Who is Responsible For a Rideshare Accident?
After a rideshare accident in California, many victims have questions about who they should sue – the rideshare company or the Uber/Lyft driver. While the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Public Utilities Code regulate the ridesharing companies in California, the laws that protect accident victims involving an Uber/Lyft vehicle have not been well defined in many jurisdictions. You can file a claim or sue after an Uber/Lyft accident, but do you know who to take legal action against? Here is what you need to know when filing a lawsuit.
Who Is Liable For Damages In A Ridesharing Accident?
Whether to sue the rideshare company or the Uber/Lyft driver will depend on what happened. In California, liability for a rideshare accident depends on the following things:
- Who caused the accident
- Whether the injured party was a passenger in the Uber/Lyft vehicle at the time of the accident
- If the Uber/Lyft driver was logged into the app
- Whether or not the driver was in the act of retrieving a passenger
Uber/Lyft drivers who cause accidents when driving on their own are responsible for any damages or injuries. However, the ridesharing company and its commercial insurance may be accountable once an Uber/Lyft driver logs onto their app.
Whether a passenger or pedestrian, anyone who is injured may be able to file a claim for injuries and damages. Any injured person has the right to be compensated.
What Happens After An Uber/Lyft Accident?
Rideshare companies like Lyft or Uber and many others are considered transportation network companies (TNC) under California law. Passengers injured while riding are generally covered by the ridesharing company’s commercial liability insurance coverage. Injured rideshare passengers can file a claim against the Uber/Lyft driver, but the rideshare company’s commercial insurance policy covers them if the damages exceed the driver’s coverage.
However, if a third-party driver caused the crash, the Uber/Lyft driver or injured passenger would be able to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the driver who caused the car accident was not insured, the rideshare company’s insurance policy would cover the injuries and damages.
What Happens If The Rideshare Driver Causes An Accident?
If an Uber/Lyft driver injures a passenger, pedestrian, or driver of another vehicle, the injured victims would have to file a claim against the Uber/Lyft driver. However, liability will depend on if they were logged on the app, if they were on the way to get a passenger, if a passenger was in the vehicle, or if the vehicle had no passengers present.
This difference is crucial. If the Uber/Lyft driver has not switched on the rideshare app, the accident would be addressed like any other crash in California, and the claim would be restricted to the driver’s personal insurance coverage. If the driver has the rideshare app switched on when the accident happened, the rideshare company’s $1 million liability coverage may apply. If the driver has a Uber/Lyft passenger in the car or has accepted a rider, the rideshare company’s insurance policy will kick in.
If you’re injured in an accident with an Uber/Lyft driver in Tustin, CA, contact a Tustin Uber/Lyft accident attorney to help you get the most out of your personal injury claim.
Can I Sue For Compensation After An Accident?
If you have evidence that the Uber/Lyft driver acted negligently and caused the collision, you can sue a rideshare driver following an accident. You can file a claim for property damage, lost earnings, medical bills, pain and suffering, along with any other losses.
While you may have a case against the Uber/Lyft driver, suing a rideshare company involving reckless or negligent rideshare drivers can be challenging. Rideshare drivers are not employees, meaning vicarious liability does not apply in these cases, and the rideshare company is not liable for the driver’s actions. The best course of action is to contact a California Uber/Lyft accident attorney to help you prove liability. An experienced attorney will have the knowledge and resources to take on the big insurance companies.