Can I Sue Uber or Lyft After a Connecticut Rideshare Accident?

Posted on 02/27/24

Connecticut Rideshare Accident

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have brought benefits to how transportation operates. Gone are long waits outside to hail a taxi or reliance on friends for a ride. With the advent of rideshare services, you can log into the app, enter a few details, and a driver is on the way.

When something goes wrong, however, things can become complicated fast. Is the driver or the company responsible? Whose insurance policy applies in a collision? Can I sue Uber or Lyft if I’m injured in a CT rideshare accident

Types of Damages

Rideshare accidents happen every day, with some consequences worse than others. You may have broken your phone when your driver hit a curb or suffered serious personal injuries in a collision with another vehicle.

If you can prove the rideshare driver was at fault, you may qualify for compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

In general, the higher the damages, the higher the compensation amount awarded in a CT rideshare accident. 

Insurance Policies

In the past, Uber and Lyft claimed that their insurance policies don’t cover their drivers as independent contractors. Instead, the companies required drivers to carry personal auto insurance. However, Personal car insurance policies don’t typically cover vehicles used for business purposes.

This put rideshare drivers and their passengers in a bind when an accident occurred. The dilemma came to a head in 2014 when an Uber driver hit and killed a young girl. When a lawsuit against Uber followed, Uber and Lyft began offering insurance soon after. 

As of 2022, Uber and Lyft rideshare companies provide their drivers $1 million in liability coverage. But there’s a catch: Different limits apply depending on the “coverage period” at the time of the crash.

Coverage Periods

Which insurance policy applies and the maximum limits allowed depend on the following coverage periods.

Period 0: The driver is not logged in

During this period, Uber and Lyft will deny insurance coverage for any accidents that occur. That means if you are hit by an Uber driver who is not logged in, you can only file a claim with the driver’s personal auto insurance.

Period 1: The driver is logged in but hasn’t accepted a request

In this situation, the companies typically provide limited liability coverage of up to $50,000 per person ($100,000 per accident) for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. 

Period 2: The driver has accepted a request and is headed to the pick-up location

Uber/Lyft’s liability coverage increases to $1 million during this period.

Period 3: The customer is in the car en route to the destination

At this stage, the rideshare liability policies also provide $1 million in coverage.

Suing Uber or Lyft

Connecticut courts may find employers legally responsible for their employees’ actions. However, this does not apply to CT rideshare accidents since Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors. This means it can be challenging to sue the rideshare companies directly. 

However, you still may be able to sue a rideshare company in the following situations:

  • The company’s negligent hiring, training, or employment practices caused the accident (for example, allowing drivers with poor driving records to continue)
  • Your damages exceed the limits of the driver’s insurance coverage
  • A rideshare driver sexually assaulted you

Need a Car Accident Attorney? Contact the Law Offices of James A. Welcome

If you were involved in a CT rideshare accident, call us at (475) 241-0824 for a consultation. Our experienced car crash lawyers will answer your questions, discuss your legal options, and protect your legal rights.