How insurance claims are handled after an accident can vary from state to state. Maryland is an at-fault state, meaning injured victims can file claims against the at-fault party to recover compensation for the damages they have suffered, such as injuries and medical expenses.
However, who was at fault can also play a role in how the claim will be handled. For example, when claims are filed against rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft, things can get a little more complicated.
Uber and Lyft have very strict insurance policies to protect their company and their drivers, which can make filing a claim against them difficult. However, this does not mean that it is impossible.
If a pedestrian is struck by a Baltimore Uber driver, they have the right to file a claim if Uber or their driver was the one at fault. Still, how the claim is handled can also depend on whether or not the driver was actively on duty when the pedestrian was struck.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how exactly car insurance for Uber drivers and Lyft drivers works to help you better understand what might happen if you are hit by a rideshare driver as a pedestrian. If you have already been involved in an Uber accident and need assistance, one of our Maryland car accident and Uber accident lawyers can help.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies
Both Uber and Lyft have somewhat complex insurance policies, which were created to make it more challenging for them to be held liable when one of their drivers causes an accident. And whether or not these policies kick in will depend on whether or not their driver was actively on duty when the accident occurred.
So, if a Baltimore Uber driver hit you as a pedestrian, how your claim will be handled will depend on whether or not the driver was the one at fault as well as whether or not the driver was on duty at the time of the accident.
Uber and Lyft are required to carry $1 million in coverage for accident injuries. However, that $1 million in coverage only applies in certain situations, which are broken down into three phases:
- The Uber or Lyft driver is offline: If the driver is not actively using the app when they hit the pedestrian, Uber or Lyft does not take responsibility. So in these cases, the driver’s own personal insurance policy would cover the accident-related damages (so long as the driver was the one at fault).
- The Uber or Lyft driver is active but waiting for a ride request: If the driver is on duty and logged into the app but they have not yet accepted a ride request, Uber’s or Lyft’s third-party liability coverage could apply if they cause an accident. This coverage could be as low as $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. It could also be much higher.
- The Uber or Lyft driver is en route to pick up or drop off a passenger: If the driver is on duty using the app and is actively transporting a passenger or on their way to pick up a passenger when they cause an accident, the full $1 million insurance coverage policy applies.
Uninsured Motorists Claims for Pedestrian Accidents
It’s important to note that the above situations still only apply if the Uber or Lyft driver was the one at fault for the accident. Another party could be to blame when you are struck as a pedestrian. The at fault party could even be a phantom vehicle, meaning you have no idea who hit you.
If the at-fault party cannot be found, then you can file a claim through your own insurance company by using your uninsured motorist policy and it will cover you in an accident even if the at fault driver has no insurance or can’t be located.
What to Do When You Are Struck By a Baltimore Uber Driver
In any accident, no matter who is involved, your number one priority should always be your health and well-being. So if you are injured, and the injuries are severe, you should call for emergency medical assistance or get yourself to a hospital as soon as possible.
However, if your injuries do not require immediate medical attention and you are able to stick around at the scene of the accident, it is incredibly beneficial to your case if you can gather as much evidence as possible. This is especially important in cases involving Uber or Lyft drivers.
As rideshare accident claims are more complex, the more evidence you have to prove what happened, the better. Such evidence can include photos of the scene of the accident, photos of your injuries, photos of any property or car damage that occurred, and anything else that is relevant to what happened. Witness statements are also useful. So if anyone else saw what happened, you should get their contact information so they can be called upon to give a statement if necessary.
Beyond that, your next course of action should be to get in touch with a Maryland pedestrian accident attorney with experience handling cases involving Uber accidents. There is additional evidence that you might need that a lawyer can help you obtain. A lawyer will also be able to protect your rights and help investigate the accident to determine who was ultimately at fault. If a Baltimore Uber driver was to blame, they can help you build a strong case to ensure the driver or Uber is held responsible.
Have a Legal Question? Our Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers Have the Answers.
At Zirkin & Schmerling Personal Injury Attorneys, our Baltimore pedestrian accident attorneys have years of experience handling complex cases, including those involving Uber and Lyft drivers. If you were struck by a rideshare driver as a pedestrian, we will fight hard to protect your rights and ensure you are awarded the full and fair settlement you deserve.
Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to schedule an appointment with one of our Maryland pedestrian and Uber accident lawyers today.