Ridesharing has become a popular mode of transportation worldwide, with companies like Uber and Lyft leading the way. But while it may seem like a convenient and efficient way to get around, accidents can and do happen – and being in an accident while riding an Uber or Lyft or any other such service is far different from a normal situation wherein you are behind the wheel.
Injuries sustained during rideshare trips can be devastating, leaving victims with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. That said, it is vital for victims to establish liability in rideshare injury caases to receive proper compensation for their damages. Rideshare accident lawyers come to the rescue in such times.
Read on to learn more about this kind of case.
Understanding Rideshare Liability
When an accident occurs during a traditional taxi ride or while driving one’s car, two parties are typically involved: the vehicle’s driver and the injured party. However, liability in rideshare injury cases is only sometimes clear-cut. That’s because, with ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft, multiple parties could be held liable for any injuries sustained by passengers.
In most states within the US, including California, where both companies primarily operate under personal auto insurance policies, drivers working on these platforms must have coverage under their policies alongside policies purchased by their employer (Uber/Lyft), which becomes activated once they accept to pick up passengers, i.e., when they’re online waiting for riders.
Factors that Determine Liability
Many factors come into play when determining who is liable in a rideshare injury case:
- The Driver’s Actions: If the driver commits negligence or violates traffic laws resulting in injuries, he could be held responsible.
- Employer Negligence: If employers negligently hire incompetent drivers without verifying claims, this constitutes a criminal offense against users’ safety on the road, thereby putting them at risk of being sued by accident victims.
- Third-Party Negligence: If an accident were caused by another driver hitting the ridesharing vehicle, the responsible driver’s insurance company would be held accountable.
It is important to note that there are times when multiple parties can be held liable in rideshare injury cases. For example, a ride-sharing driver causes an accident due to distracted driving. And the company had carried out background checks inadequately. In this case, the driver and their employer could be liable for damages sustained by victims.
How Lawyers Help Establish Liability
Rideshare accident lawyers play a crucial role in establishing liability in such cases. They use their expertise to investigate each case individually and determine which party was responsible for causing the injuries. To do this effectively, they must carry out early research on evaluating potential defendants whose actions could lead them to share the responsibility of paying compensation.
Lawyers establish liability in rideshare injury cases by gathering evidence associated with all parties involved, like scene photos, key witnesses statements, etc.; they use that information When building a rock-solid case against Defendants who caused harm or observing negligence according to what is evaluated from gathered evidence.
Here are some examples of evidence attorneys typically gather:
- Photographs: Pictures taken at the scene using high-quality cameras help reconstruct events exactly how they occurred.
- Witness statements: Statements about events leading up to accidents from third-party members, i.e., drivers and pedestrians, will help lawyers make appropriate conclusions on who/how things happened.
- Police/ Accidents reports: Reports made by police officers or paramedics at the accident location containing current health condition changes of victims/treatment plan initiated should also be properly interpreted.
Once adequate evidence has been collected showing liability pointed towards any following parties –the negligent driver, their employer (Uber/Lyft), auto manufacturer, or municipal entity, lawyers representing plaintiffs would create comprehensive negotiation involving all liable parties aiming towards a compensatory agreement over damages suffered via individual negotiation processes treating each defendant differently after that.
The defendant could negotiate to cover for damages respondent to the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, or even emotional stress. If a comprehensive settlement cannot be reached, lawyers handling the case would go ahead with a lawsuit when litigation support services are needed.
Establishing liability in rideshare injury cases can be a complex process, and victims need to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident. Lawyers play a key role in gathering evidence and negotiating settlements for their clients who are victims of accidents caused by ridesharing vehicles.