Updated on: 6/3/2020
Most city, county, and state jurisdictions require rideshare companies (such as Uber, Lyft, Car2Go, and others) to insure their drivers and passengers. Also called Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), these tech startups are being regulated by state governments, including Washington, in a way that can affect both passengers and drivers who use the platform in the event of a car accident.
Liability For Uber, Lyft, & Rideshare Accidents
If someone is injured in an Uber accident, there are a number of important legal factors to consider. First, determining whether the accident occurred while the Uber or Lyft driver was actively engaged in the ridesharing company's services.
For example, once an Uber or Lyft driver picks up a passenger and is en route to the predetermined destination, the passenger and driver are officially engaged in a fare and therefore the rideshare company's insurance coverage should apply if there is an accident.
Liability Insurance Coverage Limits From Uber & Lyft
In April 2015, the Washington state legislature passed SB 5550 which set strict limits for the minimum amount of insurance coverage that drivers of ridesharing companies must carry while in the scope of driving for their respective ridesharing companies, usually Uber or Lyft.
When a ride is ongoing, Uber & Lyft must provide at least $1 million in liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage while a passenger is in the vehicle. These TNCs must also provide their own drivers with at least $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage, and $30,000 in property damage liability coverage if a driver is logged onto the network but not yet engaged with a customer.
Seattle Rideshare Insurance Laws
On July 14, 2014 Seattle City Council approved Ordinance 124524 C.B 118140 which defined “ insurance requirements for transportation network companies and affiliated vehicles.”
During the provisional period described in subsection 6.310.335, file evidence with the City that each vehicle affiliated with a transportation network company has liability insurance in an amount no less than required by RCW 46.72.050 at any time while active on a TNC dispatch system and underinsured motorist coverage indicating a minimum coverage of $100,000 per person, and $300,000 per accident, at any time while active on the TNC dispatch system. The insurance policy, and any related driver contracts if applicable, must be submitted to the Director.
If there is no change to State insurance requirements by the conclusion of the provisional period, the TNC shall provide evidence that each vehicle affiliated with a transportation network company has insurance in an amount no less than required by RCW 46.72.050 and underinsured motorist coverage indicating a minimum coverage of $100,000 per person, and $300,000 per accident, at any time while active on the TNC dispatch system.
Contact An Attorney Immediately After An Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with an Uber, Lyft, or driver for a different rideshare company, contact the award-winning attorneys at Davis Law Group to request a free legal consultation. Our experienced team can help you better understand your legal rights and options after a life-changing accident.
We will help you determine if the assistance of a qualified personal injury lawyer would be beneficial to your case and in your best interests. Call (206) 727-4000 today or use the confidential contact form on this page to request a free legal consultation.