Lyft and Uber are ridesharing companies that offer people convenient and affordable ways to get around South Carolina. Whether you are visiting South Carolina from out of town or you are a local going out for the night, a rideshare is often a better option than driving yourself. If you are involved in a car accident involving a Lyft or Uber, it might be difficult to determine what party was at fault and who could be held liable for your injuries.
While they are similar to other car accidents, a crash involving a rideshare can quickly become more complicated. Our South Carolina Uber & Lyft accident attorneys understand the issues associated with a rideshare accident case. In many situations, it is crucial to establish the driver’s status at the time of the accident.
Burriss & Ridgeway has the experience to handle your case. If you were a passenger, another driver, or pedestrian, our team of lawyers is committed to fighting for your just compensation. Call (803) 451-4000 to discuss your case and legal options.
Under South Carolina law, Lyft and Uber are classified as “transportation network companies” or TNCs. These are designated as entities that connect drivers and passengers through an application on a smartphone or other device. Limousine and taxi services are excluded from this classification.
Uber and Lyft drivers, or the parent companies, must maintain auto insurance that specifically indicates that the driver is using the vehicle to transport passengers for a fee. This insurance coverage must cover the driver when they are logged into the application, after the driver accepts a ride, and while the driver is transporting their passenger.
In addition to insurance requirements, South Carolina state law also includes mandatory vehicle inspections and background checks. Furthermore, in 2019, the Samantha L. Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act was signed into law. Under this law, Lyft and Uber drivers must display their license plate information predominantly on the front of their vehicle in easy-to-read, large print. The information must be positioned on the passenger side of the front windshield along with the Lyft or Uber decals.
Like any other car accident, an Uber or Lyft driver could be held liable if their negligence caused a crash that resulted in an injury. However, how and what insurance coverage comes into play depends on what the driver was doing when the accident occurred.
Below is a closer look at the insurance coverage and how it operates depending on the stage of the “ride.”
If a Lyft or Uber driver is not logged into the application, they are not technically working. In this case, if the driver is involved in an accident, the only insurance that goes into effect is their personal auto insurance.
As long as a driver is logged into the app, they are working for Uber or Lyft. If the rideshare driver causes an accident, but has not gone to pick up or transport a passenger, Lyft and Uber provide $50,000 of insurance coverage for bodily injury or death per person. This amount is capped at $100,000 per accident. Additionally, there is $25,000 of coverage available for property damage.
If a crash occurs while an Uber or Lyft driver is logged into the application and has accepted a ride or is transporting a passenger, both companies provide up to $1 million of coverage.
Not every accident is caused by an Uber or Lyft driver. If you were a passenger in a rideshare that was involved in an accident caused by another driver, the at-fault motorist’s insurance would be liable for your injuries and other damages. However, if the at-fault driver was underinsured or uninsured, Lyft and Uber offer supplemental insurance coverage to compensate injured riders.
There are measures you should take if you are involved in a car accident. An accident involving an Uber or Lyft is no different. To protect your rights, our South Carolina car accident lawyers offer the following advice.
If you were in a wreck involving a Lyft or Uber driver, the rideshare company will work to limit its liability. Because their drivers are independent contracts, Uber and Lyft will argue that they bear no responsibility for your injuries. At Burriss & Ridgeway, our Uber & Lyft accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine the driver’s status when the crash occurred. Call (803) 451-4000 to discuss your legal options.
Our Caring Attorneys in Columbia, SC are here to help.