Ridesharing and Passenger Claims for Personal Injury in Vancouver
The best personal injury lawyers in Vancouver are closely monitoring newly introduced regulations and changes to ICBC insurance policy requirements as BC begins to allow ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and Kater to operate in the province. It is expected that ridesharing companies will submit applications to enter the BC market by Septemebr 2019, with ridesharing vehicles scheduled to be on the road by the end of the year. Many BC residents are curious as to whether they will be able to claim against a ridesharing company such as Uber, Lfyt, or Kater if they are injured while riding as a passenger in such a “taxi” service.
Explaining ridesharing in BC
Companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Kater offer ridesharing or ride-hailing services which allow passengers to book pre-arranged transportation from drivers in privately owned vehicles in exchange for payment. Passengers connect with drivers using a mobile or smart phone app (as opposed to phoning a traditional cab company or hailing a taxi on the street). To date, ridesharing companies have not been permitted to operate in BC due to legislative and insurance restrictions.
Vancouver personal injury lawyers discuss ridesharing insurance
Recent changes to BC law and insurance requirements will allow ridesharing companies to enter the BC market. Individual drivers will still be required to have mandatory basic insurance with ICBC and meet Class 4 licencing requirements. What is new is that the ride-hailing company, not the individual drivers, will have to obtain a blanket insurance certificate which provides for Basic ICBC insurance during ride-hailing trips. The mandatory blanket Basic coverage policy held by ride-hailing companies is intended to provide coverage for Accident Benefits and up to $1,000,000 third party liability.
Will I be able to sue Uber/Lfyt/Kater if I am injured as a passenger in their taxi service?
The answer is yes – passengers will be able to bring a claim for compensation against the ridesharing company if they sustain personal injury while riding in an Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing vehicle. The new ridesharing insurance requirements are structured so that passengers are covered by the ridehailing company’s Basic insurance when the driver is transporting passengers accepted via the app. The ridesharing company’s coverage is also intended to apply to cover its drivers once they have accepted the trip and are en route to pick up passengers. Our team of best personal injury lawyers in Vancouver anticipate that the new blanket ridesharing company insurance will raise complex coverage disputes between ridesharing companies, their drivers and passengers, and other users of the road including pedestrians and cyclists.
Get legal advice from the best personal injury lawyer
Vancouver residents and those in the Lower Mainland are expected to be the first to be able to use ridesharing apps, as Uber has announced plans to begin operation in that region of BC first. If you are injured in an accident while riding as a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle, it is recommended that you get legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is brought against all parties who may be liable to compensate you for your injuries. Contact Simpson, Thomas & Associates to schedule a free initial consultation with one of the best personal injury lawyers (Vancouver, Surrey/Delta, Abbotsford and Burnaby office appointments are available).