Understanding Liability in Uber Accidents: Who’s Responsible?

You just hopped in an Uber to get across town, but halfway through the ride, the driver rear-ends another car. Who’s responsible for the accident – you, the driver, or Uber? When you use a rideshare service, things get complicated in the case of an accident. You may think you’re covered, but understanding liability in Uber accidents isn’t always straightforward.

In this article, we’ll break down the nitty-gritty of who’s on the hook after a rideshare crash so you can protect yourself if things go wrong during your next Uber ride. We’ll examine how insurance works, examine Uber’s policies, and help you determine what steps to take and how a New Orleans Uber accident lawyer can help your case.

Determining Liability in Uber Accidents

Determining liability after an Uber accident can be a complex process. Several parties may be at fault, and insurance coverage can get confusing. Here are the main factors that determine liability:

The Driver

As an independent contractor, Uber drivers are typically considered liable for any accidents while transporting passengers. However, Uber’s insurance policy provides limited coverage for driver liability. The driver could be personally responsible if the damages exceed the policy limits.

The Passenger

Generally, passengers are not liable for Uber accidents. However, if a passenger’s negligent actions contributed to the crash, liability could potentially be shared. For example, if a passenger grabbed the steering wheel or distracted the driver, causing them to wreck, the passenger might share some fault.

Uber’s Liability

Uber maintains insurance policies that provide coverage for drivers and passengers, but the company’s direct liability in an accident is limited. Uber is not considered the driver’s employer, so they are typically not vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence.

However, if an issue with the Uber mobile app or ridesharing technology caused the accident, Uber could potentially face liability. Uber could also be liable if they failed to properly screen a driver before allowing them to use the platform.

When Uber’s Insurance May Cover an Accident

Uber’s insurance policy covers an accident from when you enter an Uber vehicle until the ride ends in the app. The driver’s auto insurance typically won’t apply during this time. If an accident happens on your way to your destination, report it to Uber immediately.

ridesharing accidents result in the most complex claims

Once a driver accepts your ride request in the Uber app, their insurance coverage switches from their auto policy to Uber’s commercial policy. This means if an accident occurs while the driver is on their way to pick you up, damages should be covered by Uber’s insurance.

After you exit the Uber vehicle and end the ride in the app, the driver’s personal insurance policy again becomes primary. If an accident happens after your ride ends, the driver’s auto insurance will be responsible for handling it. Uber’s coverage will not apply in this situation.

Proving Negligence in an Uber Accident Case

To prove Uber’s liability in an accident, you must show that the company was somehow negligent. Negligence refers to a failure to exercise a reasonable level of care that harms another person.

Driver Screening and Training

Uber ensures its drivers meet basic qualifications and receive sufficient training. If Uber fails to conduct a proper background check, hire unqualified drivers, or provide inadequate training, they could be found negligent.

Vehicle Safety

As the facilitator of the ridesharing transaction, Uber must make certain any vehicles used are safe for passenger transport. If an accident occurs due to faulty brakes, bald tires, or other mechanical issues that would have been detected with standard maintenance, Uber’s negligence may be a factor.

Lack of Oversight

Uber is also responsible for overseeing its drivers and taking corrective action when necessary. If a driver has a history of traffic violations or customer complaints that Uber failed to address, it indicates a lack of proper oversight. Had Uber intervened, an accident may have been prevented.

Call a New Orleans Uber Accident Lawyer Right Away

Uber accidents are becoming increasingly common as these rideshare companies become more popular. In case of a crash, it is important to understand your legal rights and options and how liability in Uber accidents is determined. Our New Orleans Uber crash lawyers can help guide you through the process.

We will fight to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages you incurred due to someone else’s negligence. Contact our offices today at (888) 407-0911 to schedule a free consultation.