Who’s Liable in a Ridesharing Accident in Kentucky?
Ridesharing is a fast, affordable and convenient way to get around Kentucky. Unfortunately, not all rideshare drivers are safe or responsible. An Uber or Lyft driver may cause an accident by texting and driving, driving drowsy, drunk driving, or other types of negligence. If you get into a ridesharing accident in Kentucky, find out who may be liable, or financially responsible, for your losses.
Kentucky Is a No-Fault State
First, understand Kentucky’s car insurance laws. Kentucky is a no-fault state, meaning that regardless of fault, you will file an insurance claim with your own carrier. Your personal injury protection insurance should cover your medical expenses if you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, no matter who caused the crash. However, you may have multiple other recovery options, as well.
As the passenger in a rideshare vehicle collision, you will not bear fault for the auto accident. Instead, you may be able to file a claim with the rideshare driver’s insurance provider if you have a serious injury. All rideshare drivers must carry at least the minimum required amounts of liability insurance to pay for victims’ injuries after at-fault accidents. You can recover through this insurance if your injuries are serious enough, including broken bones, head injuries or permanent injuries.
Uber and Lyft’s Insurance Coverage
As an injured rideshare passenger, you could also be eligible for protection under Uber or Lyft’s insurance plans. Both of these ridesharing companies provide up to $1 million in supplemental secondary insurance coverage. This means if the rideshare driver runs out of car insurance for your losses, the rideshare company’s insurer will cover the rest.
Uber and Lyft offer different amounts of insurance based on the phase of the ride:
- Phase 1. If a driver is using the Uber or Lyft app but has not yet picked up a rider, the company offers up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury insurance, as well as $25,000 for property damage.
- Phase 2. The amount of insurance available increases after a rideshare driver accepts a ride and is on the way to pick up a passenger. In this phase, Uber and Lyft offer up to $1 million to cover any damages.
- Phase 3. After the rideshare driver picks up a passenger, the $1 million insurance coverage will continue until the passenger gets dropped off. Uber and Lyft will also cover damages if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
If the rideshare driver was not logged into the app at the time of the collision, his or her own auto insurance will be the only third-party coverage available.
Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kentucky
If an insurance company refuses to offer a fair value for your injuries and related damages, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against one or more third parties for greater financial recovery. You may be able to bring a lawsuit against your driver, an outside driver, Uber or Lyft, the government, an auto manufacturer, or other parties for causing or contributing to the crash.
Note, however, that unlike other transportation services, such as traditional taxis, it is generally not possible to hold Uber or Lyft vicariously liable for the actions of their drivers. They classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees, to avoid vicarious liability for their mistakes. This does not mean, however, that you have no recovery options. Work with an attorney for assistance finding out who you can hold accountable for your ridesharing accident in Kentucky.
What to Do After a Ridesharing Accident in Kentucky
If you get injured in a ridesharing accident in Kentucky, contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury in car accident law. Hiring an attorney from the very beginning of your case can fully protect your legal rights. A lawyer can help you file an insurance claim and/or bring a lawsuit against Uber, Lyft or another party. Contact Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery today for a free consultation.