How Are Rideshare Customers, Riders, and Passengers Protected by Insurance Coverage Following Injuries from Uber or Lyft Auto Accidents?

Rideshare Passengers Should Know Your Rights If An Accident in an Uber or Lyft Occurs

By Chad Rankin, Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney

Our Lancaster PA car accident law firm can help victims of rideshare car auto accidents when they are passengers of Uber or Lyft drivers. With more people using rideshare services every day, it is important to know your rights if an accident in an Uber or Lyft happens to you.

Have you ever wondered whether there would be insurance coverage if you were in an accident with an Uber, Lyft, or driver from any other transportation network company (this is what Pennsylvania law calls these types of companies)? I just figured that everyone in the system would avoid responsibility except for the Uber or Lyft driver who would probably not have excess assets to cover someone’s injuries and damages. I imagined that the ride-sharing company would have the drivers electronically sign documents absolving the company of any responsibility and instead have the driver accept full responsibility. I envisioned the driver’s personal automobile insurance company having an exclusion denying coverage when the personal vehicle is being used for business (this actually makes sense because it is a personal auto insurance policy).

What Actually Happens? Good Insurance Coverage for Injured Riders on Uber or Lyft
Surprisingly, there is coverage and it is good coverage for injured riders. Pennsylvania enacted laws to protect riders from this very problem. See 66 Pa.C.S.A. 2601 and 53 Pa.C.S.A. 5701. The laws require the transportation network company and/or the drivers to have automobile insurance policies that provide minimum liability coverage of $500,000 specifically to cover riders while transporting them for money. If for some reason the driver did not carry this type of coverage, the ride-sharing company would be responsible. The amount of coverage required by these laws far exceeds the minimum coverage for individuals’ personal auto policies; which only require a minimum of $15,000 in liability coverage. Additionally, first-party medical benefits of $5,000 for the driver and $25,000 for any pedestrian are also required under this scenario.

The negligence driving of Uber and Lyft drivers can also cause injury and damage to those who are not riders in their vehicles. They can strike pedestrians or people riding in other cars. The amount of coverage provided to people other than riders depends on the situation.

An Uber or Lyft driver that is not transporting a passenger and is not logged into the transportation network company system who injures someone other than a rider would be covered by their own personal automobile insurance policy. This makes sense because they would not be engaged in a way with the transportation network company at that time.

If the driver is logged into the system but is not transporting a rider, then the following coverages are required by the driver and/or the transportation network company: $50,000 per person and $100,000 in total for liability coverage, $25,000 to pay for damage to other vehicles or property, and first-party medical benefits of $5,000 for the driver and $25,000 for any pedestrian injured.

Car accident attorney Chad Rankin and the other personal injury lawyers at the Lancaster law firm of Rankin & Gregory, LLC (RG Injury Law) have handled numerous auto accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers. We are happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your specific situation.

You can learn more in about what you should do following auto accidents on Things You Should Do After a Car Accident or on our Car Accidents webpage.

If you have any questions about this article or need legal help after a car accident, call Lancaster County attorney Chad Rankin at RG Injury Law for a free consultation, (717) 656-5000.  Chad Rankin is a Lancaster car accident lawyer who has been practicing personal injury for nearly 20 years. He is a Partner at Rankin & Gregory in Lancaster County, PA. Rankin & Gregory, LLC 2173 Embassy Drive Lancaster, PA 17603.


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