Rideshare companies have been springing up throughout the U.S., and most of us are grateful for these alternatives to traditional taxis. You never know when you’ll need a Lyft.
But when new products or services emerge, a lot of legal issues often crop up. This is especially true when you’re dealing with vehicles and safety, and we are all aware that auto wrecks cause injuries.
Liability: Rideshare Company vs. Rideshare Driver
Rideshare companies are unique in that they don’t directly employ the workers who drive for them. Uber and Lyft drivers are considered contract workers, so liability doesn’t work the same way as it does when a company employs a worker.
When a worker is considered an employee, then the company can be held liable when that worker is in an accident or harms someone while on the job. Seems like Uber and Lyft are sort of gaming the system, yes? In a way they are. They aren’t held liable for most auto wrecks involving their drivers.
How do they get away with this? It doesn’t seem fair. It may not be fair, but at this point, they’re getting away with it by requiring their drivers to carry their own insurance protection. The Uber or Lyft drivers themselves must have insurance, and their insurance coverage provides monetary compensation to those injured in an accident.
When Can You Sue the Rideshare Company Itself?
So are the rideshare companies ever accountable for the accidents that their drivers are involved in? Yes. In some cases the companies are accountable. There is some controversy about liability when the driver’s app is on, when the driver is not logged into the account, and when a passenger is in the vehicle.
Both Uber and Lyft do carry insurance coverage. It acts as a secondary insurance coverage in the event that an accident and the subsequent damages exceed the driver’s insurance coverage.
For example, if an Uber driver’s coverage amount is $50,000 and the injured accident victim’s damages are $100,000, Uber’s insurance coverage will kick in for the additional $50,000 (up to certain limits).
There have been a few notable cases in which a person was killed in an accident involving a rideshare driver. The rideshare companies can be sued if it’s found that they are somehow responsible for the accident due to negligence on the company’s part.
Liability can be complicated, and every person’s case is unique. Never give up fighting for justice and compensation unless you’ve spoken to a rideshare accident attorney about your case first.
Talk to an Attorney for Help with Your Accident Case
Rideshare accidents are a little more confusing to deal with because who is responsible for rideshare wrecks is still up in the air. You should talk with a rideshare accident attorney about your case. Your lawyer will have a better understanding of who is liable in your Uber or Lyft accident case and what kinds of damages you’re looking at.
Reach out to a rideshare crash lawyer at our firm. We’re ready to assist you in obtaining the compensation you rightly deserve for a vehicle wreck you didn’t cause. Contact Bohn & Fletcher, LLP by using the contact form below. We offer free case assessments, so reach out today. You can also call directly at 408-279-4222.