Can Crash Victims Sue Uber, Lyft or a Ridesharing Driver for Damages?

woman driving for uber with passengerIt may be possible to file a lawsuit after getting injured in a crash caused by an Uber or Lyft driver. That said, there are many factors to consider after getting injured in this type of collision.

Most of these types of claims are resolved through an insurance settlement. The other question is: can you sue the companies, or would a lawsuit be against the driver?

Victims of these crashes may greatly benefit from talking to an experienced attorney. Without this kind of help, it may be more difficult to recover the compensation you need for medical bills and other damages. You cannot count on insurance companies or at-fault parties to work with you to help you obtain full compensation.

At Galloway Jefcoat, our Lafayette Uber accident attorneys are prepared to guide you through every step of the legal process, pursuing full compensation for damages. We have secured hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients, including $1.1 million for a car crash that happened in Lafayette Parish.

An initial consultation is free and comes with no obligation to hire our firm.

Filing an Insurance Claim for Damages for an Uber/Lyft Crash

If you were hit by an Uber or Lyft driver who was either transporting a passenger or enroute to pick one up, you should have a claim against the liability coverage provided by the company. Both Uber and Lyft have $1,000,000 liability coverage for these types of crashes.

If the ridesharing driver has the app turned on and is available for rides but has not yet accepted a ride request, a separate liability policy likely applies to damages caused by a crash. The liability policy provides:

  • $50,000 per person
  • $100,000 per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

Lyft provides the same amounts of liability coverage.

It is important to note you may be able to file a claim against the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy if he or she has not yet accepted a ride request. The insurance provided by Uber or Lyft should kick in if you exhaust the driver’s personal auto insurance limits.

Louisiana requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage.

If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, your options for obtaining insurance compensation are the same as for someone injured in another vehicle.

It is possible a driver purchased commercial insurance to cover him or her while driving for Uber or Lyft. If they did, you may be able to file a claim against this policy for crashes that occur while the driver is either transporting a passenger or on the way to pick one up.

If you were riding in an Uber or Lyft driver’s vehicle and were injured in a crash caused by another driver, your claim would be against that negligent driver’s insurance company. If that driver lacked insurance or his or her insurance coverage ran out, you may be able to file a claim against the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your own policy.

Proving a Ridesharing Driver Had the App Turned On

If the ridesharing driver who caused your crash had a passenger, there is little room to dispute the driver was on the clock. However, what if the app was on but there was no passenger? How do you prove the app was on?

Your attorney may need to request the driver’s cellphone records to prove the Uber or Lyft app was turned on at the time of the crash. If you can prove the app was on, you may be able to seek compensation from Uber or Lyft liability insurance and the driver’s personal insurance.

Uber and Lyft have a vested interest in denying the app was turned on. Insurance companies are always looking for a way to avoid paying full compensation to crash victims.

When it Might be Possible to File a Lawsuit

If your insurance claim is denied, or the insurance company makes a lowball offer, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit to pursue the compensation you need.

If your claim is against an Uber or Lyft insurance policy, the lawsuit would involve Uber or Lyft because you are seeking compensation from their insurance policy. If your claim is against the driver’s personal or commercial insurance policy, however, the lawsuit would not involve Uber or Lyft.

It is important to note that Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors and not employees. That means a lawsuit is unlikely to hold these companies liable for damages. Employers may be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees, but not independent contractors.

Lawsuits over car accident damages are typically filed against the negligent driver. That means the lawsuit probably would not be filed against Uber or Lyft. You can still file a lawsuit over a Lyft or Uber crash, but it will probably not be against one of these companies.

The important thing is there should be options for recovering the compensation you need for the damages you suffered in the crash. However, these claims are complicated, which is why you should strongly consider working with a licensed attorney.

Negligence That May Lead to an Uber or Lyft Crash

As the victim of a crash the burden of proof is on you. That means you need to prove the crash resulted from an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence.

Negligence refers to the breach of a duty of care that directly resulted in an injury that caused damages. Drivers have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent an accident that could harm themselves or others.

There are various forms of negligence that could result in an Uber or Lyft crash, such as:

  • Getting distracted by the map on the driver’s cellphone; drivers often check it to make sure they are following directions
  • Aggressive driving, which tends to happen when someone has been behind the wheel all day and he or she becomes impatient
  • Driving while drowsy or fatigued, as drivers may work long hours to make more money (Lyft and Uber limit the number of consecutive hours someone can drive, however, ridesharing drivers can simply work for both companies)
  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Violating another driver’s right of way

Have Questions After an Uber or Lyft Crash? Call Today

We are here to help you seek full compensation for the damages you suffered, at no upfront cost to you. That means there is no risk in calling our firm to learn more about how we might be able to assist you.

We have in-depth knowledge of the complexities of filing claims for crashes involving Uber or Lyft drivers. We are prepared to manage the legal process on your behalf as we seek the compensation you need.

Contact us today. We are here to assist you. Call (337) 984-8020.