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How Much Can You Recover From A Rideshare Vehicle Accident? It depends.

Posted by Michael Arellanez | Oct 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Demand For Rideshare Services Is Increasing.

Business Insider reports that many UBER drivers stopped working for the company in 2020 due to a lack of demand for services.  But UBER experienced an increased demand for rideshare services in March 2021.  These demands might continue to grow over the next few months due to inflation. CBS Los Angeles reports the average gas price of $4.57 in Los Angeles has increased to a new high not seen since 2012.  In addition, CNET reports the average cost of a vehicle has increased to $45,031.  As such, the demand for rideshare services may be on the rise.

Rideshare Companies Owe You A Duty.

According to TechCrunch+, the use of rideshare services decreases air pollution but the service can increase the average cost of a trip due to vehicle accidents, traffic congestion, and traffic noise. What should rideshare passengers or vehicle driver know if they're involved in a rideshare accident?  Rideshare companies, like UBER and LYFT, are common carriers and have a statutory duty to use the utmost care and diligence in the safe carriage of passengers.  However, your ability to recover damages could be impacted by the use of the app.

Is The Rideshare Company or The Rideshare Driver Liable For My Damages?

California Public Utilities Code §5432 requires companies providing rideshare services to disclose to their drivers when the company will cover accidents and when the drivers' personal coverage will.  If the rideshare app is off at the time of the accident that driver's auto insurance could be on the hook for damages. According to the California Department of Insurance the minimum amount of insurance coverage for California drivers is: $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person and a total of $30,000 for the death or injury of more than one person in any one accident.  As such, if one person is injured in the accident they could recover up to $15,000.  If two or more are injured they could recover a shareable sum up to $30,000.

If the driver is engaging with the app at the time of the accident the rideshare company could become liable for the accident as discussed below.

Rideshare Policy Limits Period 1

If the driver has the app on but is not en-route to pick up a passenger the insurance policy limits for period 1 are as follows:

  • $50,000 for death and bodily injury coverage per person;
  • $100,000 for death and bodily injury coverage per accident; and
  • $30,000 for property damage coverage.

Rideshare Policy Limits Period 2 and 3

If the driver has accepted the trip they have entered period 2.  If the driver has picked up the passenger they have entered period 3.  The policy limits for period 2 and 3 are as follows:

  • $1,000,000 in primary commercial coverage for third-party liability; and
  • $1,000,000 uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.

As such, its important to speak with an attorney about your case.  At Arellanez legal we have the experience to handle any rideshare vehicle accident case.

Dislcaimer: The information provided in these pages is not legal advice, and should not be relied on as such. The content on these pages is for informational purposes only, and is meant as a starting point on your search for answers to your legal questions. The law is constantly changing and evolving. We can not guarantee that all information contained in this website is up to date at all times. Therefore, we recommend that you contact an experienced attorney in your area to guide you through your legal matter. 

About the Author

Michael Arellanez

Michael Arellanez (“Michael”) is the founder of Arellanez Legal, a law firm priding itself on client care and advocacy. At Arellanez Legal the client's needs and expectations are of the utmost importance. Michael works with each client to make sure they understand their case and the steps that wi...


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