Ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and others have made getting around town much easier -- just a few taps on your smartphone and you've got door-to-door service. And, for the most part, these services are as safe as taxis or driving yourself.
But what happens in the rare cases of an accident? If you're injured in a crash with an Uber driver or while riding in Uber or Lyft, who's responsible?
Responsibility With Riders
If you're a passenger in an Uber, Lyft, or other ride-share, your injuries will probably be covered by the company's insurance. Many states, like California, require ride-sharing companies to carry a certain amount of commercial liability insurance to cover accidents and injuries.
In general, employers are liable for their employees' accidents, and, while there have been some disagreements regarding whether Uber drivers are technically employees or not, ride-sharing companies will indemnify their drivers if they get into an accident while driving a customer.
If you're driving another car, or are a pedestrian and struck by an Uber driver, determining liability could be a little tougher. While ride-share companies cover drivers when they're on the clock, figuring out what constitutes "on the clock" has proven a bit trickier. For instance, what if the driver doesn't have a rider at the time of the accident, but is on her way to pick one up?
If the ride-share driver is not covered under the company's insurance policy, determining fault in a crash will be just like any other car accident. In those cases, you should gather as much evidence of the accident and your injuries as possible to support your claim. If you are able to determine the accident was the ride-share driver's fault, he or she will generally be liable, and most ride-share companies require their drivers to carry their own insurance policies in that event.
If you've been injured in a car accident with an Uber driver and are having trouble getting reimbursed via insurance companies or are considering a lawsuit, you should contact an experienced injury attorney to discuss your claim.