Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are becoming more popular in metropolitan areas. A difficult legal issue is deciding who’s responsible monetarily for passenger injuries. Is the liability in the hands of the Lyft/Uber driver? Or is Uber/Lyft liable, instead of the driver? Would the insurance of the company itself be paying, or the driver’s? What if the Uber/Lyft driver was not on the clock when the accident happened?
Faulty Party Involving Uber Accidents
By investigating taxi/rideshare accidents, as well as other automobile accidents, it can be determined who the negligent party was. If you are injured in a taxi accident because of being hit by another vehicle, that other driver’s insurance would be liable to pay.
But what if you are a passenger in a vehicle that has an accident and it was your driver’s fault? Who would then be responsible for paying?
Insurance Liability for Uber Accidents
In Uber and Lyft accidents, the driver uses his or her own automobile. Therefore, there is a legal obligation for drivers to have insurance for the legal limits. If a rideshare driver is not working at the time of being involved in an accident, the damages would be paid for by their private insurance.
In addition, rideshare services must provide their drivers with insurance. One example would be if a rideshare driver was on the clock and had an accident, the company’s insurance would cover him or her. This is just like taxi drivers, whereas insurance coverage for injuries would be provided by the taxi company for the driver and passengers.
Some courts have found that Uber/Lyft drivers should be considered employees, even though they’re more often considered to be independent contractors. Therefore, if you take legal action against an Uber/Lyft driver, it may be the liability of the company they work for according to the theory of vicarious liability.
If you were the driver or a passenger in a rideshare and were involved in an accident, you should contact an attorney to help you receive the maximum amount of damages possible.
For more questions such as why you should have an attorney after an accident, how much your claim might be worth, filing a claim, and more, contact an experienced attorney today.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.