Posted on Sep 14, 2018 in Personal Injury, Traffic
Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft have become so engrained in our culture in recent years. It’s sometimes easy to forget that they are still relatively new services.
So perhaps it is no surprise that navigating some of the legal specifics around ride-share services can get a bit murky.
A question we often hear is what happens if I’m in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft? Who is responsible if I’m hurt?
Both Uber and Lyft have pages on their respective websites ostensibly detailing what to do if you are involved in an accident while using their services. However, neither page seems to offer much specific help or information.
Both pages instruct riders to contact the police and then contact the company. There is no information on either site—as far as I can see—indicating their process for dealing with accidents, or who absorbs financial responsibility should a rider be injured.
Perhaps this is a practical measure on their part. After all, every accident is different and situational. The track records of these companies, though, paint a less forgiving picture.
Who Is Responsible If I’m Injured?
According to an article on time.com, both Uber and Lyft have one million dollar insurance policies to protect their drivers and provide coverage in the case of an accident.
However, drivers employed by Uber and Lyft are notably considered independent contractors rather than employees of the company. This distinction means the ride-share companies can often deny liability when their driver is involved in an accident, avoiding responsibility for coverage.
What does this mean for the passenger exactly? If you are seeking compensation for injuries stemming from an accident while riding in an Lyft or Uber, you must file a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle and their insurance company. The drivers’ status as independent contractors protects Uber or Lyft from being sued directly.
Most likely, the driver will be unable to compensate you fully on their own. In some cases, their insurance policy may not cover the costs, or may only cover them partially. On paper, this is where the one million dollar insurance policy comes in, to protect the driver if they cannot pay or pay fully.
But in practice, there have been numerous reports of the companies encouraging drivers involved in accidents to file with their personal insurance company as opposed the company’s.
Critics of ride-sharing services have been questioning their treatment of and commitment to their drivers for years. In 2014, one case in particular gained national attention after Uber denied to take any responsibility when one of their drivers struck and killed a six-year-old.
Have You Been Involved In An Accident While Using a Ride-share Service?
If you were injured in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
Every accident is unique, and personal injury laws often vary from state to state. When dealing with an Uber or Lyft accident the details and process can get even more complicated. You want to make sure you have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
At Bloom Legal, we know how to navigate the finger-pointing and denial of responsibility that often arrises between the ride-share and insurance companies. We will gather evidence and communicate on your behalf, so that you can focus on what’s most important—your health.
We understand the mental, physical, and financial burden of an injury. Let us fight for you to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.