Liability in Rideshare Accidents

With the increased popularity of rideshare services, companies like Uber and Lyft have become extremely profitable while claiming little to no responsibility for the actions of their drivers. Rideshare services are regularly utilized in contexts in which accidents are likely to occur. For instance, one of the busiest times for rideshare services are well-known ‘party’ holidays such as New Year’s Eve and Halloween. They are also popularly used on days when the weather is so poor people would rather pay for a rideshare service than risk driving their own vehicle. In situations like these it is no surprise that accidents occur.

In the instance of a car accident while using a rideshare service, the liability usually falls to the responsible driver or drivers in some cases. The majority of the time, especially in cases of minor injuries, compensation for the victim will be taken from the responsible driver’s insurance plan. However, if the driver’s plan does not cover the full cost of injuries, one can seek claims for damages against the rideshare company themselves.

In past litigation, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have tried to deny responsibility over their drivers in case of accidents. These companies claim that because their workers are technically ‘independent contractors’ they should not have to claim responsibility over them in case of an accident. However, this loophole is not easily accepted by the court system, and in many cases claimants have been able to seek compensation for their injuries from the rideshare companies rather than the driver’s personal insurance plan. For instance, in some jurisdictions, such as Tennessee, rideshare companies are known as “common carriers” meaning that they remain financially liable over their drivers in case of an accident.

Rideshare service companies will try very hard to avoid taking any responsibility for their drivers in scenarios like these, but an attorney who specializes in personal injury will assure that the victim of an accident gets the full compensation that they deserve, whether it be from the driver’s personal insurance plan or the rideshare company insurance. It is very important to work with an attorney in accident cases involving rideshare companies in order to claim full damages for any injuries that were sustained and to rightfully prove the liability of the companies themselves.

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