Can You Sue Lyft or Uber for Injuries or Wrongful Death from a Car Accident?
As more and more people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area use ridesharing apps for Lyft or Uber to get around, more of those Lyft and Uber drivers are getting into accidents. So that leaves rideshare passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers wondering if you can sue Lyft or Uber directly for injuries or wrongful death from a car accident that was caused by a driver for the rideshare company.
If you or one of your passengers was injured in an accident with a Lyft or Uber driver, you are certainly entitled to compensation. But whether that comes from the driver’s insurance or the rideshare company itself can get a little complicated. It depends on each individual situation. A good Dallas car accident lawyer can help you determine what the best course of action is. It’s important to have a car accident lawyer experienced with rideshare accidents to work with you to get the compensation you deserve.
There are several different scenarios where the rideshare driver’s insurance would be fully responsible, and where both the driver and the rideshare company insurance would come into play.
If the Driver Does Not Have the App On
If the Lyft or Uber driver does not have the app on — that is, they do not have an active fare, and are not on their way to pick up a fare, the driver is NOT covered by Lyft or Uber Driver-Partner insurance, and is only covered by their personal auto insurance. In this case, you would sue your Lyft or Uber driver or their insurance company to recover damages.
When the Lyft or Uber App is On and the Driver is Waiting for a Request
In this scenario, the rideshare driver is covered by both their own auto insurance and Lyft or Uber’s contingent liability insurance, if the rideshare driver is at fault in the accident. The coverage includes reimbursement for medical bills and property damage, including your vehicle, a building, etc.
If the Lyft or Uber driver’s personal auto insurance doesn’t cover the issue, the rideshare company’s insurance will, with limitations. That contingent coverage includes:
- $50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
While the Rideshare App is On and the Driver Is On the Way to Pick Up a Rider or During an Active Trip
When a Lyft or Uber driver has an accident while on the way to pick up a passenger, or is on an active trip, the rideshare companies provide the following insurance coverage if their driver was at fault:
- $1,000,000 in liability coverage per accident. This coverage pays for medical bills due to injury in the accident, as well as the costs due to property damage.
- $1,000.000 in uninsured / underinsured coverage. This coverage comes into play if another driver causes the accident, but they are either uninsured or underinsured. It covers the Uber driver and any passengers. This also covers a hit and run accident where the other driver cannot be found.
Rideshare Drivers Are Not Employees
Both Lyft and Uber consider their drivers independent contractors, rather than employees, and have them sign legal contracts specifying that. And both companies will do everything they can to avoid paying out any money after an accident. Independent contractors are required to sign an agreement stating they will assume all responsibility if a passenger, pedestrian, or other driver sues. Both companies have user agreements that include a limitation of liability section that states that if you are a passenger, you will not hold then liable for damages or losses. And on top of that, many auto insurance companies will try to deny a claim, saying the driver wasn’t covered by their personal auto insurance, because they were working.
Suing the Rideshare Company for More than the $1,000,000 Liability
One million dollars may sound like a lot, but catastrophic injury or loss of life can mean huge medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of the main breadwinner for a family. A good personal injury lawyer can explore filing a lawsuit against the rideshare company, based on the assertion that the driver is an employee, rather than an independent contractor.
For instance, a successful claim could be that the rideshare company failed to screen their drivers. If your lawyer can prove the rideshare driver who caused the accident has a history of DUIs or reckless driving, that could be a strong basis for suing the rideshare company directly.
Talk to Experienced Dallas Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyers for Free
Speaking to one of our experienced Dallas Lyft & Uber accident lawyers is free and could very well be the best decision you make after your accident. At our first meeting, we’ll talk with you about the accident, the extent of your injuries, and discuss any offers the insurance company or ride share company has already made. We can meet with you in our office, your home, or your hospital room — whatever is convenient for you. Call us today at (214) 305-8277 or use our contact form and someone will get back with you quickly.