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
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
• 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
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 an unsafe product or the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.