Rideshare Accidents: Uber, Lyft, and More

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Over the last few years, rideshare companies have grown in popularity across major cities in the United States. With the ease of using an app to hail a driver, Uber and Lyft have become go-to options for everyday transportation.

However, it’s important to remain cautious; passengers in rideshare vehicles as well as other drivers on the road can get into a crash with a rideshare driver, leading to complicated legal cases. Who is responsible for an accident with a rideshare driver? Can an injured accident victim sue Uber or Lyft? How does car insurance work when it comes to rideshare transportation?

If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact the experienced auto accident lawyers of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. Our team of attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of rideshare accident cases and recover the compensation you deserve for your damages.

Causes of Rideshare Accidents

Alongside traditional common causes of car accidents, rideshare drivers face additional distractions:

  • Using the rideshare app
  • Checking the GPS while navigating
  • Monitoring traffic apps
  • Adjusting the radio or music playlist to fit passengers’ interests
  • Holding conversations with passengers
  • Distributing bottled water, phone chargers, mints, or other incentives to passengers

While some drivers may feel these actions are part of their job as an Uber or Lyft driver, their first responsibility is to the safety of passengers. In other words, rideshare drivers are required to follow the rules of the road, just like any other driver.

Rideshare Accident Compensation: Who Is Responsible?

Since these services are so new, legal issues related to rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are still under consideration. In general, however, rideshare accident victims have the same challenges to overcome as victims of other car accidents do: They must prove liability (who acted negligently) and show damages (how badly they were injured).

The Rideshare Business Model

Employers are usually legally responsible for accidents caused by their employees. In the case of rideshare services, though, companies like Uber and Lyft maintain that their drivers are independent contractors, not employees. This distinction can make it difficult to determine liability in a rideshare accident.

With shifting legal approaches to rideshare accident liability, there is no telling whether Uber and Lyft can continue to protect themselves with the argument that they do not directly employ drivers and are therefore not responsible. Either way, the support of a qualified attorney is key in making a rideshare accident claim.

Possible Liable Parties

Depending on the circumstances of a crash, you may be able to file a claim against one or more parties:

  • Rideshare driver
  • Driver of another vehicle
  • Rideshare company (Uber, Lyft, etc.)
  • Local or state governments
  • Vehicle manufacturer

An attorney can help you determine what parties are responsible for your accident.

Insurance and Compensation

If rideshare drivers act negligently, then they can be held financially and legally responsible, right?

Not necessarily.

Since rideshare drivers drive for money, most personal insurance policies will not cover the accident. In response to this gap in insurance coverage, Uber and Lyft offer liability insurance to their drivers.

To be covered by the insurance policies of rideshare companies, drivers must be actively working (either driving a passenger or traveling to pick up a passenger). Otherwise, the rideshare service may not cover the accident.

There are a few insurance policies that may be at play after a rideshare accident. That’s why you need a lawyer on your side: to explore your options and figure out the best method for obtaining compensation from one or more insurance companies.

What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Car Accident

After a rideshare accident, whether you were a passenger in the rideshare vehicle or another driver on the road, follow these steps:

Navigating insurance claims, determining liability, and seeking compensation for damages can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Find an experienced lawyer to be your advocate during this process.

Contact a Rideshare Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured in a rideshare accident, contact the Indianapolis Automobile Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you recover for the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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