Who Is Responsible for an Uber or Lyft Injury?

rideshare apps on phone

At the best of times, determining liability in an injury is complex and involves multiple parties. When an accident involves a rideshare company, the driver usually assumes liability. Drivers employed by Uber or Lyft are considered “independent contractors” for liability purposes. This is the company’s attempt to distance itself from the driver’s actions.

However, Uber or Lyft can still share some of the liability when an injury occurs. If the ride-share companies are negligent in screening drivers or maintaining their apps, they may be directly liable for the victim’s injuries.

Furthermore, there can be problems that go beyond an accident. We have all heard reports of DUIs, robberies, kidnapping, sexual assault, violence, or other crimes committed while ridesharing.

In this article, we will explore the issue of liability in a ridesharing injury.

Driver Liability

If the driver's negligence or recklessness caused the accident, they may be held responsible for any resulting injuries. Additionally, drivers are responsible for maintaining their vehicles. A poorly maintained car can contribute to an accident, making the driver responsible.

Furthermore, drivers could be directly responsible for criminal behavior such as assault, robbery, and so on.

Rideshare Company Liability

Rideshare companies are responsible for the safety of both drivers and passengers. Technically, they treat their drivers as independent contractors, distancing themselves from liability.

However, rideshare companies could be responsible for your injuries if they:

  • Fail to properly vet the driver
  • Are aware of any unsafe driving practices and fail to take action

Who Compensates Passengers in a Rideshare Injury?

Companies like Uber and Lyft provide up to $1 million in liability coverage for injuries sustained during rideshare trips.

These policies provide different levels of coverage, depending on the circumstances. If the driver is at fault, the insurance company can compensate the injured passenger. However, if another driver is at fault, the compensation would come from that driver's insurance policy.

Who Compensates Drivers in a Rideshare Injury?

If the rideshare driver causes an accident, they can rely on either their personal car insurance or the rideshare company's insurance. They can get benefits from one or both companies, depending on the circumstances.

If another other driver causes an accident, the driver’s insurance policy would likely be responsible for compensating the injured rideshare driver.

Holding Rideshare Companies Accountable for Failing to Perform a Proper Background Check

Both Uber and Lyft have implemented policies mandating background checks, but critics argue that these checks are not thorough enough. We still see instances where the companies failed to screen out potentially dangerous drivers.

Some advocates are calling for increased government oversight of the rideshare industry, and others are pushing for stronger legal remedies when passengers are harmed by dangerous drivers.

If you have been victimized by a rideshare driver, filing a personal injury case may be the best course of action. Speak to an attorney. They can help you gather evidence such as driver information, photos of the accident, or witness statements. You must act quickly in these situations, as there are time limits for filing a claim.

Your attorney can investigate your case and see which party to hold accountable. They could help you sue the driver, the rideshare company, or both, depending on the circumstances.

Brewster & De Angelis is here to help if you’ve been hurt in any kind of ridesharing incident. For a free consultation, you can reach our team online or by phone at (918) 265-1214.