I was injured in a rideshare accident. Who is responsible?

It is becoming more and more common for people to get a ride from a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. Riding in these cars presents the same dangers as any other ride demonstrated by Uber’s report of 107 fatalities in 2017 and 2018. Determining who is at fault for rideshare accidents can be more complicated than other car accidents.

Who caused the accident?

Anyone whose negligent or intentional actions cause an accident is responsible for the injuries that occur. Acts outside of a reasonable standard of care are negligent, and violation of traffic laws or regulations is strong evidence of negligence. Examples of negligence include speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted driving, and failing to follow traffic signs or signals

After a rideshare accident, consider the actions of the following parties for negligence:

  • Rideshare driver
  • The driver of any other vehicle involved in the accident
  • Vehicle manufacturer

A police report will provide important evidence for your case, including images of the accident scene, witness statements, and traffic citations.

Does the rideshare company cover my damages?

If an employee is acting in the scope of their duties at the time of an accident, the employer is responsible. This does not apply to independent contractors, and the National Labor Relations Board found that rideshare drivers are independent contractors. This means that the driver will be responsible for your damages.

Major rideshare companies do provide additional insurance coverage for their drivers. The coverage depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. For example, Uber’s policy provides if the driver was:

  • Available or waiting for a ride request, Uber insurance covers up to $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident
  • En route to pick up or in the middle of a trip, Uber insurance covers up to $1,000,000 insurance for bodily injury and property damage caused to a third party in a covered accident

If the amount of your damages exceeds Uber’s coverage and the driver’s personal coverage, you will need to sue the driver to secure recovery. These insurance amounts seem high, but damages add up quickly and include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Punitive damages

An experienced personal injury lawyer is an important partner in your effort to secure the recovery you deserve after a rideshare accident.

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