As of 2020, Uber had approximately 5 million drivers worldwide, and Lyft had an estimated 1 million active drivers. With so many rideshare drivers on the road, it’s unsurprising that accidents occur. However, the question isn’t if accidents occur, but rather who is liable if an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident.
In this article, we’re going to have a look at who is liable after an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident. Should you have recently been involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, our attorneys at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, PA, can be of assistance. Not only can we help you determine liability, but we can also help you build a potentially winning case.
The Liable Parties in an Uber or Lyft Accident
In most instances, determining who is responsible for an Uber or Lyft accident is similar to the process used to identify who is responsible for a non-rideshare accident. Should the rideshare operator cause the accident through negligent actions or behaviors, they can face civil liability for the damages they cause.
However, rideshare accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers stand out because there is an additional party involved, namely the rideshare company. Usually, someone injured in an accident involving a company driver could pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s employer.
This is not often the case with Uber and Lyft, since rideshare drivers are not considered employees of Uber and Lyft. This unique situation limits a driver’s ability to take action against Uber or Lyft directly, which is why it’s the drivers of Uber and Lyft who are held responsible in most instances. However, that does not mean you cannot claim from Uber or Lyft. These rideshare companies do have insurance in place for accidents caused by their drivers.
How Is Driver Liability Determined in an Uber or Lyft Accident
Below, we have briefly summarized when and how an Uber or Lyft driver can be held liable for an accident that has occurred.
When a Driver Is Actively Seeking a Rider
An Uber or Lyft driver that isn’t transporting a rider but is actively seeking one could still receive a predetermined amount of insurance coverage from Uber or Lyft. However, this coverage is only available to the driver if they use the company’s app to actively seek out passengers.
For these instances, Uber and Lyft offer $100,000 per accident in bodily harm coverage, $50,000 per person, and up to $25,000 in property damage coverage. These coverage amounts can be pursued by third parties injured by an Uber or Lyft driver and by passengers of rideshares.
When a Driver Is Transporting a Passenger
When a rideshare driver is transporting a client, the Uber and Lyft companies offer the highest maximum insurance benefits. When a driver is transporting a passenger when an accident occurs, Uber and Lyft offer up to $1 million in liability coverage.
Should you have been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident when a driver was transporting a paying customer, you could be able to pursue a claim through Uber or Lyft’s insurance.
When a Driver Isn’t Using the Uber or Lyft Rideshare App
When a rideshare driver causes a minor or major accident while they are not performing their active rideshare duties, they are not covered by Uber or Lyft’s insurance. Uber and Lyft see drivers as not actively acting as representatives on the company’s behalf when they are not using the app to seek customers or actively transporting a paying customer.
Should you have been involved in an accident with an off-duty rideshare driver, you will likely have to seek compensation through the driver’s personal auto insurance policy.
Get in Touch with an Orlando Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney Today to Determine Who Is Liable for Your Uber or Lyft Accident
In many instances, determining liability in a rideshare accident can be an incredibly complex endeavor. That’s why it’s often an excellent idea to seek legal assistance from an Orlando Lyft and Uber accident attorney. An experienced Uber and Lyft attorney will understand the various legalities surrounding rideshare accidents.
If you have decided you would like to pursue a claim, the attorneys at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, PA, can help you. Our Orlando firm has more than 50 years of experience helping our clients gain fair compensation for injuries sustained during accidents. If you would like to build a winning case, we could be able to help. To arrange a free consultation, you can call us at (407) 843-7060 or contact us here.