Auto Accidents as a Rideshare Vehicle Passenger

Posted on 03 July 2019 by Tony Santos

2010 Car Accident Data

While taking a Lyft or Uber to get around is a great way to reduce traffic, save yourself the trouble of enduring parking in the city, and save the environment, it’s not without its shortcomings. For instance, you may be involved in an accident while in the backseat of a rideshare vehicle. Do you know who bears responsibility for any injuries you sustained? 

Knowing Whose Insurance Applies

If the ridesharing driver is deemed to be at fault for the accident, Uber and Lyft have third-party liability insurance plans, which can cover up to $1 million for your injuries. That said, those plans only activate after all possibilities to recover damages from the driver’s personal insurance plan have been exhausted. 

Maybe the driver wasn’t at fault for the accident. If so, the focus of your auto accident claims turns toward the actual at-fault driver. There’s a chance you may have to receive compensation with the help of legal assistance, depending on how complicated matters become. In either case, it’s good to look into what’s known as un/underinsured motorist insurance coverage. Such coverage could be of great help if the responsible party either doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance. 

Passenger Responsibility 

There is one exception to whether you have a solid case on your hands in the event of a ridesharing accident while you are a passenger. Passengers who are intoxicated or otherwise unruly and contribute to an accident because of their state of mind or actions harm their chances of receiving compensation. While such passengers may receive financial compensation, the total amount can be reduced according to their overall percentage of responsibility. 

Filing a Lawsuit 

Depending on your case, you may have no choice but to bring a lawsuit against the ridesharing company. The reason for this is that Lyft, Uber, and other companies like them work with drivers as independent contractors, not employees. That limits the company’s legal responsibility for a driver’s actions. 

While you do have the option of suing Lyft or Uber to receive compensation for your injuries, know that the companies have taken steps to make it considerably difficult to successfully bring a suit against them. It is best to focus on the company’s insurance coverage, or your driver’s insurance coverage before you think about hitting the company directly. Speaking with a legal professional can help you determine your best next move, and the best use of your time and energy. 

Damages To Consider 

Speaking of the best use of your time and energy, knowing what damages you can collect as a result of an accident can help you focus your case. For instance, you can receive damages for future and past mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, and physical injuries that result in impairment. Hospital, medical, disability, and rehabilitation expenses are another type of damages you can seek to recover. Maybe your injuries left you unable to work, or otherwise resulted in a loss of wages, which is another type of damages.

There is no need for you to bear responsibility for injuries suffered as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. Now you have a better idea of how to proceed if you are ever injured in a ridesharing vehicle.

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