Frustratingly, there is little available information about Uber and Lyft accident settlements.
Ride-sharing companies usually resolve the personal injury cases against them out of court to avoid bad publicity. So instead of having public trials with widely touted verdicts, these companies have private settlements with strict confidentiality clauses.
In the highly-publicized case of a pedestrian who was killed by a self-driving Uber in Arizona, one expert believes that the victim's family might have received up to three million dollars as a settlement. (Ryan Randazzo, "Uber reaches settlement with family of woman killed by self-driving car," AZcentral.com (March 29. 2018))
Learn more about filing ride-sharing accident lawsuits in Nevada.
Uber and Lyft liability insurance
Uber and Lyft bear no responsibility over their drivers when they are not seeking or driving passengers. When a person gets into an accident with an off-duty Uber or Lyft driver, that driver's personal car insurance would kick in.
If the Uber or Lyft driver has the app on and is waiting for a request, Uber and Lyft provide contingent liability coverage of up to $50,000 for injury or death and up to $25,000 for property damage. The driver's personal insurance would be primarily responsible in the event of an accident.
If the Uber or Lyft driver has accepted a trip request or is driving a passenger, then Uber and Lyft's insurance would be the primary policy. These companies carry commercial liability insurance with limits of up to $1,000,000 per person per accident (to a maximum of $2,000,000 for all passengers).
Damages from an Uber or Lyft accident in Nevada
People injured in a ride-sharing accident may be able to sue the company for such Nevada compensatory damages as:
- Medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries, medication, anticipated future medical expenses, physical and/or occupational therapy, home health care, rehab, and long- or short-term care,
- lost wages,
- lost earning capacity,
- car repair bills, and/or
- pain and suffering
And if the victim died from the ride-sharing accident, the the victim's estate and family can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to recover loss of support and funeral expenses.
When the victim was partially to blame
It is not unusual for a car accident victim to bear some of the blame in a ride-sharing accident: Perhaps the victim was not wearing a seatbelt or was speeding. Even still, Nevada law permits plaintiffs in personal injury cases to recover money damages as long as they were not more than 50% to blame.
Example: Jenine is driving an Uber when she momentarily falls sleep and swerves into the car next to her. Jenine's passenger is fine, but the other driver Susan sustains a broken arm.
Susan sues Uber for negligence. Uber claims that Susan was partially to blame for her injury because she was not wearing a seat belt. At trial, the jury determines that Susan was 25% to blame. But since Uber was still at leas 50% to blame, Uber is liable to Susan for negligence.
Note that courts reduce the amount of damages plaintiffs will receive in proportion to their blame. In the above example, Susan will receive 25% less than she would have had she been totally blameless for her injury.