If you’re riding in a car in New Orleans, there is a decent chance that you’re riding in a taxi, Uber, Lyft or other ridesharing vehicle. For tourists, conventioneers, and locals alike, these vehicles are convenient and affordable ways to get around, and a wise one as well if you’ve had a few too many while out for the evening.
But taxis and ridesharing vehicles are not immune from auto accidents that can result in injuries to passengers and others. Fortunately, the drivers of these cars, as well as the taxi and ridesharing companies for which they drive, are also not immune from insurance requirements designed to protect and provide compensation for those injured because of driver negligence.
All vehicle owners in Louisiana must carry liability insurance. This includes the owners or operators of taxis in New Orleans as well as Uber and Lyft drivers who typically drive their own cars when transporting passengers who request transportation using the companies’ ridesharing apps. The ridesharing companies themselves are also required to have liability insurance in addition to the drivers’ personal policies.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Coverage in New Orleans
New Orleans requires that Uber and Lyft provide coverage for their drivers under the ridesharing company’s primary insurance policy from “app on” (when a driver activates the app and is ready to pick up riders) to “app off” (when the driver is no longer accepting ride requests). This means that if you are riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle because you request a ride using the app, the companies’ liability insurance policy will be in effect and will cover your injuries (if you can prove that the injuries were the ridesharing driver’s fault, of course).
The city’s ridesharing ordinance provides the following minimum coverage requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers:
• For periods when the app is on, but no passenger is in the vehicle, either the company or the driver must have primary liability insurance covering:
– $25,000 for property damage
– $50,000 for death or personal injury to one person
– $100,000 for death or personal injury to more than one person
• When the app is on and a passenger is in the vehicle, the company or driver must have a policy which provides:
– $1 million in coverage for death, personal injury, or property damage and
– $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Taxi Insurance Requirements in New Orleans
In New Orleans, most taxis are owned by companies that operate huge fleets of cars, while a smaller number of cab drivers operate independently. As common carriers, taxicab owners and operators are required to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their passengers. This includes ensuring that they have personal injury and property damage liability insurance for each vehicle in their fleet.
New Orleans has specific insurance requirements for taxis, just as they do for ridesharing operators. Specifically, each vehicle must carry a policy which provides for:
• Payment of a sum not less than $25,000.00 to satisfy all claims arising out of injury to or the death of any one person resulting from any one accident, and, subject to such limit for one person;
• Payment of a sum not less than $50,000.00 to satisfy all claims arising out of injury to or the death of two or more persons resulting from any one accident; and
• Payment of a sum not less than $100,000.00 to satisfy all claims for property damage resulting from any one accident.
Of course, these minimum coverage requirements are just that – minimums. If you suffer from catastrophic injuries while riding in a taxi, Uber, or Lyft, your losses may be significantly greater than the amount of coverage provided by the driver or companies. After an accident, you should contact an experienced New Orleans ridesharing accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and learn about your options.