded that the accident did not involve a vehicle that was providing a trip on the Uber system. Over the recent Halloween weekend, a resident of Sacramento who was travelling in a Lyft vehicle was killed in a crash. Lyft does offer $1 million in liability insurance while a driver is providing a ride or is on the way to pick up a passenger.

When any new technology becomes popular, it takes the law a while to catch up. Eventually, there will most likely be clear laws on the books and insurance policies that will cover ridesharing situations.

If you have been involved in an accident while working for or using the services of a ridesharing service, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 888-894-0119. We can help you sort out the legal liability involved. Call us today, or visit us on Twitter to learn more about our firm.

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