Responsibility for Injuries in a Rideshare Accident

Responsibility for Injuries in a Rideshare Accident

Every day an increasing number of Americans are using ridesharing services. Although ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber are generally convenient, accessible, and safe, riders can still suffer from accidents. Victims of ridesharing accidents are often unsure who is legally responsible for their injuries, resulting in frustration or confusion. If you want to learn more about liability in ridesharing accidents and a ridesharing attorney can help, you can continue reading. 

Liable Parties in a Rideshare Accident 

Generally, rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, meaning the company takes no responsibility for its actions. If you sustain injuries due to the negligence of the ridesharing driver, you can pursue legal action against them by filing a personal injury claim. 

When ridesharing drivers are not logged on to the company’s app and get into an accident, the accident will not be considered a ridesharing accident but a car accident, and the driver would have to pay for the damages through their personal auto insurance. 

Some companies also provide their drivers with insurance, but whether that coverage applies to the accident depends on many factors, including whether the driver is online and available to pick up passengers. This insurance can cover damage sustained by the driver and their vehicle, and it generally kicks in when the driver’s personal auto insurance has paid for the accident. 

Leading ridesharing companies in the U.S., such as Uber and Lyft, provide additional liability coverage for accidents that involve riders. This coverage is meant to compensate the victim for bodily injuries, property damage, wrongful death, and more. If the driver is a legal employee of the ridesharing company, then the company can be held liable for the accident. Since drivers are not considered employees but rather independent contractors, the ridesharing company can attempt to refuse to be liable for the damages. However, it is for the court to decide whether the driver was an independent contractor or an employee. 

Ridesharing companies are required to hire qualified drivers through proper screening. They are also required to provide drivers with adequate training and supervise them. If the company employs a negligent driver or fails to supervise and train them, they can be responsible for the damages caused to the passenger. 

It is also possible for the liability to lie with the car manufacturer. For example, if the accident results from brake failure and it is later found that the brakes were defective, the car manufacturer can be liable for the damages. In some cases, liability can lie with the third party (the other driver) involved in the accident. If that happens, you will have to file a third-party claim with the insurance company of the other driver. 

What Compensation Is Available for Rideshare Accidents?

Here are some of the most common types of compensation available in ridesharing accidents: 

  • Loss of Income: Ridesharing accidents can result in serious injuries, and if your injuries prevented you from resuming work, you would be compensated for your loss of income. 
  • Loss of Earning Potential: Some people can sustain debilitating injuries that prevent them from returning to work or not being able to get a job that pays the same level.  
  • Medical Expenses: The victim can seek compensation for bills related to hospitalization, prescription medication, surgery, medical tests, rehabilitation, medical devices, and other types of medical expenses. 
  • Pain and Suffering: The victim can get compensated for the emotional trauma and mental anguish they suffer due to their accident injuries. 

Consult With a Ridesharing Lawyer

Here is how a ridesharing lawyer can help your case:  

They Have Experience 

Ridesharing accident claims or lawsuits are often complicated. Therefore, you would help if you had a legal expert who thoroughly understands the law. One main reason to hire an attorney is to have someone on your side who has experience dealing with similar cases, and due to this experience, they would be able to guide you through each step of the process.  

Expediting the Claims Process 

According to the personal injury attorney Hipskind & McAninch, ridesharing accident claims can take considerable time and effort. Insurance companies will try to get you to accept a low settlement offer and may use bad faith tactics. The insurance company can delay settlement for as long as possible to achieve this goal. But when you hire an attorney, they will dodge all tactics of the insurance company, stay focused on negotiating a fair settlement, and help you obtain maximum compensation for your damages. This can expedite the claims process.  

Build a Strong Case 

Your attorney can gather solid evidence, including complete medical records, paystubs, witness statements, police reports, and accident footage, to help maximize your chances of obtaining compensation. If a fair settlement amount cannot be reached through negotiations, your lawyer can advise you on taking the case to court.

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