Lynn, Massachusetts is part of Boston’s inner core with a population of nearly 93,000, making it the largest metropolis in Essex County. It is also a high traffic area with several major routes passing through the city. Accidents are not unusual in and around the city as it has 7 intersections within its borders that are among the 200 most dangerous intersections in the state. As a result, Lynn Uber accidents occasionally occur.
Uber is the premiere ride-sharing service followed by Lyft. Drivers, who may or may not be independent contractors depending on who you talk to, use an app developed by the ride-sharing company where individuals desiring rides make a request through their own app that is picked up by the driver’s. Uber drivers are screened by the company with criminal and DMV background checks and use their own vehicles that also must pass yearly inspections.
Of course, accidents will happen. There are thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers on Massachusetts roadways daily and at all hours. And, given that Lynn has a number of intersections that are considered among the most dangerous in the state, your risk of becoming involved in a Lynn Uber accident are likely higher than in many other parts of the state. So, what happens if you are in an accident and you are an Uber driver, a passenger, pedestrian, or another motorist?
Uber Drivers and Insurance
As an Uber driver, you are required to maintain your own personal auto liability insurance at the state’s minimum levels at the very least. You must also advise your insurer that you do ride-sharing or you will not be covered at all in certain situations.
Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage for accidents of $1 million. But coverage is only offered in the following accident situations:
- Your app is on and you are open to ride requests but none have been received.
- Your app is on and you have received and accepted a request.
- You have accepted a ride request and the passenger is in your vehicle.
In any of these scenarios, Uber or Lyft will provide coverage. Be aware, though, that Uber only provides limited liability and no collision coverage while your app is on but you have not yet received a ride request. You should talk to your insurer about coverage in this situation.
Your own personal policy covers you if you are in an accident while your app is not on. However, if you did not advise your insurer that you do ride-sharing, it will not cover you at all and you will be personally liable for any damages you incur or for which you caused.
In any event, if the accident is not your fault and you are injured, then you look to the other vehicle’s insurer to cover your damages. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If the other driver was uninsured and at fault, then you are still covered by Uber’s uninsured motorist provision. If your damages are substantial and the liable motorist’s coverage is minimal or otherwise insufficient, you can also make a claim with Uber for underinsured coverage.
In any injury accident, consult with and retain a personal injury accident lawyer.
Lynn Uber Accidents and Passengers, Pedestrians or Other Drivers
What if you were a passenger in an Uber, a pedestrian hit by an Uber driver, or a motorist struck by an Uber driver?
As an injured passenger, you may have claims against both the Uber driver and the other motorist if liability is not clear or is disputed. Of course, if the Uber driver was at fault, then you have the benefit of Uber’s $1 million dollar coverage.
Pedestrians and other motorists injured by a negligent Uber driver can also make claims against Uber if the Uber driver’s app was on. Limited liability coverage is offered if the driver’s app was on but no requests had been accepted. To determine if this was the situation or if the driver had accepted a ride request, your personal injury lawyer can likely get this information from the Uber driver since it would be in his or her’s best interest for Uber’s policy to be in effect. Of course, if the app was not in operation, then the motorist or pedestrian will have to make a claim against the driver’s personal insurance carrier.
Retain Deborah Gold-Alexander–Attorney at Law
Deborah Gold-Alexander has over 30-years experience in representing the interests of persons injured in accidents in the Lynn and greater Boston area. Car accidents, including Lynn Uber accidents, should only be handled by attorneys with extensive experience and knowledge in this area so that you can have the best opportunity to receive the most compensation for your injuries.