Who Is Liable in a Ridesharing Accident?

When you’ve been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, what happens next? That’s the question that many drivers, riders, and pedestrians across America now have to face, as ridesharing services like these become a staple of everyday life.

In theory, Uber and Lyft drivers should have insurance coverage through the ridesharing company, provided that the driver was actually working at the time of the accident. However, identifying the party liable for your injuries can be difficult in accidents with ridesharing service drivers. At Martin Jean & Jackson, our Oklahoma car accident lawyers can assist you with determining who to hold accountable for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced.

Determining Liability in Uber and Lyft Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents already have a wide range of possible scenarios, from those involving pedestrians, to those that affect riders in taxis or on public transportation. Add in the fact that Uber and Lyft drivers have different levels of insurance coverage depending on their job status during the accident, and ridesharing accidents have the potential for whole new levels of complexity.

Here are some of the most common parties that may be held liable for your injuries in a ridesharing accident:   

  • Uber/Lyft’s insurance company
  • The Uber or Lyft driver themselves
  • The Uber or Lyft driver’s commercial liability insurance company (if they have opted to secure this on their own)
  • Another driver(s) on the road
  • The other driver’s insurer

Differing Levels of Insurance Coverage for Uber/Lyft

To anticipate the risk of accidents – and lawsuits – Uber and Lyft provide all their drivers with insurance coverage, but only for the times that they are actually performing a service through the app. These ridesharing companies often have similar levels of coverage, but it’s best that you confirm the details with the company itself first or consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help determine the insurance coverages that might apply in your case.

These are the 3 common levels of insurance coverage for an Uber/Lyft driver in the event of an accident:

  1. When the app is turned off. Uber and Lyft might not provide insurance coverage when the driver has the app turned off.
  2. When the driver is logged in to accept rides, but has not accepted one yet. Typically, Uber/Lyft will provide up to $25,000 in property damage, $50,000 in injury coverage, and $100,000 in total injury liability.
  3. When the driver has already accepted a ride. Any party injured by an active Uber or Lyft driver over the course of a ride can expect liability coverage up to $1 million.

Comparative Fault and Negligence in Oklahoma Accident Cases

Oklahoma is considered a “modified comparative fault” state, which means that when proving any car accident injury case, you can only recover damages if you were less negligent than the other parties involved. To put it another way, you must be able to prove that the negligent party at least 50% responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. Additionally, your total recovery amount will be reduced based on the percentage of your responsibility for the accident. If you are 40% responsible, your share of the claim will be reduced by 40%.

This is just one of the reasons it’s so important to get the names, documentation, contact information, and insurance information of every person involved in your Uber or Lyft accident. Whether you’re a rider, another driver on the road, or a pedestrian, you will need to know how to get in touch with these parties should you later decide to bring a personal injury lawsuit.

Above all, be sure to call the police right after your accident so that the matter becomes part of an official police report. Taking care to observe these steps may help you to determine where liability lands – and how you can fight for fair compensation.

At Martin Jean & Jackson, we have over 100 years of experience in helping the people of Oklahoma deal with difficult car accidents. If you need help negotiating with the insurance companies or determining how to hold the right party accountable for injuries, don’t hesitate to call us at (580) 290-1006 today.

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