Navigating Liability in Rideshare Accidents: Who is Responsible?

Rideshare Accident

In recent years, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have changed the way many of us travel. Instead of hailing a cab or calling a car service, we simply use an app to request a ride from a driver using their car. While this method is much more convenient, knowing the legal complexities of accidents that occur while using a ride-sharing service is essential.

1. The Driver's Insurance

Rideshare drivers are independent contractors, meaning the ride-sharing company does not employ them. This means they're responsible for their insurance coverage, whether it's personal or commercial. However, Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that provide additional coverage for their drivers in certain situations. When drivers are online but haven't yet accepted a ride request, their personal insurance will likely be primary. When they're on their way to pick up a passenger or have a passenger in the car, the ride-sharing company’s insurance policy will come into play.

2. The Passenger's Injuries

If you're a passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle involved in an accident, you could file a claim against both the driver and the ride-sharing company. However, your legal rights will depend on various factors, such as who was at fault for the accident and your state. Some states have specific laws governing ride-sharing services, while others treat them like any other motor vehicle. Regardless of the particular laws in your state, it's always a good idea to seek legal advice if you're injured in a ride-sharing accident.

3. Other Drivers or Pedestrians

Liability can be more complicated if you're in another car or a pedestrian hit by a ride-sharing vehicle. In most cases, the ride-sharing driver will hold some responsibility, but the other driver or pedestrian may also share some of the blame if they were negligent. This means there could be multiple parties who are liable for your injuries. Again, speaking with a qualified attorney is essential to determine your legal options.

4. The Ride-Sharing Company's Responsibility

As mentioned earlier, Uber and Lyft have insurance policies covering their drivers. In most cases, these policies will provide liability coverage for accidents occurring while a driver uses the app or is transporting a passenger. However, these policies are not always straightforward, and there have been cases where the ride-sharing company has denied coverage. If you're injured in a ride-sharing accident, hiring an attorney familiar with cases involving these companies is essential.

Houston Rideshare Accident Attorney

If you've been involved in a rideshare accident in Houston, Texas, and are navigating the complexities of insurance claims and potential legal action, the Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III & Associates PLLC can provide the expertise and support you need. Our team is dedicated to helping you understand your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. Don't face this process alone; contact us today at (713) 360-0062 to discuss your case and learn how we can assist you.