Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become, for better or worse, critical parts of our transportation system. As the popularity of these services continues to surge, so too do questions about the rights and liabilities of their passengers.

Whether you’re a regular rideshare user or you’re simply considering rideshare services, this post will equip you with essential knowledge for passengers.

Passenger Rights in Ridesharing Situations

As a passenger, you are entitled to certain rights. For example, you have the right to a safe ride, which means that the vehicle should be in good working condition, and the driver must adhere to traffic laws. This is why rideshare companies ensure their drivers meet specific standards, including having a valid driver’s license, a good driving record, and a background check.

Ridesharing companies also ensure some level of insurance coverage for their passengers. This coverage is designed to compensate for any injuries or damages that might occur in the event of an accident. However, the extent of this coverage can vary. For instance, some companies’ policies offer protection against injuries but not property damage. And in scenarios where the ridesharing driver is not at fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance might be responsible for covering your damages.

It’s also your right to be treated with respect and courtesy by the ridesharing driver. This includes a harassment-free, safe, and comfortable environment. Any form of discrimination or harassment by the driver is against the policies of ridesharing companies and can be reported to the companies through their apps.

Liability in Ridesharing Accidents

Determining liability in ridesharing accidents often involves multiple parties and insurance policies. When an accident occurs during a ridesharing trip, understanding who is at fault and liable for damages is key for passengers who are seeking compensation.

Let’s analyze how liability works in some ridesharing scenarios below:

  1. Driver En Route to Pick Up a Passenger: If an accident occurs when the driver is on their way to pick up a rideshare passenger, the ridesharing company’s insurance may provide coverage.
  2. During the Ride: The most comprehensive coverage from the company’s insurance typically applies when the passenger is in the vehicle during the ride. In the event of an accident, whether the rideshare driver or another motorist is at fault, the company’s insurance policy usually offers significant protection for the passenger’s injuries and damages.
  3. Ridesharing Driver’s Personal Insurance: In some cases, like if the ridesharing app is turned off, the driver’s personal car insurance policy comes into play. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand the interplay between a driver’s personal insurance and the ridesharing company’s policy.
  4. Third-Party Liability: If another driver causes the accident, their insurance policy may be the one covering the damages. This scenario can make claims more complicated, especially when dealing with uninsured or underinsured motorists.

It’s important to note that ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This distinction can sometimes lead to legal challenges in holding the company directly responsible for a driver’s actions.

For passengers involved in a ridesharing accident, navigating these questions requires a nuanced understanding of insurance issues. That’s why we at Great West Injury Law advise passengers to seek legal counsel to protect their rights.

Steps to Take if Involved in a Ridesharing Accident

Here’s a guide to help you navigate what to do if your rideshare ends in an accident:

  1. Ensure Safety: Your driver should pull over out of the flow of traffic. Check for injuries and call 911 immediately. Even if any injuries seem minor, it’s crucial to get medical attention, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  2. Report the Accident: Inform the police about the accident so that an official report can be filed. This report can be vital evidence if you pursue a personal injury claim.
  3. Gather Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with all parties involved, including the ridesharing driver and any other drivers. Make sure to get the ridesharing vehicle’s license plate number and the driver’s ridesharing app details.
  4. Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and road conditions. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information as well.
  5. Notify the Ridesharing Company: Report the accident through the ridesharing app. Companies like Uber and Lyft have specific protocols for handling accidents involving their drivers.
  6. Seek Medical Evaluation: Visit a healthcare professional for a thorough check-up. Some injuries, especially those related to whiplash or concussions, can have delayed symptoms.
  7. Keep Records: Maintain a file of all accident-related documents, including medical reports, expenses, police reports, and any correspondence related to the accident.
  8. Avoid Quick Settlement Offers: Be cautious of quick settlement offers from insurance companies. These offers may not fully cover your total expenses or the potential long-term effects of your injuries.
  9. Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney: Before accepting any settlements, consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury and ridesharing accidents.

Great West Can Help You Navigate Your Case with Confidence

Knowing your rights and understanding the proper steps to take after an accident can make a significant difference in the eventual outcome. Great West Injury Law understands the intricacies involved in ridesharing accidents. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through the legal maze, ensuring that your rights are upheld and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you find yourself in a ridesharing accident, reach out to us for a free consultation on your case.