Who is Liable in a Rideshare Accident?
Oct. 24, 2022
Getting into a car accident is never easy. But getting into an accident while ridesharing with companies like Uber or Lyft can make understanding liability and seeking a settlement more confusing, stressful, and challenging than ever.
As a personal injury attorney at The Fostel Law Firm, I have over 15 years of experience helping those in their personal injury cases pursue the compensation they deserve. I have the knowledge, comprehensive skills, and practice to assist you after a rideshare accident. My firm proudly serves clients in Houston, Texas, the Southeast New Mexico area, and throughout the nation.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft Directly?
One of the most common questions asked by individuals involved in rideshare accidents is if they can sue the company they were riding with at the time of the accident.
Determining liability for the accident is essential for answering this question since liability will dictate whose insurance is responsible for any eventual settlements or damages.
There are three scenarios to examine how the different circumstances impact liability.
Scenario A: You are a Passenger and the Driver is at Fault
If your rideshare driver is responsible for your accident, you’re in luck. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft provide $1,000,000 in liability coverage for every driver on their roster while they have passengers in their vehicles.
This coverage can make the personal injury settlement process more straightforward but can also lead to additional complications that arise when dealing with rideshare companies’ legal teams and insurance partners.
Scenario B: You are a Passenger and the Other Driver is at Fault
Most rideshare companies are well-prepared for accidents caused by other drivers. For example, Uber maintains motorist bodily coverage on your behalf in case of accidents caused by underinsured or uninsured drivers.
Lyft, Uber’s main competitor, maintains a policy that provides $50,000/person for bodily injury, $100,000/accident for bodily injury, and $25,000/accident for property damage if riders’ personal insurance does not apply.
Scenario C: Your Car is Hit by an Uber or Lyft Driver
This scenario can be a little bit more tricky due to rideshare drivers’ status as independent contractors.
While Uber and Lyft both require a minimum level of insurance coverage for every contracted driver, they often don’t offer additional insurance coverage when paying passengers who aren’t in the vehicle. That means you may not be able to seek a claim against Uber or Lyft if the rideshare driver wasn’t headed toward or providing a paid ride.
If the rideshare driver that caused your accident is underinsured, you may still be able to seek damages against their contractor, but doing so can be a difficult hill to climb.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
Your actions following your ridesharing accident can make or break your personal injury case. Here are five crucial steps to take after you’ve been in an accident that involves Lyft, Uber, or similar companies.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you feel okay after your accident, it’s vital that you seek medical treatment.
Seeking medical treatment will ensure you haven’t suffered any internal injuries, concussions, or other injuries that aren’t always immediately obvious. Visiting the hospital or your doctor also creates an invaluable paper trail of documents that can be used in your personal injury settlement case.
Report the Accident
A police or incident report from your accident is another crucial piece of documentation. The official, impartial account will help the courts determine who was liable for the accident.
Your personal statement, the statement of the other driver, and witness statements all play a massive role in determining liability. Make sure you also save any photos or videos of the moments before, during, and after your accident.
Get Copies of all Documentation
Filing a personal injury case requires a lot of paperwork. Having copies of important documents like police reports, medical records, income and employment information, and insurance policies can help streamline the settlement process.
Hire an Attorney
A skilled personal injury attorney is the most vital part of any strong compensation strategy. Working with an attorney can help you document your accident, launch your personal injury lawsuit, and negotiate with the big insurance companies for a fair settlement.
Have You Been in a Rideshare Accident?
If you’ve recently suffered physical injuries, emotional distress, or loss of income due to a ridesharing car accident, you need compassionate, experienced legal counsel.
At The Fostel Law Firm, I have a long and successful track record of delivering exceptional personal injury guidance to the people of Houston, West Texas, and Southeast New Mexico. Contact me today for your rideshare personal injury consultation and take the first step towards fighting for fair compensation.