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Injured in an Uber Accident – Who Is Liable?

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have exploded in popularity over the last decade. Millions of people now use these services as an alternative to traditional taxis. However, with this rise in ridesharing, questions have emerged around legal liability when accidents happen involving Uber and Lyft vehicles. If you suffer injuries in a crash while riding in an Uber, can you pursue compensation? Who may be responsible – the driver, Uber as a company, or other parties? This article examines the complex issue of liability in accidents involving rideshare services.

Who Is Responsible for an Uber Car Crash?

Determining liability in an Uber accident is complex. Unlike a typical car accident where one driver is clearly at fault, there are multiple parties involved in a rideshare crash. Potentially liable parties include:

  • The Uber driver
  • The other driver(s) involved
  • Uber as a company
  • Vehicle manufacturers

Factors like who caused the crash and whether the Uber driver was an employee or contractor at the time play a significant role. Working with an experienced Uber injury attorney Los Angeles can help you navigate liability issues.

Is the Uber Driver Responsible?

In many Uber crashes, the rideshare driver holds some degree of fault. Like any other motorist, Uber drivers have a duty to abide by traffic laws and drive safely. If their negligent or reckless actions caused the collision, they can be held liable.

For example, if the Uber driver was texting while driving, speeding excessively, or driving under the influence at the time of the crash, they would likely bear responsibility. Their insurance policy as well as their personal assets could be tapped for compensation.

However, Uber drivers aren’t necessarily always to blame. In some cases, the other driver may have run a red light or pulled out unexpectedly. The details of how the accident happened will determine whether the Uber driver or the other motorist should be held responsible.

Is Uber Liable for Accidents Involving Their Drivers?

Since Uber drivers utilize their own personal vehicles and act as independent contractors, there’s often debate around whether Uber as a company can be held liable for accidents. The answer is complex and evolving. Here are some key considerations:

  • Some courts have ruled Uber can’t be held liable because drivers are independent contractors, while others have determined the company exerts enough control over drivers to be potentially liable. The classification of drivers as contractors or employees remains hotly contested.
  • Uber requires drivers to maintain their own auto insurance policies, but they also provide supplemental insurance coverage for drivers and passengers when accidents occur during a trip or en route to pick up passengers. However, their policy limits may be too low to fully compensate you for major injuries.
  • Uber is responsible for performing basic background checks on all drivers. If they negligently hired an unfit driver who caused your crash, Uber could share in liability.

The bottom line is that Uber’s liability depends on the unique details of each accident and the laws in each state. An attorney can help build a strong case against Uber when appropriate.

Other Potentially Liable Parties

While the Uber driver and Uber as a company are the main parties that could be held responsible, others may share liability depending on the circumstances:

  • Other involved drivers – If another motorist caused the crash, such as by speeding or running a red light, they and their insurance can be held responsible.
  • Vehicle manufacturers – If there was a defective auto part or safety feature failure, the automaker could be liable.
  • Government entities – If poor road design, lack of signage, or other hazardous conditions contributed to the crash, the local government agency responsible for road maintenance may bear some fault.
  • Rideshare apps – Companies like Uber could potentially be liable if the rideshare app had a glitch that caused or contributed to the accident.

Again, experienced attorneys have the resources to perform in-depth investigations and determine all of the liable parties in a rideshare accident.

Key Steps to Take After an Uber Accident

Being in an Uber accident can be disorienting and stressful. Here are some key steps to take:

  • Get medical attention – This is always the top priority, even for minor injuries. Having medical records will help verify your injuries later.
  • Report the accident to Uber – The app requires drivers and passengers to report any incidents.
  • Document the scene – Take photos of damage, skid marks, injuries, and more.
  • Get contact and insurance information – Exchange info not just with the Uber driver but also any other involved motorists.
  • Obtain witness statements – Having witness accounts of how the crash happened can strengthen your case.
  • Consult an attorney – Speaking with an Los Angeles Uber injury lawyer early on helps you understand your rights and legal options. An attorney can handle communication with Uber and its insurers while you focus on recovery.

How an Experienced Rideshare Injury Lawyer Can Help

Dealing with insurance companies and determining liability after a complex Uber car accident can quickly become overwhelming. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer has the skillset and resources to handle every aspect of your claim, including:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation into how the crash occurred and who is at fault.
  • Identifying all liable parties – the driver, Uber, other drivers, vehicle manufacturers, etc.
  • Dealing with insurance companies to fight for full and fair compensation on your behalf.
  • Determining the full value of your damages related to medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
  • Taking steps to hold Uber accountable and seek damages from their insurance.
  • Going to court if necessary to get you maximum compensation.

Don’t go it alone after an Uber accident. Our dedicated rideshare injury attorneys offer free consultations to review the details of your case. Contact our office today at 800-4THE-WIN to find out how we can help recover the maximum compensation you deserve. With extensive experience handling Uber and Lyft cases, we have the expertise to get you the best outcome in your case.

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