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Accidents with Ride Sharing Vehicles – Who Is Liable?

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It’s amazing how quickly ridesharing has grown throughout Chicagoland.  Uber®, Lyft®, and Sidecar® have risen to prominence nationally. These services, unlike traditional taxis, livery services, and private transport, rely on a smartphone app to connect riders with nearby drivers.

These drivers are not professionals – they are simply individuals who meet the ride-sharing companies’ requirements for drivers – they own their own cars and are available to provide rides for the app users.  As these ‘part-time’ drivers flood our streets, liability issues surface when they are involved in accidents.

As an attorney, every day I am personally involved in fighting for those injured as a result of the negligence of others.    Injuries from car accidents can be severe and life-changing. And, the added presence of ‘part-time’ drivers – with limited experience in navigating our traffic patterns – create even greater risks.

Therefore, if you are injured in an accident with a Lyft or Uber car, it is important you understand who may be held liable for any injuries you suffer.

The Liability Principle.

Current driving regulations and laws are based on drivers as the party responsible and accountable for vehicle safety on the road.  When crashes occur, the driver’s insurance company must pay for damages resulting from the crash. When commercial vehicles are involved, the business that owns the vehicle is liable because they are responsible for vetting, training, and monitoring drivers to ensure their competence.  That is our legal standard.

However, because rideshare drivers are not professionals and their cars are not company property, they are not held to the same standards that traditional livery and taxi drivers must meet.  Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees of those companies – they are independent contractors. Both companies state on their websites they are not liable for their drivers’ behavior. And, their websites also state riders should assume risk when using their services.

The Liability Gap

Uber and Lyft require all independent drivers to have auto liability insurance on their vehicle.  When the Uber and Lyft app is OFF, a driver is covered by their personal car insurance. When the app is ON, indicating the driver is available to provide a ride, a low level of supplemental liability insurance from Uber and Lyft becomes active.  Only when a trip is accepted and the driver navigates to pick-up the rider does a higher level of coverage from the ride-sharing company kick in and remain active until the passenger exits the vehicle. This “coverage gap” and varying levels of coverage is complex.

Is Uber or Lyft Liable?

Both Uber and Lyft provide up to $1 million in liability coverage when the driver accepts an assignment for a ride.  If you are injured following a collision with an Uber or Lyft driver, your claim against Uber or Lyft depends upon when the driveractivated the app, when the driver accepted the ride, and when the ride concluded with the passenger being dropped off.  This can be complex and multi-dimensional.  Liable parties may include:

• The rideshare company.

• The driver’s supplemental ride share policy.

• The driver’s personal automobile insurance policy.

• The automobile liability insurance policies of others involved in the crash.

When you’re injured in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, for best results contact an attorney experienced in personal injury cases.  Don’t wait. Your personal injury attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident, gain a comprehensive understanding of the facts, and learn the impact the accident has had on you and your family.   We will determine who is liable, advise you on what compensation is likely, and represent you to protect your interests.

We Help Victims.

The attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law are knowledgeable and expert in representing those who are victims of the negligence or carelessness of others.  Claims for victims of automobile and vehicle accidents are complex and frequently multi-dimensional.

Insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate and fight accident claims. To effectively deal with these professionals, you need a skilled attorney to protect your rights.   We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are youradvocates.  We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. Fifty years of experience counts.

The attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law make the legal process as stress-free as possible.  We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery.

If you or a loved one is injured or a victim of the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.

william
William J. Turner

William Turner has represented hundreds of working men and women who have been victims of the negligence of others – gaining equitable compensation for the medical expenses and pain and suffering for his clients. He concentrates his practice in the trial of complex personal injury cases, including car and truck accidents, construction mishaps, medical malpractice, dog and animal attacks, nursing home abuse, and slip-and-falls. Additionally, he offers niche counsel and advocacy for workers who are injured on a job.

William has obtained judgements from juries in approximately 150 cases and has secured fair and comprehensive settlements in even more over his career. William Turner has dedicated his professional life to fighting for the rights of those who are injured as a result of the negligent acts of others.

Favorable Outcomes.

Faster Settlements.

Equitable Reimbursements.

William

The law firm of Friend, Levinson & Turner provides people just like you with practical solutions and representation for their legal needs when faced with a serious personal injury.

We understand and respect the dignity of individuals. We listen, advise, represent and counsel.

We unburden people of the stressful legal matters so they can focus on healing and their recovery. Our client's well-being is our priority.

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