Who is Liable in a Car Accident Involving an Uber or Lyft Driver?

Uber and Lyft driver liability in car accident

Over the past decade, rideshare apps have exploded in popularity due to their convenience and relative affordability compared to taxis. However, entrusting another driver with your safety on the road comes with its own risk. Uber and Lyft drivers may get into a car accident with you in the vehicle. If you’re driving, you may also find yourself in an accident with a rideshare driver. According to a University of Chicago study, the rise of rideshare apps coincided with a 2-3 percent increase in the number of fatal car collisions. How can another driver know whether the driver or Uber or Lyft is liable for the car accident?

Was the Uber or Lyft Driver on Duty at the Time of the Car Accident?

Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t automatically exempt from all liability in car accidents simply for working for rideshare companies. If a rideshare driver isn’t on duty at the time of a collision, their personal insurance would be liable for the damages, if they are at fault. However, if a driver is officially on duty, the rideshare company may be liable.

Was the Driver Waiting for a Ride Request?

If an on-duty Uber or Lyft driver wasn’t fulfilling a ride request when the car accident occurred, their personal and company insurance likely split liability. Generally, if an on-duty driver is in an accident, other drivers must contact the driver’s insurance first to check coverage. If their own auto insurance refuses, there may be a case to take to the rideshare company.

Did the Uber or Lyft Driver Have a Passenger?

When a car accident happens while an Uber or Lyft driver is on a request, the company will likely cover the damages. However, every collision is different. Law enforcement assigns fault any number of ways. Drivers involved in a collision should make a police report and submit any evidence they have. Insurance coverage may vary based on these factors.

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