If you are wondering who is responsible for injuries suffered in an Uber/Lyft rideshare accident, you may find that the rideshare driver or some other party is responsible for your accident. In addition to the normal challenges that come with pursuing compensation following a vehicle accident, a collision involving a rideshare operator can further complicate the process of identifying the responsible party.
The good news is that an attorney could advise you on what parties might be responsible for your losses.
The Prevalence of Rideshare Accident Injuries
Determining the responsible party in a rideshare accident is becoming a more common question. According to research by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the booming popularity of ridesharing apps could be responsible for a 3 percent increase in traffic fatalities between 2010 to 2016. With an increase in rideshare accidents, many rideshare passengers and drivers will have faced losses and injuries related to their accident.
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Liable Parties in a Rideshare Crash
In many ways, determining responsibility for a rideshare accident is similar to any other vehicle collision. If the rideshare operator causes the crash through their negligence, they could face civil liability for any damages they cause. These accidents stand out due to an additional third party—the rideshare company.
Typically, a driver injured by a negligent motorist could pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s employer if they were on the clock when they caused the accident. However, rideshare drivers are typically not considered employees of Uber or Lyft. Instead, these companies are treated as a marketplace that connects drivers and riders.
This unique situation limits the ability to pursue a lawsuit directly against these companies in many jurisdictions. However, it is worth remembering that this area of law is unsettled, making it worthwhile to discuss your legal options with an attorney.
Pursuing an Insurance Claim
While it is true a direct lawsuit against Uber or Lyft may not be possible in your case, that does not mean they are entirely off the hook following a crash.
Uber and Lyft are still typically required to maintain a minimum level of liability insurance coverage for each of their drivers. The limits on these policies are typically far above those held by individual drivers. That said, the possible compensation available through an Uber or Lyft liability policy will vary based on the driver’s status when they caused the accident.
For insurance purposes, a rideshare driver’s status could be classified in three different ways. Their specific status will determine the maximum coverage available and whether or not Uber or Lyft’s insurance policies could be applied.
Driver is Transporting a Rider
Uber and Lyft provide the highest maximum insurance benefits in cases where a driver is transporting a paying passenger. In these cases, the rideshare companies offer up to $1 million in liability coverage. If you were in an accident when a rideshare driver had a passenger, you could pursue a claim through Uber or Lyft’s insurance.
Driver is Actively Seeking a Rider
A rideshare driver that is not actively transporting a passenger could still receive some insurance coverage from the company. This coverage is only available if they are using the app to actively seek out passengers. In this situation, Uber and Lyft offer up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage. Likewise, they provide up to $25,000 in property damage coverage. This coverage could be pursued by passengers of the rideshare as well as third parties injured by the driver.
Driver Is Not Using Rideshare App
When an Uber or Lyft operator is using their vehicle for personal reasons and not engaging in the mobile app, they are not covered by the rideshare company’s policy. According to these companies, these drivers are not acting as representatives of the company if they are actively seeking passengers. After an accident with an off-duty rideshare driver, you may need to seek compensation through that driver’s personal auto insurance policy.
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Discuss Your Rideshare Accident with an Attorney
If you are wondering who is responsible for injuries suffered in an Uber/Lyft rideshare accident, an attorney might be able to help. The team at Bogin, Munns & Munns can identify the liable party in your case and fight for your compensation. Our team can review the facts of your case and pursue your claim wherever it takes us.
Do not hesitate to contact Bogin, Munns & Munns to discuss your options. If you are ready to learn more, call a team member at (407) 578-9696 for your free consultation as soon as possible.
Call or text 855-780-9986 or submit our Consultation Request form today