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Who’s Liable If I Am Injured as a Passenger in an Uber or Lyft?

| Nov 3, 2020 | Car Accidents

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are growing in popularity, but when passengers are injured in an accident, liability can be confusing. These services aren’t subject to the same regulations and laws that taxi companies are, which can leave passengers in the lurch after an accident. Read on to learn more about liability in rideshare car accidents from our Oneonta auto accident lawyers.

Liability in an Uber or Lyft

Whether your injuries are covered by the driver’s insurance if you find yourself in an accident involving a rideshare employee depends on whether there is a passenger in the car with them at the time of the crash.

When a passenger is riding in a rideshare vehicle, drivers and passengers alike should be covered by the rideshare company’s insurance policy. Third parties injured in an auto accident are also covered under this insurance policy, so long as the driver is carrying a passenger. Companies like Lyft and Uber typically carry uninsured motorist (UM) policies, as well. While passengers should be covered in theory, however, it is also possible that the rideshare company’s insurance will deny a legitimate claim.

While there are no passengers in the vehicle and the driver has not accepted a ride request, the driver’s own insurance policy will be responsible for covering an accident. If you are riding in a car that is used for a rideshare service, but you are not a passenger through the service, any injuries will be covered by the driver’s personal insurance or the insurance of the other driver, depending on who is at fault.

Denied Claims

Uber and Lyft drivers are often considered independent contractors, which releases the company of most of the liability for accidents caused by the driver. If your accident was caused by a driver who was driving drunk, was distracted, or was driving recklessly, you may have few options to recover compensation.

If the rideshare company’s insurance policy doesn’t cover your accident, you may have to rely on the driver’s insurance policy. Many policies don’t cover personal vehicles when being used for work—such as a rideshare service. Unless the driver has a commercial policy for their vehicle, it is unlikely that you will be able to recover compensation from the driver’s insurance company.

As an injured passenger, you may need to sue the rideshare company directly. You may also file a lawsuit against the driver themselves, but it is likely that a driver will have limited resources and the amount of damages you will receive will be greatly diminished. Your car accident attorney can help you determine your options and help you take the best course of action for your case.

At Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC, we are committed to protecting our injured clients. We understand the pain and stress that can occur after an accident, and our Ostego Country car accident lawyers are well-prepared to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Find out how our team can help you with your accident claim by scheduling a free case evaluation with a member of our staff. Contact our offices by calling