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Uber Passenger Injuries: Who Do You Sue?

Updated: Apr 10

Now that COVID19 restrictions have eased, more and more people are out and about. Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are seeing a rise in demand. With this increased activity, it is inevitable that more and more car accidents involving rideshare drivers will occur. If a passenger is injured, who do they look to for compensation? Do they sue the driver or Uber? The answer isn’t always so clear.

Negligence & Rideshare Car Accidents

Liability, like in any car accident, is determined by negligence. Sometimes one or both drivers are negligent, and proving fault can be difficult. There are specific elements of negligence that must be proven. In a negligence case, the Plaintiff must prove that the driver was legally obligated to prevent the injury to the passenger, they violated that duty, and your injuries were caused by that violation. An Uber or Lyft driver is obligated to drive as a reasonably prudent driver, meaning they are required to drive safely, avoiding potential accidents. Your attorney can walk you through what is required to prove negligence.

When Is Uber or Lyft Is Liable?

Vicarious liability is the concept that employers are liable for the negligence of their employees. However, drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees. Therefore, their actions wouldn’t directly implicate Uber or Lyft. However, there are specific instances that they could be liable. If they failed to properly screen the driver, or if they lacked specific training, then a car accident victim could include the rideshare company in their lawsuit.

Third-Party Coverage

Due to the nature of their business, rideshare companies carry third-party liability coverage which can cover personal injuries and property damage that occurs in a car accident. When the driver’s insurance coverage is depleted, their insurance can handle the rest. If the other vehicle involved in the accident lacks insurance or leaves the scene of the accident, most rideshare companies also have uninsured motorist coverage which will help cover the cost of damages.

Have you been involved in a rideshare car accident? Contact Gomerman | Bourn & Associates at 415-545-8608 for a FREE consultation today.

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