Accidents involving ridesharing services have some nuances

The rise of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft has been a welcome addition. But while they have provided greater convenience and safety for people who have yet another easy way of shuttling themselves back and forth from their destinations, there is still some risk of being involved in an accident when using such a service.

If an accident happens, you and your legal team have the responsibility of demonstrating liability on the part of the defendant if you are to recover compensation for your injuries. While many of the elements of a personal injury claim involving ridesharing services are the same as those in standard car accident cases, there are unique elements of these cases that an experienced personal injury attorney who is also experienced with rideshare services claims can confidently address.

Here’s an overview of what you should know.

What you need to prove

Any time you’re involved in any type of accident, you need to prove negligence on the part of the allegedly liable party. There are four main elements to proving liability in an accident case:

  • Duty of care: The defendant in the case had a duty to exercise reasonable care. This is an assumed duty for anyone on the road – all drivers are expected to exercise reasonable care for the safety of all passengers and other drivers.
  • Breach of duty: You must be able to prove the defendant somehow breached that duty. Examples of a breach of duty would be committing a traffic violation or driving recklessly.
  • Causation: This is the most difficult step of proving liability. You must be able to create a clear link between that breach of duty and the accident. It’s not just enough, for example, that the driver committed a traffic violation – you must be able to prove that violation resulted in the accident.
  • Injuries: You must be able to prove you were injured or suffered losses as a result of the accident.

Unique elements in cases involving Uber or Lyft

There are several unique elements of accident cases involving ridesharing services you will also have to take into account.

First, there is the accident policy for the service in question. For Uber, for example, the company has an accident policy that covers the driver for up to $1 million in liability, meaning injured parties are covered for up to $1 million in damages. However, the coverage only applies if Uber’s driver or the other driver is at fault and does not have sufficient bodily injury coverage on their own insurance policy. There are also certain scenarios in which the coverage is not available, such as if the driver is logged into the app but not connected with a rider (in such a case there’s a $50,000 liability limit).

There’s also the question of who you file the lawsuit against. In most cases, you will not directly file a lawsuit against Uber itself, as the drivers are independent contractors of the company and not employees.

If you’re a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, you would file a suit against the at-fault driver, whether that is your driver or the driver of another vehicle on the road. If you’re another driver who gets into an accident with a rideshare service vehicle, you’d file the lawsuit against the rideshare driver and, with the help of an attorney, send an evidence letter to both the rideshare service and the driver.

For more information about how to proceed with a personal injury claim after getting into an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, contact the team of Bond Legal attorneys today.