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Who's behind the wheel? Report says Uber & Lyft are desperate for drivers

Passenger using smart phone app to rate a taxi or modern peer to peer ridesharing driver

At a time when the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour in South Carolina, some Uber drivers are reportedly making more than double that rate transporting people through the rideshare service.

According to an estimate of driver earnings in major cities from Uber, drivers in some U.S. cities are making more than $40 an hour. While not that high in South Carolina, Uber drivers are still earning much more than minimum wage. According to, median earnings for Uber drivers in Hilton Head are $34,102 – more than $16 an hour based on a 40-hour work week.

Earnings are up due to a lack of available drivers, Uber says. About half of the service's drivers stopped offering rideshares during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ex-drivers say they quit over a lack of business and a desire to avoid the virus.

The supply-and-demand imbalance has allowed rideshare drivers to charge higher fares, and Uber has launched an effort to get drivers back on the road.

The downside is that with more Uber drivers on the road, the odds of getting into a car accident with one of them increases.

The complications of Uber and Lyft crashes

A car accident involving a ridesharing service driver can impact your life in many ways. You can be left with physical injuries. Emotionally, dealing with the effects of the accident can be confusing and frustrating. Medical expenses for treating your injuries can become overwhelming, leading to financial stress.

Drivers for Uber or Lyft who cause accidents that leave people injured need to be held accountable, but recovering financial compensation can be complicated.

The drivers for these ridesharing services are considered independent contractors. Drivers are required to carry their own car insurance policies. Uber and Lyft also provide drivers with additional insurance. So which policy is responsible for paying if you were hurt in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver?

It depends on the driver’s status at the time. For example:

  • The app was off, and the driver was not looking for passengers. The driver’s own insurance policy is most likely responsible for payment.
  • The app was on, but the driver had not yet accepted a ride request. Some supplemental coverage from Uber or Lyft may apply.
  • The app was on, and the driver had accepted a ride request. A higher amount of supplemental coverage from Uber or Lyft may apply.

Fighting for the rights of the injured in South Carolina

Then there are additional complications. The Uber or Lyft driver may have been speeding, driving recklessly, or was distracted. But they won’t admit to doing anything wrong. Insurance companies may question the seriousness of your injuries, blame you for the accident, or deny any liability at all.

That’s why you need an experienced South Carolina attorney who understands the challenges involved in these types of cases. At Twenge + Twombley Law Firm, our car accident lawyers know how to investigate ridesharing accidents and where to look for evidence of driver negligence. We know how to deal with insurance companies and fight for the compensation our clients deserve.

If you’ve been injured in a ridesharing accident in Beaufort, Bluffton, or Hilton Head, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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