Who Is Responsible for Injuries in an Uber or Lyft Accident?

September 12, 2023
Leaser Law Firm

Given that the average Uber or Lyft driver clocks more than 30,000 miles per year driving, the chances that a car accident involves a rideshare service are relatively high. 

If you’ve been in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, or an accident that involved one of these drivers, you might be wondering who is financially responsible for your injuries. The short answer is that it depends on several factors.  

Here are a few of the potential scenarios that could involve an Uber or Lyft driver and explain who is responsible (and why). 

Can Uber and Lyft be Sued?

Your first thought might be to go after the party with the deepest pockets, especially if your injuries are severe. 

While there are some instances where Uber and Lyft can be sued for car accident injuries, you’ll typically be compensated by either the driver’s insurance policy or Uber or Lyft’s insurance company. 

There are a couple of factors that shield Uber and Lyft from most car accident lawsuits:

  1. When you climb into the back seat of a rideshare vehicle, you have agreed to Uber and Lyft terms of service.

    Specifically, this means that if there is a dispute as the result of an accident, you must resolve the matter through arbitration services. There are exceptions to the arbitration clause, but most do not apply to car accident cases.
  2. Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors.

    Because rideshare drivers use their personal vehicles and are required to carry insurance policies separate from the rideshare company, they are not considered employees. If they were, you could sue their employer (Uber or Lyft) for negligent actions, including an Uber car accident. However, this unique classification allows Uber and Lyft to avoid liability for most rideshare accidents.

Despite Uber and Lyft being shielded from most lawsuits, accident victims still have recourse through drivers’ insurance companies. Who can be sued for compensation depends on the circumstances. A personal injury attorney can help you explore your options.

Determining Liability for Rideshare Accidents

A rideshare accident may be more complicated than a typical accident because it often involves a third party. For example, if you are a passenger in the vehicle, there are two other drivers involved, and, as a passenger, you share no blame for the accident. Determining whose insurance company is responsible will be based on who caused the accident.

If the other driver caused the accident, you would not pursue compensation through the Uber or Lyft driver. Instead, the third-party driver’s insurance company would be your best avenue for seeking damages. 

However, if your rideshare driver caused the accident due to speeding, distracted driving, running a red light, or something else, either the driver’s insurance policy would cover the damages or the Uber or Lyft insurance policy would pick up the tab.

Whether you would seek compensation from the driver or Uber or Lyft’s policy depends on whether the driver was logged on to the app and engaged in a driving activity related to his duties. 

In some cases, you may be driving your vehicle and you were struck by an Uber or Lyft driver. Again, determining who pays for the accident is dependent on whether the driver was on or off duty. 

Contact an Experienced Uber or Lyft Attorney Today

Any car accident can be life-changing, and the situation can become increasingly stressful when you’re trying to determine who to pursue for compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages. 

At Leaser Law Firm, we have been handling rideshare accident cases since the early days of Uber and Lyft. Put our experience to work for you, and contact us at (954) 233-3515 for a free consultation.