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Who is Liable for Rideshare Accidents?

Posted on March 7, 2023 in

The last thing anyone expects is that they will sustain an injury when they get inside of a rideshare vehicle to head to their destination. Unfortunately, the negligent actions of rideshare drivers or other drivers on the roadway could lead to serious injuries. Here, we want to discuss liability when it comes to rideshare accidents, as well as how insurance works in these particular cases depending on the actions and status of the rideshare driver at the time the incident occurred.

Who is Liable for a Rideshare Accident

Determining Liability After a Rideshare Crash

The process of determining liability after an accident involving a rideshare vehicle can be challenging, similar to other types of accidents. On the surface, there is little difference between figuring out what happened after an accident involving two regular vehicles and an accident involving a rideshare vehicle. 

Law enforcement officials need to come to the scene of the incident so they can conduct an investigation and fill out an accident report. Individuals at the scene of the incident should do their best to obtain evidence, including using their phones to take photographs or video surveillance of vehicle damage, injuries, license plate numbers, causes of the incident, traffic and weather conditions, and more.

In some cases, it may be necessary for an accident reconstruction expert to use the evidence already obtained along with computer and 3D modeling to put together the most likely scenario of how the accident occurred.

There are cases where there could be shared fault for a car accident involving a rideshare vehicle. Colorado uses a modified comparative negligence system, which means any individual more than 50% responsible for an incident will be unable to recover compensation. However, individuals 50% or less responsible for causing a crash can recover compensation for their losses, but the total amount receivable will decrease depending on their percentage of fault.

Rideshare Company Insurance Tiers

After liability is determined, the rideshare driver and company may be on the line for paying compensation to the victims involved. If the rideshare driver was found to be at fault for the crash, it is important to understand how the insurance system works for both Uber and Lyft. In the event the rideshare driver was not logged into their app to work, then their personal insurance will be solely responsible for covering any injury and property damage expenses for others.

If the rideshare driver was logged in to work but was not on the way to pick up a fare or did not have a passenger, then their personal insurance will primarily be responsible for paying compensation. Uber and Lyft offer limited liability coverage in these particular situations.

Finally, if the rideshare driver is on the way to pick up a passenger or already has one, then Uber and Lyft both have $1 million liability policies in place to cover injuries or property damage that occurs to any party involved.

Just because the rideshare companies may have insurance carriers that pay compensation in these situations does not mean you should try to tackle the situation without legal assistance. These insurance carriers and rideshare companies are known for pushing back against paying fair compensation, and you need to work with a Denver rideshare accident lawyer who can help you every step of the way.