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Who is Held Liable for a Rideshare Car Accident?

All motor vehicle accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries and become traumatic events that the auto accident victims long remember. When seeking compensation, these legal matters can become complicated by the various insurance companies and state laws involved. Auto accidents involving rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft make such motor vehicle accidents even more complex.

While Uber and Lyft are great services that provide passengers with a means to get around, the drivers who work for these rideshare companies make mistakes, and those mistakes can come with dire consequences. If you have been in a rideshare car accident, do you know who is liable? The answer is a frustrating one, as it depends on several factors.

Determining liability in an Uber or Lyft accident can be complicated. Factors that may influence liability in your auto accident case include the actions of other drivers involved in the accident, the actions of the Uber or Lyft passenger, the actions of the rideshare driver, the conditions on the road, and other unknowns. A major influencing factor in rideshare accident cases is the status of the rideshare driver and whether or not they were transporting a passenger at the time of the accident. Ultimately, however, insurance companies will conduct thorough investigations to prove liability in your car accident case. It’s worth remembering that these insurance companies are not always on your side. Schedule a free case review with our personal injury law firm to discuss your rideshare accident claim today.

What Are the Three Periods of Rideshare Driving?

There are three different periods of rideshare driving. They directly impact liability and which insurance company provides coverage for the auto accident claim.

If the rideshare app is on and the driver has accepted a passenger to drop off, the rideshare company’s commercial insurance provider policy is in effect. That means that if a car accident occurs while an Uber driver is transporting a passenger, Uber’s insurance company policy will handle the claim. A rideshare company’s commercial insurance policy typically covers liability, contingent collision, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

If the app is on but there is no passenger, then the driver is technically on duty but not in the process of providing services. They may be waiting for a ride request. During this time, the driver’s insurance company provider and the insurer for the rideshare company provide mixed coverage.

If the rideshare app is off, Uber or Lyft drivers are not protected by the rideshare company’s insurance. If an accident occurs when the driver has their app turned off, the driver is covered solely by their personal car insurance policy.

Who Do You Notify After the Uber or Lyft Accident?

Whether you are the rideshare driver, a passenger, or another motorist involved in the car accident, you should contact both your personal insurance company provider and the rideshare company themselves.

Even if a motor vehicle accident occurred while Uber or Lyft was operating as a rideshare company driver, it is still important that personal auto insurance companies are notified of the accident. Provide your insurer with all necessary details relevant to the crash. Depending upon the circumstances of the accident and how the investigation determines liability, personal insurance company coverage may come into play.

What if You Were a Rideshare Passenger Involved in a Car Crash?

If you are a Lyft or Uber passenger who has been injured in a car accident, the rideshare company insurance policy applies to your personal injury claims. Seeing as the rideshare transportation was underway, the highest level of insurance coverage applies to your personal injury case. Uber and Lyft have a $1 million insurance policy for such injury claims.

Lift and Uber drivers who are not responsible for their auto accidents may present their own personal injury claims and also reap the benefits of the rideshare company’s insurance coverage.

Can Car Accident Lawyers Help You Seek Compensation?

If you’ve been in a car collision, you may face the possibility of owing costly expenses related to the crash, such as vehicle repairs, medical costs, and more. If another party caused the accident, it stands to reason that they and their insurance provider should be responsible for paying your expenses. With the help of experienced personal injury lawyers, it is possible to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your rideshare accident case.

Economic damages may include compensation for the following:

  • Past medical bills and future medical expenses.
  • Physical therapy expenses.
  • Property damage.
  • Lost wages and lost income earning capacity.
  • Funeral, burial, and memorial expenses in the event of a fatal crash.

Non-economic damages may include the following:

  • Disfigurement, dismemberment, or disability.
  • Emotional trauma.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Physical pain and suffering.
  • Lost companionship or consortium.
  • Lost quality of life.
  • Wrongful death.

What is Contributory Negligence?

North Carolina is a fault-based state (also known as a tort-based state). This means that the injured parties have the opportunity to recover compensation from the drivers responsible for causing the accident.

Additionally, we are a contributory negligence state. There are only a small handful of contributory negligence states in the country. Under contributory negligence laws, any person held partially responsible for the car collision is barred from recovering damages. For this reason, it is highly recommended that personal injury victims retain professional legal representation for their car accident claims.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Today

Our personal injury law firm has years of experience representing clients in complex car accident cases, including those that involve rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber. If you have questions about insurance claims after a rideshare accident, we have answers.

We would be proud to represent your legal rights as you pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses following the rideshare car crash. To learn more about our legal services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our law firm for a free case evaluation today. We look forward to speaking with you. You may get in touch with us at (919) 277-0150.