What Happens if You’re Involved in a Ridesharing Accident?

It’s somewhat amazing how quickly ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft permeated routine life in Alabama. After starting out in the state’s largest cities, the service is now available statewide. Part of the delay in allowing the services to operate from the Tennessee line all the way down to the white sands at the Gulf were the well-intentioned efforts to ensure that drivers and passengers were protected in the event of an accident. This blog will give you an idea of what to expect if you are in a wreck that involves a ridesharing service. 

Minimum Personal Auto Insurance

Alabama drivers are legally required to have an insurance policy that would pay out at least $25,000 per person to cover bodily injuries and $25,000 for property damage in an accident. If there are multiple people injured in an accident, drivers must have a policy that pays out at least $50,000 total to cover all injuries. This is what would apply if you were to get in a simple rear-end collision while driving around town. It is also what would apply if a driver for Uber or Lyft gets into an accident while he or she is not logged into the app and accepting ride requests. 

Driver is Logged in But Not Transporting Riders

As soon as a driver for Uber or Lyft logs into the app, the company begins to assume some liability for any accidents. So, the company’s insurance policy is activated in this situation; if an accident occurs when a ridesharing driver is “on the clock” but is not giving someone a ride, the company’s insurance policy will pay a maximum of $50,000 per person or cover $100,000 worth of bodily injury per accident. 

Driver is Involved in a Wreck While Transporting Riders

For the ridesharing company, the worst-case scenario is having one of its drivers get into a serious accident while customers are being transported. If this happens, the company has an insurance policy that will pay $1 million in liability or $1 million if an underinsured or uninsured driver caused the accident. 

An important note here is that the ridesharing company’s insurance policies only act as supplemental coverage. That is, you will only deal with the driver’s personal insurance provider unless bodily injury or property damages exceeds the amount covered by the driver’s policy. 

Another important nuance is that Uber and Lyft drivers are not considered to be employees of the company. Instead, they are designated as independent contractors. This means that you will generally not be able to sue Uber or Lyft for an accident in which one of their drivers are involved. 


The good news is that there are robust liability protections in place for Uber and Lyft riders. The bad news is that filing a claim can become quite complicated; this, of course, adding to the fact that insurance companies try to pay out as little as possible to claimants. 

Our firm has extensive experience getting justice for those injured in serious car accidents. The best way to ensure you get a fair payout is by retaining an effective attorney like John M. Totten. We will work tirelessly for you; give us a call today at 256-233-2025 to see how we can help.

John M. Totten