The party that is liable for damages in a ridesharing accident depends on one main factor: whether the rideshare driver was logged into their rideshare app account. If the driver is at fault for the accident and logged into the rideshare app, the company could be liable for damages.
However, victims can file claims under the rideshare driver’s personal liability policy if the driver was not logged into the app when they caused the collision. Keep in mind that there may be other parties responsible for the accident—not just the rideshare driver.
Responsible Parties in a Rideshare Accident
It is easy to assume that the Uber or Lyft driver is responsible for the crash in a rideshare accident. However, that is not always the case. Depending on the circumstances, fault could rest with any of the following parties:
The Rideshare Driver
Rideshare drivers are not required to undergo any special training before accepting passengers. As such, they are just as likely as other drivers on the road to act negligently or commit traffic violations that could lead to collisions.
If the rideshare driver was in a collision with another car, the other driver may be at fault for the accident. They may have been driving under the influence, distracted, or committing a traffic violation.
A pedestrian may have walked out in front of the rideshare driver, causing them to swerve and crash. If so, the pedestrian could be partially at fault for the accident.
Even the best drivers cannot compensate for a defective auto part. The part may have been poorly designed or manufactured, making the manufacturer liable for accidents that occur. Examples of defective parts that could cause auto accidents include brakes, tires, or dim headlights.
The Rideshare Company
Rideshare companies could be partially at fault for hiring an unlicensed driver or a driver with a history of negligence behind the wheel.
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What Is the Difference Between Fault and Liability?
You may think that the terms “fault” and “liability” are used interchangeably. However, there are important differences between the two in the legal context.
What Is Fault?
Fault refers to the party or parties responsible for causing the rideshare accident and associated injuries. However, someone who is at fault for causing the accident may not be legally liable for the collision.
What Is Liability?
Liability refers to the party responsible for paying compensation to cover the accident damages you suffered. For example, while a rideshare driver could be at fault for the collision, the rideshare company may be liable for the damages.
Understanding Liability in a Rideshare Accident
In Texas, all rideshare companies must carry liability insurance to cover damages in a rideshare accident. There must be enough liability insurance to cover damage incurred by the driver, passenger, or third-party victims. However, the rideshare company is only liable under certain conditions.
When the Driver Is Not Working or Logged Into the Rideshare App
The driver must be logged into the app for the rideshare company to assume liability for the accident. Think of it as ‘clocking into work.’ If the driver is not logged into the rideshare app, the company is not liable for the accident.
In this scenario, your attorney would treat the case as a standard personal injury case. You would file a claim against the driver’s personal liability coverage—not the rideshare company’s policy.
When the Driver Is Logged In, but There Is No Paying Passenger
According to the state’s rideshare laws laid out in Chapter 2402 of the Texas Occupations Code, the rideshare company can be liable for a collision if the driver is logged into the rideshare app at the time. Note that there does not have to be a paying passenger present in the vehicle—if the rideshare driver crashed into another car while logged into the app, Uber or Lyft’s insurance company is often liable for the damages.
Both Uber and Lyft offer the following coverage for covering damages in a rideshare accident:
- $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person
- $100,000 per accident (wrongful deaths and personal injury claims)
- $50,000 for property damage
The Driver Is Logged in With a Paying Passenger
Both Uber and Lyft offer additional coverage when a passenger is present, or the rideshare driver is on the way to pick up a passenger. Each company offers $1 million in coverage for the following:
- Wrongful death
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
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Hire Loncar Lyon Jenkins to Represent You
If you were injured in a rideshare accident and someone else is at fault, you have the right to seek compensation from the liable party. Our team at Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help you determine whether to file a claim against the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, or another party. We will then build a solid case for your financial recovery based on the evidence we uncover.
Call our law firm today and get a free case review and hire an auto accident attorney from our team.
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