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Who is responsible for a ride-sharing accident in Washington?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Rideshare Accidents

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft offer a convenient way to get around in Seattle. Using your smartphone, you can arrange transportation that picks you up and drops you off at your doorstep. This ease of travel has transformed how residents and visitors move around the city.

However, confusion often arises when accidents involve rideshare vehicles. Whether you’re a rideshare customer, another driver, a bicyclist or a pedestrian, understanding who is liable in the event of an accident can be complex.

Washington insurance requirements for rideshare drivers

The state of Washington has set clear insurance requirements for Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft to enhance safety for everyone on the road. Here’s how coverage varies:

  • Before ride acceptance:
    • Minimum liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
    • $30,000 for property damage
    • Underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection as specified by state laws
  • When a passenger enters the vehicle until their exit:
    • $1 million in combined single-limit liability coverage for death, personal injury and property damage
    • Enhanced underinsured motorist coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident
    • Continued personal injury protection as required by state law

Drivers can also secure their own insurance that meets or exceeds these standards. However, if a driver’s personal policy does not offer coverage when logged into the TNC’s digital network or during a ride, the TNC’s policy becomes the primary coverage.

Determining fault for rideshare accidents involving others

When a rideshare vehicle is involved in an accident injuring other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists or other non-riders, pinpointing liability can be challenging. The situation becomes more complex depending on whether the rideshare driver was logged into the app, waiting for a ride request or actively transporting a passenger.

In such scenarios, the distinction between personal insurance and the insurance provided by the ride-sharing company plays a crucial role. If the rideshare driver is at fault, determining the applicable insurance coverage is essential for the injured parties to receive compensation.

Given the complexities of such cases, seeking experienced legal guidance is crucial. A lawyer can help assess the situation, determine fault and navigate the claims process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Understanding these rights and responsibilities ensures you can use ride-sharing services more confidently and responsibly, knowing how protection and liability work in Washington State.