Who Can Be Held Liable for Accidents Caused By Ridesharing Drivers?
Uber and Lyft provide a convenient form of transportation for many St. Louisans. However, these drivers are not professionals, and they do not have any special training or licenses. This means that many people suffer injuries when their rideshare driver causes a crash. Rideshare drivers can also collide with other vehicles, and you can sustain injuries if you are driving your own car and get hit by an Uber or Lyft.
Because the driver is technically working when the crash occurred, who can you hold liable for your medical bills and other losses? The answer depends on the circumstances, and you should consult with a St. Louis rideshare accident lawyer who can evaluate your case.
The Individual Driver
When a rideshare driver is negligent and causes injuries, their insurance company should cover the costs of accident victims. Rideshare drivers must carry adequate insurance coverage just like any other driver in Missouri. The main concern is whether the driver has maintained their insurance and whether the policy is enough to cover losses stemming from severe injuries.
The Rideshare Company
If someone is driving on the job and causes an accident, their employer can often be held strictly liable for the accident, as well. This is important because companies generally have more extensive insurance coverage than individuals, so the chances are greater that you will receive full compensation.
However, rideshare drivers are not considered to be employees of Uber and Lyft. Instead, they are independent contractors who make their own hours, own their own vehicles, and set the terms and frequency of their work. This does not mean that Uber and Lyft will never be liable thanks to state laws enacted on the matter.
Because of the inherent risks of accidents and injuries during rideshare services, the law requires Uber and Lyft to provide protections for accident victims. These companies each have $1 million insurance policies that can provide coverage if one of the following is true:
- The rideshare driver had an active passenger in their vehicle
- The rideshare driver accepted a ride and is on their way to pick up a passenger
In these cases, accident victims can file claims against the driver’s insurance as well as with the company’s policy.
If you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle during an accident, your driver might share fault with a third party. For example, if your driver was distracted, but another driver ran a red light, both drivers would share responsibility for the crash. You might be able to file insurance claims against third parties in addition to your rideshare insurance claim.
Contact a St. Louis Rideshare Accident Lawyer for Assistance
If you were injured in a crash caused by a rideshare driver, you want the legal team of Bruntrager & Billings, P.C., on your side. We handle complex cases that might involve claims against multiple parties, so please call 314-646-0066 or contact us online for a free discussion about a possible case.