When technology and industry advance at a rapid pace, sometimes the law can fall behind, resulting in loopholes that leave innocent victims unprotected. When an insurance company is involved, it can be even worse because insurance companies will look for any possible reason to deny a claim.
“Transportation network companies,” including Uber and Lyft, are companies that allow individuals to use their software to “call” for a driver. The service employs drivers, who use their personal vehicles, who are notified using the company’s software of a passenger in need of a ride. Passengers contact drivers through an app that is downloaded onto their smart phone.
So, what happens when there is an accident? Whose insurance protects the driver? Whose insurance will pay for medical care and other damages for the injured passenger?
Nebraska Legislation on Transportation Network Companies
Transportation network companies (TNC’s), Uber and Lyft have been operating legally in Nebraska since 2015. The Nebraska legislature established regulatory framework for the operation of TNC’s, including laws on permit requirements, regulations on their drivers, mandatory disclosures, and other duties.
In Nebraska the mandated insurance requirement is “Primary liability coverage in the amount of at least one million dollars for death, personal injury, and property damage,” and can be carried by either the TNC, or the participating TNC driver, or satisfied by a combination of policies carried by both. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 75-333.
The Legislation May Fall Short of Protecting All Passengers Injured in An Accident
This legislation on TNC’s and the mandated insurance requirement of at least $1 million for death, personal injury, and property damage addresses some of the legal loopholes that once left innocent victims unprotected. However, the legislation may fall short of protecting all accident victims.
The insurance requirement “shall apply to transportation network company insurance during the engaged stage and during the passengers on board stage.” Neb. Rev. Stat. § 75-333. The TNC insurance requirement is not required to cover a TNC participating driver when they are on duty, but waiting to pick up a ride.
Further, will the TNC insurance policy pay out if the participating driver was found to be in violation of one or more of the terms of service with the TNC? For example, will the TNC policy pay out if the participating driver is found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident?
When Insurance Companies Deny Coverage
Insurance companies look for any possible reason to deny a claim. Their goal is to protect their bottom line and either not pay a claim, or pay the least amount possible.
If you are stuck in any kind of situation where insurance companies are denying your claim, you may have a difficult road ahead, but with an experienced attorney on your side, you will have a fighting chance at not being left out in the cold by insurance companies who all try to point the finger at someone else.
The attorneys at Matthew G. Miller are here to help you obtain compensation for the injuries you sustained in an Uber or Lyft accident. If you would like to schedule a free personal injury case consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Matthew G. Miller our Omaha, Nebraska, law firm at any time.