Understanding Liability in Rideshare Accidents – A Complete Guide

Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by John Robinson

If you are injured in a road accident with a vehicle that is being operated by a driver who is an employee of a company, you can typically pursue a claim against the driver’s employer.

But things aren’t that simple with ridesharing accidents because drivers who work on behalf of companies like Uber and Lyft are not considered to be actual employees.

Furthermore, rules concerning who is at fault in such accidents can vary from one jurisdiction to another, which can sometimes make it even more challenging to understand who is liable and which party you can pursue a lawsuit against.

Let’s dig deeper into the liability of rideshare accidents to better comprehend the situation. 

Who is liable for rideshare accidents?

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are required to maintain a minimum level of liability coverage for each driver, which usually exceeds the insurance policies held by individual drivers.

However, the compensation that injured parties can pursue after being involved in a rideshare accident will vary depending on the status of the driver at the time of the accident.

There are three main scenarios that need to be considered before one can determine where the responsibility lies.

The Rideshare App Is Off

When a rideshare driver’s app is turned off or the driver is not logged into the app, the driver is not working for the rideshare company.

That means if the driver is involved in an accident at that time, the rideshare company will not be liable. Instead, the individual driver should be responsible.

The Driver Is Waiting for a Passenger

If the rideshare driver is awaiting a passenger and the rideshare app is on, the ridesharing company may share some liability when an accident happens.

The driver could be liable too.

The Driver Is Transporting a Passenger

When the rideshare driver is picking up or transporting a passenger, the rideshare company could be responsible and its insurance policy should cover the accident.

Claiming Compensation

At the end of the day, the specific details of an accident involving a rideshare driver will determine which party is liable.

People who are injured in accidents involving rideshare drivers may be able to pursue compensation from the driver’s insurance company, the rideshare company’s insurer, or both.

Drivers and ridesharing companies could be held responsible depending on the precise circumstances.

Therefore, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine the liability in rideshare accidents.

Your attorney will have the legal expertise to determine which party should be liable and he or she can assist you in claiming compensation.

You could pursue economic or non-economic damages. The former refers to compensation to cover costs like medical bills, auto repairs, and lost income. The latter is more subjective and can cover things like emotional distress and pain and suffering.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

If you become involved in a road accident with a rideshare driver, the first thing you need to do is ensure everybody involved in the accident is safe and out of harm’s way.

If anyone needs medical assistance, call an ambulance straight away.

Then call the police to file an official report.

You should also get the contact information of the other parties involved in the accident and any witnesses.

Also, take detailed photographs of the accident scene, as that can help to prove who was at fault.

Once all of those things have been done and you have been checked out by a doctor, which you should do even if you don’t have any visible injuries because you could have injuries that aren’t noticeable, contact a lawyer who has experience in dealing with rideshare accidents.

You can then determine if you have a case and, if you do, pursue the compensation you deserve.

John Robinson
John Robinson

Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.