Insurance liability can be complicated in a ridesharing accident. Uber and Lyft have insurance that covers injuries when their drivers are online.

When someone gets into a car accident in Connecticut, the person at fault for the accident foots the bill - or, rather, the at-fault driver's insurance does. This issue seems cut-and-dry, but it can be tricky when ridesharing companies are involved. When a passenger or other person is injured in an Uber or Lyft crash, whose insurance company pays for it? Is the passenger's own medical insurance responsible?

Automobile insurance does exist for ridesharing companies, but the laws and policies for this relatively new industry are still developing.

How ridesharing insurance works

When companies employ drivers, their insurance covers accidents that occur on company time in the company's vehicles. However, ridesharing companies operate differently in that their drivers are not technically employees - they are independent contractors. Does this mean that the independent contractor must maintain his or her own car insurance when transporting passengers?

Yes and no. The usual laws apply for drivers in Connecticut, including ridesharing drivers, in that everyone with a vehicle must be insured. However, Lyft and Uber's own insurance policies cover the injuries of passengers, pedestrians or other drivers who are injured by a ridesharing driver who is at fault, provided the driver is logged in as a driver at the time of the accident. When the ridesharing driver is not online as a driver when an accident occurs, his or her personal insurance will be responsible if he or she is at fault, rather than the ridesharing insurance company's.

Determining fault

Like all insurance companies, ridesharing insurers strive to avoid responsibility when someone is injured in an accident that was not the fault of their policyholder. Therefore, someone from the company will likely contact the parties who were involved in the accident, including passengers, pedestrians or those in other vehicles, in order to determine who was at fault. Those who were injured should be prepared to answer questions about the accident in much the same sense as an ordinary crash. This may seem inconvenient, but it can help authorities and insurance companies determine who is responsible for compensating injuries.

It can be difficult to determine fault, as well as to hold insurance companies accountable, in any type of accident. However, ridesharing accidents are often more complex than other crashes. Those who were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, whether they were a passenger, pedestrian or driver of another vehicle, may best be served by seeking competent counsel from an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney.