Colorado Ride-Share Guide: Uber & Lyft Laws

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Colorado Ride-Share Guide: Uber & Lyft Laws

Uber and Lyft are more popular than ever before. Whether you’re a driver, passenger, or considering venturing into the world of ride-sharing, there are important things to know. Ride-share collisions are common in Colorado, so it’s important to understand the laws and when you need to work with a team of Denver car crash lawyers. Here’s what you need to know about Uber and Lyft in Colorado:

Colorado Uber Laws / Colorado Lyft Laws

Colorado’s Uber and Lyft laws are found in Colorado law 40-10.1-601. The law is the Transportation Network Company Act (TNCA). The Act covers ride-share companies that use a digital network (an app) to connect drivers and passengers. The TNCA does not include taxi services. Colorado law 40-10.1-603 makes it clear that the TNCA is the exclusive law for ride-sharing services in Colorado. To drive for Uber or Lyft in Colorado, you need to comply with the Transportation Network Company Act.

Uber Lyft Driver On App

Requirements to Drive for Uber in Colorado / Requirements to Drive for Lyft in Colorado

Colorado law 40-10.1-605 states the qualifications for Uber and Lyft drivers in Colorado:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Required insurance (see below)
  • Colorado vehicle registration
  • Results of a medical exam that prove your fitness to drive
  • Certified mechanic’s inspection of your vehicle; the inspection looks at 19 different parts/systems in your vehicle
  • A four-door vehicle that holds up to eight people (large passenger vans are not allowed)
  • Pass the criminal background check

You do not have to own the vehicle that you drive as long as it’s registered in Colorado. However, if you rent or lease your car, it’s important to check your leasing contract to make sure it allows for ride-sharing.

Additional Requirements for Uber Drivers

In addition to the requirements from the State of Colorado, Uber requires drivers to have a vehicle that is no more than 15 years old. The vehicle may not have cosmetic damage or commercial branding. You must have the original, working seatbelts.

There are even more requirements to drive UberX, UberXL, and Select services. Drivers must place an Uber decal on their vehicle to identify it. You must be 21 years old to provide ride-share services, but you can drive for Uber Eats at age 19. A two-door car is okay for Uber Eats.

Additional Requirements for Lyft Drivers

In addition to the requirements from the State of Colorado, Lyft requires all Colorado drivers to be at least 21 years old. All vehicles must have at least four doors and five seatbelts. There are limitations for the age and model of the vehicle. The vehicle can’t be too old or too small.

In Colorado, the vehicle must be a 2004 model or newer. To begin driving for Lyft, you must submit a photo of yourself and undergo the necessary background checks. Vehicle inspection, a medical check, and proof of personal vehicle insurance are all required.

Criminal Background Checks for Uber/Lyft Drivers in Colorado

To drive for Uber or Lyft in Colorado, you must pass a criminal background check. Here are the disqualifying convictions for Uber and Lyft drivers in Colorado:

  • A drunk driving offense in the past seven years
  • Felony fraud
  • Sexual offense
  • Property offense (felony only)
  • Offense involving violence
  • Any felony in the last five years
  • Three moving traffic violations in the past three years
  • Reckless driving in the past three years
  • Eluding an officer

Colorado law requires you to update your criminal history check every five years.

Rules to Follow When you Drive for Uber or Lyft in Colorado

Once you begin driving for Uber or Lyft in Colorado, you must follow these rules:

  • You may not accept an on-demand ride request. You may only accept rides through the ride-share network. In other words, you can’t hail an Uber or Lyft like you hail a cab.
  • The company you drive for must make their fee scheme publicly available. You must provide the rider a receipt (electronic is ok). The receipt must include your driver info, the starting place and destination, and the fare paid.
  • Breaks are required after 12 hours of driving.
  • The legal limit for Uber and Lyft drivers is 0.00. In other words, you may not work as a ride-share driver with any amount of alcohol in your system.
  • Services must be non-discriminatory. You must allow service animals. When a passenger has personal mobility equipment, you must transport it. If you can’t transport it, you must refer the passenger to another driver who can transport the equipment.

Colorado Insurance Requirements to Drive For Uber / Colorado Insurance Requirements to Drive for Lyft

Colorado law requires a ride-share driver or the company that they work for, to file proof of car insurance. However, the insurance must have higher limits than what regular drivers must have for their personal vehicles. The insurer must acknowledge that the driver is a ride-share driver.

There are two ways to meet the insurance requirement: First, the ride-share company may offer its own insurance policy that covers their drivers. That is what Uber and Lyft do. Uber provides one million dollars in liability insurance for accidents that occur while a driver is actively engaged with a passenger. They offer a different amount of coverage when the app is on compared to when you’re waiting for a customer.

Lyft has a similar one-million dollar accident guarantee if the accident occurs while the driver has a passenger. The one-million dollar policy limit exceeds the requirements of Colorado law, which requires only a $50,000 per person limit. The first way to meet Colorado’s ride-share insurance requirement is to confirm coverage through the company’s insurance guarantee system.

Colorado Uber Insurance Acknowledgement / Colorado Lyft Insurance Acknowledgment

Second, you can meet the insurance requirement by buying a private insurance policy that covers ride-sharing. You must make it clear to the insurer that you plan to use your vehicle for ride-sharing. The acknowledgment must make it clear that your insurance company knows that you’re using your vehicle for ride-sharing.

The purpose of the insurance acknowledgment is to make sure that ride-share customers have insurance coverage when an accident occurs. Colorado is an at-fault state. That means if you’re responsible for an accident while driving for Uber or Lyft, you’re liable to all of the victims, including the passengers in your vehicle.

The insurance acknowledgment requirement makes sure that there are no surprises when it comes to making sure that passengers have insurance coverage. A passenger gets in a ride-share vehicle with the expectation of having insurance coverage. Colorado lawmakers want to make sure that there aren’t any surprises for passengers after an accident occurs so drivers must submit proof of insurance.

Do you need to get a separate insurance policy to drive for Uber or Lyft in Colorado?

No, you don’t need to get a separate insurance policy to drive for Uber or Lyft. Both companies have a one-million dollar liability insurance policy that covers accidents when you have a passenger. Generally, that’s enough to meet Colorado’s insurance requirements for ride-share driving.

In addition to ride-share insurance, you also need to have the required insurance for driving a passenger vehicle in Colorado. Colorado’s minimum insurance laws still apply to you as a ride-share driver. You can meet the ride-share insurance requirements by having both your private, personal insurance policy and the insurance that covers your ride-share activities. Most drivers meet the requirements by maintaining their personal insurance and relying on the Uber or Lyft million-dollar accident guarantee.

Ordering Public Transit Tickets Through Uber

In Denver, you can purchase public transit tickets through Uber. Denver is the first city in the United States to offer public transit tickets for sale through the Uber app. Not only does the app allow you to take public transit into account when planning your route, but you can even buy the tickets for the route that you select.

Denver’s Uber app integrates with the Denver Regional Transportation District to allow Uber users to incorporate public transportation into their trips. According to Uber representatives, the feature is a part of Uber’s mission to become a one-stop service for transportation needs.

Ordering An Uber

Bringing a Lawsuit After an Uber Accident in Colorado / Bringing a Lawsuit After a Lyft Accident in Colorado

You might think that because you have the Uber or Lyft insurance guarantee, that there’s no way that you’re going to need to bring a lawsuit after an Uber or Lyft accident in Colorado. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. There are several scenarios where you may need to bring a lawsuit after a Colorado Uber or Lyft accident:

As a passenger

When you’re in an accident as an Uber or Lyft passenger, there are a few situations where you may need to bring a lawsuit. First, you may need to bring a claim against the other driver. Colorado is an at-fault state, so if it’s the other driver that’s responsible for the accident, you need to start by bringing your claim against them. You may look at a variety of different factors, like the location of accident damage, to determine fault. The other driver has the same legal liability to you that they have to any other accident victim. The Uber/Lyft million-dollar guarantee only applies if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages. You may need to bring a claim against the other driver and their insurance company if they don’t agree to pay you fairly after an accident.

You may also need to bring a claim against Uber or Lyft if they don’t pay you when the terms of their insurance policy call for it. It can be frustrating when the ride-share company doesn’t make good on their insurance promise. After all, you choose to ride with Uber or Lyft, knowing that they have guaranteed coverage. However, if the ride-share company doesn’t live up to their promises, you may bring a claim against the company to collect payment.

As a driver

Even an Uber or a Lyft driver may have to bring a claim against the ride-share company to collect payment in some circumstances. If you’re hurt in an accident that is the fault of the other driver, your ride-share company offers you underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. If they refuse to pay you, you may need to bring a claim against the company to collect fair compensation for the accident. You may also need to bring a claim against the responsible driver or their insurance company. Additionally, there may be added requirements if you are in a ride-share accident in a leased car.

If you’re at-fault for an accident, you may still need to bring a legal claim against Uber or Lyft. The ride-sharing company should honor its one-million dollar guarantee and compensate injured passengers. If they don’t, you may need to bring a legal claim against Uber or Lyft to ensure that you don’t have personal liability for the victim’s damages.

What Should I Do If I’m in an Uber Accident in Colorado?

If you’re in an Uber accident in Colorado, you should not leave the scene of the crash, call 911, and offer medical assistance to anyone on the scene. When you’re the driver, you must comply with the requirements of Colorado law that requires you to provide the other driver with your name, license information, and insurance information. You should report the accident to Uber as a driver, or you should report the accident to Uber as a rider. Next, you should contact an experienced Colorado Uber accident attorney to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your accident injuries.

What Should I Do If I’m in a Lyft Accident in Colorado?

If you’re in a Lyft accident in Colorado, you should call 911 if anyone has any signs of injuries. You should offer medical assistance on the scene as much as you can. The police might take a report that includes gathering your name, license, and insurance information. If the police don’t facilitate the transfer of information between drivers, it’s vital to offer this information and collect it from the other driver on your own.

If you’re a passenger, you should collect personal information from everyone involved even though you’re not legally required to. You should report the accident to Lyft as soon as possible. Finally, you should connect with a Colorado attorney for Lyft accidents to ensure that your case is handled correctly.

What to Know About Uber and Lyft Accidents in Colorado

Transportation is always a bit of a hassle. But what happens in the event of an Uber accident, when a driving request that was supposed to be a short amount of travel suddenly becomes a massive inconvenience taking over your life?

Ride-share services will always try to eliminate any association with liability claims for obvious reasons – they’re companies. Dangerous reputations are bad for business, so Uber has taken care to remove blame and financial risk, and heap it onto the individual contractor (your driver) versus their own corporate entity.

How Does This Affect Claims Processing?

Under Colorado law, the person who causes a car accident is financially responsible for all provable damages related to a crash. Colorado also passed Senate Bill 25, the Transportation Network Company Act, which states that:

  • Ride-sharing services must provide primary insurance coverage when your driver has their app turned on.

This proves your driver was working at the time of the crash (it also prevents pedestrians, cyclists, or another car’s passengers from claiming coverage).

Uber’s own terms state that they will not cover drivers prior to accepting fare, meaning the incident must occur during your journey after you’ve been picked up and before you’ve been dropped off.

In an instance where Uber is found liable (their app was being used to locate riders), a single driving incident can result in up to $50,000 per injured person and $100,000 for all related injuries.

However, Uber cars aren’t registered or insured through their service (like taxis). Colorado does require all drivers to have 1) property damage liability coverage and 2) bodily injury liability coverage. So if the Uber driver who causes your car accident is uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to uninsured motorist law in Colorado so you can learn more.

Steps to Establish a Claim If You Are Involved in an Uber Accident

 1. Prove that your Uber driver is responsible for the accident

In Colorado, you have the right to compensation if a driving accident causes you emotional or financial distress, especially if you’ve endured reckless driving such as the following:

  • Speeding
  • Texting or similar digital distraction, including use of the Uber app
  • Fatigue
  • Intoxication
  • Poor or negligent vehicular maintenance
  • Traffic signal violation

If your Uber driver participated in these or other dangerous driving behaviors on your way to your destination, and it caused your car accident injuries, you may have cause for a claim.

2: Prove that you incurred damages

Like any claim, you need the facts. There are two main types of damages that would need to have taken place as a result of the Uber accident to justify an insurance claim.

  • Economic damages – you have incurred past, and future medical expenses lost wages (especially if your earning capacity is affected), or physical impairment and disfigurement
  • Non-economic damages – you have suffered unmanageable pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment in your life, inconvenience, or minor physical impairment

3: Prove the Uber accident caused the damages being claimed

When you report the auto incident, do so immediately and ensure the police officer takes note that the vehicle is a ride-share (not a commercial vehicle). You need to do this in all accident cases, including rear-end collisions. Get a record of medical attention in the event of personal injury. You’re entitled to justice, including money to resolve medical needs or lost income. If you have further questions about what to do if you are involved in an Uber accident, hire an auto accident attorney.

How Can a Denver Uber or Lyft Accident Attorney Help Me?

A Denver Uber or Lyft attorney can help you respond appropriately and receive fair compensation when you’re hurt in a ride-sharing accident. Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, you have the right to fair compensation under Colorado law and protection from the one-million dollar Uber or Lyft guarantee.

An attorney can help ensure that you approach the right people and corporations for insurance coverage and ensure that you enforce your rights under Colorado law. They can resolve your case efficiently and in a way that protects your rights.

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Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence