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What happens when you are in a rideshare accident?

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP March 27, 2019

Ride-share services are becoming more and more popular. While it used to be that you would need to rely on public transportation or call a taxi to get somewhere, you can now simply use an app to request a ride from a company like Uber or Lyft.

But just what would happen if you were the passenger and the rideshare driver got into a car accident? Who is responsible for paying for your injuries?

A legal landscape that is tricky to navigate

The law is still tricky to navigate in this space. Ridesharing, while certainly increasing in popularity, is still rather new.

With ridesharing, drivers are independent contractors, not employees. However, with a company like Uber or Lyft, when the driver is on the company’s platform – meaning the driver has accepted a request and is completing that request – the company’s liability insurance covers the driver.

However, as this Lyft diagram shows – it can still be very confusing to figure out when coverage is personal versus when it’s the company’s. This makes it even harder to figure out who is responsible if a driver causes an accident.

Common reasons for ridesharing accidents

The reasons for rideshare accidents are the same as with any type of accident, although one could make the argument a rideshare driver who is busy trying to navigate directions is even more distracted. However, this same driver could be tired, under the influence or just plain not paying attention. You and the driver also both run the risk of getting hit by another driver.

Ridesharing is certainly gaining in popularity and has its benefits. As a passenger, the biggest takeaway piece is that the legal landscape can get rather confusing when it comes to rideshare accidents, especially when there are multiple insurance companies involved. This is why many people end up speaking with an attorney after a rideshare crash, to have someone on their side to help wade through the legal issues that come up.