The Popularity Of Rideshares
Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized transportation convenience in Colorado and throughout the United States in recent years. While rideshares are considered safe, what happens when your rideshare driver is involved in a vehicle accident.
Rideshare companies have brought a new level of convenience and mobility to millions of people, facilitating over 3.5 million rides per day in the United States alone. These companies offer quick service by allowing people to request and pay for rides through a cellphone app. Ride-sharing also provides a nontraditional avenue of “gig” employment that many drivers enjoy. Compared with traditional taxi drivers with regular hours, rideshare drivers can simply turn on the app when they are available to give rides and then turn it off when they are not. Uber’s December 2019 safety report stated that 99.9% of rides are completed without incident.
Still, accidents do happen, and these companies operate under different rules than traditional taxis or personal cars do. What happens when you are in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle?
Rideshare Laws In Colorado
Colorado’s rideshare laws are found in C.R.S. § 40 10.1 601 et seq., the Transportation Network Company Act (TNCA). This legislation sets forth the rules applying to rideshare companies and drivers operating in Colorado, which are different than the regulations governing traditional taxi drivers.
According to the TNCA, rideshare drivers must:
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have a Colorado vehicle registration
- Pass a medical exam that proves fitness to drive
- Pass a criminal background check
The rideshare vehicle must:
- Pass a certified mechanic’s vehicle inspection
- Have four doors (no vans allowed)
Rideshare Liability Coverage
Colorado is an at-fault state, which means that if your rideshare driver is found to be at fault for an auto accident, then liability coverage should apply. If another driver is found to be at fault, then the other driver’s insurance should apply. If this coverage is insufficient, the rideshare driver’s uninsured motorist coverage should kick in.
The amount of coverage available for rideshare accidents generally depends on whether the driver was “at work” during the incident. Uber and Lyft provide $1 million in liability insurance for accidents that occur while a driver is logged onto the app and transporting a passenger. Generally, when a driver is logged onto the app with a passenger in the car, the driver is “at work,” and the rideshare company’s insurance will apply. However, if a rideshare driver is not logged on, then only their personal auto insurance is applicable. There is a third category of coverage as well: when a driver is logged on and waiting for a ride request but does not have passengers.
Rideshare companies have additional rules that go beyond Colorado statutes, like requirements regarding the age and size of the car, and a zero blood alcohol level for all drivers. These requirements may or may not work in a passenger’s favor. Rideshare companies would prefer to shift the blame onto a driver than pay the claim themselves.
Injured In A Rideshare Accident? Call A Personal Injury Lawyer.
Make no mistake, rideshare companies will try to use the complexity and novelty of these accidents to pay you less. If you are injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, you will need a Colorado personal injury attorney by your side. As with any other Colorado accident, the statute of limitations is three years. That means that if you do not resolve your case or file a lawsuit within three years of the accident, you will lose the opportunity to do so.
If you have sustained injuries in a rideshare-related accident, we want to help you. For a free consultation, call Shafner Injury Law at 720-800-4715 or fill out the contact form.