Who Is Liable for Uber or Lyft Accidents?

Rideshare services are everywhere these days, with companies like Uber and Lyft dominating the roadways. Unfortunately, if you happen to be injured in an accident with a ridesharing service, it can be complicated to figure out who is liable for your injuries. After all, these drivers are considered to be independent contractors – and depending on their status during the accident, you may not be covered under the ridesharing company’s insurance policy.

At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we can help you navigate the process of filing an injury claim for a complex Uber or Lyft accident. No matter how complicated your collision may be, we’ll apply decades of experience to your claim and fight for your right to compensation.

Understanding Liability for Rideshare Collisions

The Uber and Lyft business model is based on the idea of “gig work” – meaning that independent, self-sustaining drivers pick up riders through a digital smartphone app, where they are paid depending on the number of gigs they take. While the driver is working for Uber or Lyft, the company does acknowledge its share of liability and should cover your injuries appropriately. Most of these companies offer $1 million in insurance coverage for personal injury and property damage inflicted by their drivers.

However, if an Uber or Lyft driver was simply waiting for a new ride at the time of their accident, the $1 million coverage does not apply. In these instances, Uber and Lyft may still offer coverage – but the amount will be significantly lower than when the drivers were working. This is typically not enough to cover the costs of a catastrophic injury, which can put injury victims in a difficult situation.

There can be many other parties involved in a complex Uber or Lyft accident, including:

  • The Uber or Lyft driver
  • The Uber or Lyft driver’s private insurance company
  • The insurance company for Uber or Lyft
  • Another driver on the road
  • The other driver’s insurer
  • A pedestrian or bicyclist

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft?

If the Uber or Lyft driver was acting in a negligent manner, it may be possible to sue the driver with a personal injury lawsuit, especially if they were not covered by an insurance plan at the time of the car accident. It will depend on the scope of your injuries, your likelihood of insurance coverage, and the degree to which the driver was negligent.

Ultimately, the law classifies most Uber and Lyft drivers as “independent contractors,” which can make it difficult to sue the company itself. However, some recent California lower courts have ruled that rideshare drivers can be considered employees in certain situations, which would imply a higher level of liability for their workers. If your injuries are particularly severe – or if someone you love suffered a wrongful death because of an Uber driver’s negligence – there is still a possibility that you could recover higher levels of compensation from the rideshare company.

Always On Your Side

With over 50 years of combined experience, our Los Angeles trial attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you untangle the threads of your Uber or Lyft accident. Dedicated and tenacious, our car accident team won’t stop seeking maximum damages on your behalf. As you focus on recovering and healing from your traumatic experience, we’ll focus on getting the compensation that you deserve after serious losses.

For more information about our personal injury team, call (800) 462-7160 today and schedule a consultation.