Who is Liable in a Ridesharing Accident?

Who Pays When an Uber or Lyft Driver is in an Accident?

nullUber and Lyft have undoubtedly made transportation easier as a cheaper and more easily accessible alternative to taxi cabs. Through the app, ordinary drivers can sign up to offer their services to those needing a ride. Rideshare drivers do not undergo any professional driving training, nor are they required to have any particular qualifications other than a drivers’ license. The new-age business model of these rideshare companies is convenient, but the lack of qualifications can be dangerous to other drivers on the road. 

If you are in a car accident with someone driving for Uber or Lyft, then it may be tricky to find who is liable. Should you seek compensation from the driver for their negligence behind the wheel? Or should you sue Uber or Lyft because the driver was on the road working for their company? 

Contacting Uber and Lyft accident lawyers Newport Beach like those at Accident Lawyers Firm will give you clarity when seeking compensation following an automotive accident. When you sit down with your California ridesharing accident attorneys, you will determine what all you need to be compensated for and who is liable for those damages. 

Determining Damages

The first thing your car crash lawyers will do is determine the value of your personal injury claim. Your Uber or Lyft crash lawyers will begin this process by getting an understanding of the scope of your damages. Damages come down to the total losses you have suffered. 

If the accident was severe enough to send you to the emergency room, then you will need compensation for all those medical bills. It’s also possible that you will have long-term effects such as whiplash from your accident, and you will need financial aid when paying for chiropractors and physical therapists. 

Evidence is crucial to proving your claim, so you should start documenting your injuries as soon as possible. Take as many photos as you can directly after the accident and throughout the healing process. Keep track of all medical bills so that you have an exact amount.

Your damages may be more than skin deep; emotional trauma following a car accident, especially one resulting in a physical injury, is not uncommon, and you can also sue for emotional distress. Emotional distress may be marked by anxiety, insomnia, and stress following your accident. 

Since emotional damages are not easily visible, these will be harder to prove. You can start by keeping a diary detailing your emotions and nightmares following the accident. Your rideshare accident lawyer will give you more information on how you can prove your emotional damages in court. 

Your car will undoubtedly have some dents, scratches, and/or broken glass following the accident, and you should document the damage through photos. If you didn’t get the chance to take photos at the scene, your car will be towed to a yard where you, a friend, or an insurance agent can take photos.

A talented personal injury lawyer can ensure you are compensated for the following: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Lost wages 
  • Loss of future wages
  • Property damages
  • Emotional damages (like PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering)
  • Punitive damages

Who is Liable?

Since the driver was on the job when the accident, Uber and Lyft must be involved in the legal process. You could try to say that the company the driver is working for is partially liable for your damages, but Uber and Lyft have taken steps to prevent this. The responsibility of the rideshare giants has been hotly contested in the past year. 

California passed the AB5, which required companies that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees, which gives more legal responsibility to their employers rather than the “freelancers” that are doing a gig. Proposition 22 was later passed, specifying that rideshare drivers are not included in the AB5, meaning they are to be treated as independent contractors.

Since rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, the company can argue they are not responsible for their negligence in the event of a crash.

Uber and Lyft require their drivers to have their own insurance, and they carry third party liability insurance coverage for personal injuries and property damage in the event that the damages exceed the driver’s personal insurance. The two popular ridesharing apps have similar policies where coverage differs depending on what stage of ridesharing the driver is in at the time of the accident. 

If the driver has not received a passenger request yet, coverage is at least $50,000 in injury liability per person, $100,000 in total liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident. If the driver has accepted a ride request, both Uber and Lyft cover up to $1 million for third-party personal injuries and property damage.

Since Uber and Lyft provide coverage when their drivers are involved in an accident, you would technically be suing the driver for damages. Since the driver is responsible, it’s possible to argue that Uber and Lyft are also responsible due to hiring the driver. 

By giving thousands of dollars worth of coverage to their drivers, these two rideshare apps carry the guise of holding themselves accountable. However, Uber and Lyft have taken steps to ensure that they won’t get sued by employing high-powered executives whose mission is to shift liability away from their company. 

Navigating the world of traffic collision claims is tricky, especially when the other driver was working for a rideshare company. A skilled legal professional will be able to navigate these complex matters to ensure that you are compensated for your losses. 

Contacting an Attorney

The best way to ensure that you get as much compensation as possible is by reaching out to an injury attorney Newport Beach that understands the complexities of the legal system in addition to the role that Uber and Lyft play. An attorney at Accident Lawyers Firm can go over your case with you so that you have a firm understanding of your possible claim.