After a rideshare accident, many victims have questions about Uber or Lyft drivers and lawsuits. Because ridesharing is relatively new, the laws that protect collision victims following a crash involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle have not been well-defined in many jurisdictions. The body of law related to ridesharing services continues to grow daily.
In general, you can file an insurance claim for compensation or sue an Uber or Lyft driver following a crash. However, even an insurance claim is not as clear-cut as it might be in a collision with another motorist. Consulting a car accident attorney to learn about your legal options and help you navigate the claims process could prove beneficial.
Can I Sue an Uber or Lyft Driver for Compensation After an Injury Accident?
You can sue a rideshare driver following an injury accident if you have evidence that they acted negligently and caused the collision. However, legal action usually is not necessary. An insurance claim is another option for pursuing compensation to cover these losses:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Those who may have a case against an Uber or Lyft driver include:
- A rider using the rideshare service
- The occupants of other vehicles hit by the rideshare driver
- Pedestrians or bicyclists injured by the Uber or Lyft driver
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Can I Sue a Rideshare Company After an Accident?
While you may have a case against the rideshare driver, suing Uber or Lyft is much more challenging in most cases. Rideshare drivers are not employees, meaning respondeat superior (also known as vicarious liability) generally does not apply in these cases. The company is not vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.
You could hold a rideshare company liable in a collision case because of its negligence in hiring an unsafe driver or retaining one with a problematic history.
Do Uber and Lyft Drivers Have Insurance Coverage?
Rideshare drivers must carry minimum insurance coverage set by state and local laws and enforced by the companies. They also can purchase additional coverage specific to rideshare drivers. In addition, both Uber and Lyft provide their drivers with liability coverage when they are matched with a rider.
There are also contingency policies in place before the driver matches with a rider. This coverage kicks in if the driver’s insurer refuses to pay or the policy’s coverage limits do not pay for the victim’s expenses.
Coverage Depends on What the Rideshare Driver Was Doing Before Your Accident
With these policies in place, you can determine the insurance policy in effect when your collision occurred based on what the driver was doing on the rideshare app at the time:
- Signed off: The driver’s private auto insurance policy applies.
- On the app but not linked with a rider: The driver’s policy is the primary coverage, but there is contingency coverage from the rideshare company.
- The driver matched with a rider: The rideshare company’s $1 million minimum liability policy goes into effect. It remains in effect until the ride ends and they are no longer matched with the rider.
If you were not a rider in the Uber or Lyft, it might not be obvious where in this cycle the driver was when the crash occurred. An attorney can determine this for you.
How Can an Attorney Help Me with My Case?
While a rideshare driver should have insurance coverage whenever actively seeking riders, getting a fair and just settlement based on the facts of your case can still prove challenging. Insurance companies do not want to pay a victim any more than they must pay. Therefore, they may present lowball offers, try to reduce the value of your case, or take other actions to reduce your settlement.
When you have an attorney on your side, you do not have to worry about their tactics. A personal injury lawyer will handle your claim from beginning to end, including all communication with the insurer. They will value your claim and seek an appropriate payout based on the facts of the case. Most work on contingency, so you do not need to pay anything today.
How Long do I Have to Sue an Uber or Lyft Driver?
If you need to sue an Uber or Lyft driver, how long you have before beginning the process depends on your location. Each state has its statute of limitations on personal injury cases:
- Alabama: Two years, Code § 6-2-38
- Arkansas: Three years, Code Ann. § 16-56-105
- Louisiana: One year, Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Mississippi: Three years, Code Ann. § 15-1-49
Your lawyer will explain any exceptions that decrease the time you have to act and help you meet these and any other deadlines in your case.
Morris Bart, LLC Can Help You Build a Case Against a Negligent Rideshare Driver
The Morris Bart law firm provides free case assessments for rideshare accident victims. We have 15 locations within our service area and can also meet with you near your home.
Call (800) 537-8185 today to speak with a team member for free.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.