Who is Responsible for a Car Accident Involving a Rideshare Company?
Driving courses are all about teaching new motorists how to operate a vehicle safely and within the confines of the rules of the road. While a safe transition from point A to point B happens the majority of the time, many drivers and their passengers will get into an accident at some point in their life.
Determining responsibility for a car accident is one of the most important issues after a crash, and this matter can become even more complicated when a rideshare company, such as Uber or Lyft, has a vehicle involved in the accident.
Many people are finding out what it means to become drivers for a rideshare service, which means that there will be responsible drivers as well as irresponsible ones.
With more and more people utilizing rideshare vehicles in the Nashville area and across the country, questions of rideshare liability are becoming more common in car accident lawsuits. Is the Uber or Lyft driver fully responsible or does the rideshare company hold some of the blame? Is the accident the fault of the other driver?
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, you need an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney to represent your interests. Call the office or contact us today at Mitch Grissim & Associates to schedule a free consultation of your case.
In most car accident cases around Nashville, the driver of one or more vehicles is usually at fault for a crash. If a driver strikes a rideshare car and injures people, that driver is at fault for the accident. Liability would work just like any other accident and that driver’s insurance company would get involved.
However, if rideshare drivers strike another vehicle on the road, the issue can be more confusing. Questions of whether the Lyft or Uber driver was on the clock or was driving a passenger can all add to the complexity of this type of car accident. And while rideshare companies mandate that their independent contractors maintain their car insurance policies, the companies also maintain an insurance policy that may be reached by injured victims.
Major rideshare companies also place other legal responsibilities on their drivers for the safety of passengers. For example, a passenger cannot be dropped off in a dangerous location such as a busy intersection or darkened street with no lights. These responsibilities add another layer of complexity to the overall responsibility of the driver in a personal injury case.
Rideshare Company Liability Policies
The business model of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft maintains insurance policies up to one million dollars per accident for situations when driver coverage is missing or is not enough to cover the damages of people injured in an accident.
If a rideshare driver is on the clock but without a passenger and causes an accident, their personal auto insurance will cover damages up to the policy limit, and the rideshare company’s policy will kick in only if the personal limited coverage is not enough.
Uber and Lyft can protect themselves in the event of most accidents because of these policies, but also protect their drivers in the event of a Lyft or Uber crash.
However, if the driver is carrying a passenger at the time of the crash then the rideshare company’s policy may cover damages if they are injured in the accident.
The insurance coverage for rideshare companies may also be reached by injury victims if the at-fault drivers in an accident are uninsured or underinsured, regardless of whether they worked for the company or were driving another car. An experienced Tennessee car accident attorney can help you sort out the complex issues of liability if you are hurt in a rideshare crash.
Why Does Liability Matter in a Rideshare Driver Accident?
Liability matters for car accidents involving an Uber or Lyft driver because it will help determine whether or not you are eligible for compensation after the fact. Personal injury lawyers from our law firm can help you file a claim for recovering damages for any financial ramifications from injuries that you have suffered as a result of rideshare accidents.
What Compensation is Available?
There are a few categories of damages that you can obtain a payout for after a rideshare accident. Lost wages due to an inability to work, medical expenses resulting from bodily injury, emotional distress, and punitive damages are just a few examples.
The level of compensation you can obtain varies, depending on factors like the driver’s insurance policy, bodily injury coverage, what parties will be held liable, and more. Our law offices can help determine your chances of receiving a payout from your claim. We also offer a free evaluation of your case upfront to answer any questions and discuss the legal process.
Battling the Insurance Company and Rideshare Companies
Your claim is against a party with vast resources. They will likely have teams of lawyers and insurance adjusters that will do what is necessary to avoid a large payout to victims if an Uber or Lyft accident occurred.
You could also be going up against Uber and Lyft drivers who are claiming to not be accountable for the car accident case.
For these reasons, working with an attorney from our law offices becomes extremely important for your claim. They can work out insurance details, discuss if you want to sue Uber or Lyft, figure out if liability coverage will be enough to cover the payout, and help you avoid responsibility. A lawyer will also compile evidence such as the police report and eyewitness accounts toward this end.
Liability matters because these companies may attempt to deflect it away from themselves and their drivers to avoid large payouts.
Holding the Uber or Lyft Driver Accountable for their Actions
If the ride-share drivers are actively transporting a passenger at the time of the accident, and they are found at fault for the collision, then this clause will help to hold them accountable for the mistakes/poor decisions that they made, especially if they led to injuries to their passengers.
When someone makes a ride request and the driver accepts, they enter into a so-called agreement to keep the passenger safe. If there are accidents caused by that Lyft or Uber driver while they have a passenger, they can be held accountable for failing to protect that person’s safety.
Additionally, keeping rideshare drivers accountable ensures that poor drivers are not able to continuously put their passengers in danger. Though they are independent contractors, a Lyft or Uber driver is still under the employ of the ride-sharing service.
Accidents caused by Uber/Lyft drivers need to be addressed to make these services safer for future passengers and to enforce stricter regulations.
Let Us Help You Today
When you opt to take a rideshare vehicle you expect a safe ride to your destination, and if an accident occurs because of your driver, the company they work for should be held accountable for your injuries. You have the right to pursue maximum compensation when a ride-share driver gets into an accident while transporting you. A Lyft or Uber car accident is most likely not your doing, and you need someone to defend your rights.
That is where we come in. Our team will dedicate themselves to proving that you deserve a fair settlement for the financial ramifications you have suffered after the incident. Holding the various parties accountable, obtaining the highest possible payout, and protecting your information will be our top priorities for your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured while traveling in a rideshare car, call or contact the Nashville car accident attorneys at Mitch Grissim & Associates today for a free consultation.
We handle all types of personal injury cases, from boating accidents to medical malpractice to construction accidents. For all your injury needs, work with the legal representation that can get you the results you seek.