All across the country, ridesharing programs have made getting from one place to another simpler, easier, and more affordable. Unfortunately, there have also been auto accidents involving Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and other rideshare drivers. Who is responsible when this happens? Can a victim pursue compensation for their injuries? The following can help you better understand this complex area of the law, and how it may apply to your particular situation.
Driver vs. Rideshare Company – Who is Really Liable?
In the beginning, victims injured by Uber and other rideshare drivers faced serious problems in pursuing their claims. This was often because, rather than being employees of the company, rideshare drivers were (and still are) considered independent contractors and, essentially, sole proprietors of their own companies. So, if someone was injured by an Uber driver, the driver’s insurance was generally considered the primary. If the driver had inadequate insurance, then victims were often left with little to no compensation. Rideshare companies themselves rarely stepped in, but even when they did, they carried so low of a policy that victims found little relief.
After some serious scrutiny from the media and safety advocates, most rideshare programs bumped up their liability insurance. They also made themselves “primary,” which essentially means they could be held liable first if an accident was not due to driver negligence. Of course, like most companies, they often find a way to shift blame to their drivers, once again putting victims at the mercy of private insurance companies. Even worse is that many private insurance companies have started to exclude coverage for accidents that occur while a driver is transporting a rideshare customer.
You Can Still Seek Compensation
Although the situation can be extremely complex, victims of rideshare accidents do still have the right to pursue compensation. In some situations, recovery may come from the driver. In others, it may come from the rideshare company. Still others may be able to seek compensation from both the driver and the company. However, it is critical that victims seek the assistance of a skilled attorney. This can prevent further victimization and help ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable.
At Kinnally Flarherty Krentz Loarn Hodge & Masur P.C., we fight for the rights of victims. Backed by decades of combined experience, we have the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to effectively pursue compensation for their losses in rideshare accidents. To learn more about how we can help with your case, call us at 630-907-0909 and schedule your free initial consultation with a skilled Kane County personal injury attorney today.