Uber and Lyft Accidents: Who Is Liable?

man driving with woman on phone in backseat

Many people consider Uber and Lyft the safer options after a night of drinking. This is definitely true; you should always call a ride before getting behind the wheel intoxicated. Unfortunately, accidents can still happen when you’re the passenger.

If you are injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft, who is liable for your damages?

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Rideshare Liability

Liability depends on who is at fault for the accident. If the driver of another vehicle (not your Uber or Lyft driver) is at fault for the accident, they will be held liable. You can seek compensation for your injuries through their third-party insurance.

If the accident is caused by your Uber or Lyft driver, they will be held liable. Their car insurance will cover your injuries if they have commercial car insurance or a special clause that says their car insurance will cover rideshare accidents. However, both of these situations are unlikely. If the driver themself isn’t covered, the case will move up to the company level.

Major rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have third-party liability insurance. If the driver’s insurance, under no circumstance, can cover the damages from the accident, then Uber and Lyft have up to $1 million available to compensate you for your injuries.

California’s AB5

Rideshare companies like to classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees because it further separates the company’s responsibility for the drivers.

However, as of January 2020, California passed a new bill that provides some protections for drivers. This bill, referred to as the ‘gig worker’ bill, would make certain independent contractors employees.

Rideshare companies and food delivery service providers who work with independent drivers were not happy about this, and successfully passed Proposition 22, which essentially reversed AB5 for independent drivers.

Therefore, Uber and Lyft drivers are still seen as independent contractors.

Personal Injury Claims

The good news is that if you were hurt while riding in an Uber or Lyft, you are covered.
You may seek compensation from:

  • The third-party at-fault driver
  • Your at-fault driver’s personal insurance
  • Uber or Lyft’s third party liability insurance

Contact us at Schweitzer & Davidian to discuss the specifics of your case. We can provide guidance on your next best steps, and help you ensure you get the compensation you deserve after a rideshare accident.