Who is Liable for My Injuries in a Rideshare Accident?

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Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have become immensely popular over the last decade. However, there are times when accidents involving rideshare vehicles occur. In these situations, who will hold liability for the incident? Determining liability is important because injury and property damage victims should be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party.

Liability After a Rideshare Accident

If you have ever been involved in a vehicle accident, then you probably have an understanding of what takes place soon after the incident occurs. Law enforcement officials typically come to the scene, and those involved exchange their information with one another. After an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, the steps remain relatively the same, at least in the immediate aftermath of the incident. The incident needs to be reported, and the process of determining liability begins relatively quickly.

Just because an accident involves a rideshare vehicle does not mean that liability automatically falls to the rideshare driver or the rideshare company. Just like any other vehicle accident in California, these incidents must be thoroughly investigated in order to determine who caused the incident. In some cases, liability may fall to more than one party.

Some possible liable parties after an accident involving a rideshare vehicle include:

  • The rideshare driver
  • Drivers of other vehicles
  • Manufacturers of vehicles or vehicle parts
  • Municipalities or another third party

Do Rideshare Drivers Have Insurance?

Rideshare drivers do have insurance, but the insurance policies are complicated. Actually, rideshare drivers usually have more than one insurance policy, particularly if they are on duty at the time an incident occurs. If a rideshare driver is the one to have caused the crash, the insurance policy that pays for an incident will depend on the status of the driver at the time the incident occurred.

  • Driver off-duty. If a rideshare driver is not signed into the company app to make themselves available for passengers, then they are covered solely by their own insurance. If the rideshare driver causes a crash, technically, they are not a rideshare driver at the time the incident occurred in this situation. Their personal auto insurance will be responsible for paying compensation to victims.
  • Driver on duty, no passenger. In the event a rideshare driver causes a crash, and they are on duty but they have no passenger or are not on the way to pick one up, their personal auto insurance is still the primary go-to coverage. However, both Uber and Lyft will provide supplemental coverage that kicks in if the driver’s auto insurance limits are exhausted due to the incident.
  • Driver on-duty has a passenger or going to pick one up. Finally, if a rideshare driver has a passenger or is on the way to pick up an official passenger when they are on duty, then both Uber and Lyft have insurance policies worth $1 million to cover drivers and passengers who are injured.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney immediately. These incidents can be complicated, particularly when dealing with the complex insurance policies involved. Your Long Beach rideshare accident lawyer can walk you through the process and help you recover the compensation you need.