What You Should Know about Ridesharing Accidents

Lyft and Uber ridesharing services carry $1,000,000 of liability insurance in case of accidents as required by the California Public Utility Commission, but both ridesharing services do not directly employ their drivers. Lyft and Uber do not own or maintain their own vehicles. As you become familiar with the ridesharing service, you may become overconfident or less cautious. Ridesharing services increased the total number of fatal traffic accidents in the United States by 2-3% annually. Shocking as it may seem, you, the passenger, may be held liable for your Lyft or Uber accident. If your Lyft or Uber driver struck another car, the driver and passengers in the other car also expect compensation for their property damage and injuries.

Your Driver’s Qualifications

Your driver must be at least 21 years old and may be driving his or her first car. Both rideshare services require a stringent background check to become a driver, and all vehicles carrying ridesharing passengers must be inspected frequently for safety. Lyft Express Drive helps individuals with no traffic accidents or moving violations on their records rent late model four-door motor vehicles with maintenance contracts, and car insurance. Motorists with at least three years of driving experience can become an Uber or Lyft driver. Uber requires each independent driver to maintain a private-hire driver’s license. Uber Partners rent cars to qualified drivers.


Judge Dan Hinde

Ridesharing Accidents

Independent Lyft and Uber drivers respond to passengers’ cell phones when they accept ride requests from the transportation network company’s online application. The ridesharing company’s liability insurance only covers passengers injured traveling to or from their destinations in their Lyft or Uber motor vehicle. Your driver’s status in the Lyft online application determines who’s liable or who’s insurance pays for the damage caused by the ridesharing accident. Your driver’s status may be:

  • Not active in the Uber or Lyft application
  • Driver active in the online application but hasn’t selected a request
  • Driver accepted ride request but is not yet carrying passenger
  • Driver is actively carrying a passenger in the Lyft or Uber online system.

Your Driver’s Insurance

If you’re lucky, your driver carries the type of commercial car insurance recommended by the National Association of Insurance Commissions. Ideally, your driver carries the type of car insurance designed for delivery drivers, insurance agents, or those who put high mileage on a car each year. Personal injury and wrongful death claims cost ridesharing services $13.24 billion every year. Ridesharing services do not pay for their drivers’ injuries.

Trust and Safety Team

Lyft’s Trust and Safety Team is on call 24 hours each day seven days each week for your peace of mind, and Uber has a similar emergency phone number. You must report the accident to the 24-hour emergency customer service number before you leave the vehicle, but you should simply state where and how the accident happened and ask to go to the hospital. The emergency response team will record your call. Think of the Lyft or Uber representative who takes your call as a claims adjuster. Anything you say can be used to reduce their financial obligation for your accidental injuries and property damage.



Medical Questions

Unless you really need emergency treatment for pre-existing medical condition, you should not volunteer any information. You should retain an experienced ridesharing accident lawyer in Los Angeles to answer whether you take any medications, have medical conditions to consider, or are diabetic or overweight? Excess weight contributes to injuries and illnesses and can drastically reduce the amount of compensation you receive from a third-party personal injury lawsuit.

Third-Party Lawsuits

Accident victims are entitled to financial compensation for personal injuries and property damage caused by the negligent or wrongful acts of a third-party. Third -parties who injure others through negligent or criminal acts must compensate them for their:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

Ridesharing Accidents Are Complicated

Who pays for a passenger’s catastrophic injuries and wrongful death from a ridesharing accident? Divided responsibility always occurs in a ridesharing accident.

Deciding who caused or has to pay for property and personal injury damages in your Lyft or Uber accident is based on motor vehicle laws, insurance law, laws of negligence, and criminal law. If your Lyft or Uber driver was in danger in a high crime neighborhood, during a blinding snow storm, or during pouring rain, you may be vicariously liable for the accident. Even though you booked your flight weeks in advance, you could have rescheduled your flight waiting for favorable weather conditions. Careless, reckless, or intentionally criminal conduct, such as, hit and run or driving while intoxicated, cause or contribute to ridesharing accidents.

Liability for Ridesharing Accident

Independent Lyft and Uber drivers respond to passengers’ cell phones when they accept ride requests from the transportation network company’s online application. The ridesharing company’s liability insurance only covers passengers injured traveling to or from their destinations in their Lyft or Uber motor vehicle. Four different types of negligence may have caused your Lyft or Uber traffic accident:

  • Comparative
  • Contributory
  • Imputed
  • Entrustment

Negligent entrustment applies to an employer’s liability for his employee’s actions or his defective equipment. Even though the driver is an independent contractor, the ridesharing service maintains a complaint file and surely knows if other riders complained about the same driver.

Ridesharing Accident Lawyer

Our Lyft accident lawyer is someone you can turn to during the emotional turmoil of catastrophic injuries or through your difficult time of grief. Our personal injury lawyers know how to help you with your probate issues if your loved died without leaving a will. Our West Coast Trial Lawyers speak 8 different languages and can help you get your loved one the medical care he or she needs while investigating the Lyft or Uber driver and vehicle. Our ridesharing Super Lawyers strive to prove negligence and liability in ridesharing cases.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death cases compensate the deceased’s family for the loss of their loved one. A wrongful death case compensates the family for the economic loss of a spouse or parent until the time of the deceased’s retirement. Wrongful death lawsuits can only be brought by the executor of the deceased estate. The executor then distributes the wealth to the deceased’s beneficiaries. Third-party wrongful death cases require the negligent or criminal party to compensate the diseased estate for their:

  • Loved one’s medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Burial Expenses
  • Financial loss until retirement

West Coast Trial Lawyers

Call or contact our Lyft accident lawyer for a free evaluation of your personal injury case. Our law office is available 24 hours each day to take your call. Our lawyers speak English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Persian, Italian, Japanese, and Armenian.

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Comments 1

  1. Geoff says:

    Great post. Important information for people who assume they may have the same insurance coverage as their personal vehicle when riding in a Lyft or an Uber.

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