Liability is determined in a ridesharing accident by confirming:
- Whether the rideshare driver caused the accident
- Whether the rideshare driver was actively using the ridesharing app when they got into the accident
- Whether other parties were involved in or contributed to the cause of the accident
It is important to conduct a proper investigation to determine if the at-fault driver, their employer, or a third-party participant is liable for the damages you incurred in a ridesharing accident. This article goes into further detail about the nuances of rideshare accident liability and whose insurance policy might cover an accident.
You Must First Determine if the Rideshare Driver Was Working at the Time
If a rideshare driver caused your accident in Lafayette, one of the ways liability is determined is by confirming if they were working at the time it occurred. It is only recently that ridesharing companies, also known as transportation network companies (TNCs), were made to insure their drivers if they were involved in an accident while engaging with their services.
Liability for these accidents may be nuanced by how the rideshare driver was engaged with the ridesharing app during the accident. Consider the following scenarios:
- The rideshare app is off, or the driver is not logged on: If the driver has yet to log on to the rideshare app to begin working or is not logged in while driving, the rideshare company is not liable for any accidents the driver has. In these situations, rideshare drivers will have to refer to their own auto insurance company for liability coverage.
- The rideshare driver has the app on and is waiting for a rider: Once the driver begins engaging with the rideshare app, the ridesharing company begins to have some liability. If the app is on but the driver has not received a ride request, the driver’s personal auto insurance company may be contacted first. However, if the driver’s personal policy does not cover them, the ridesharing company may cover the accident.
- The rideshare driver is actively picking up or transporting a passenger: If the driver was on their way to pick up a passenger or actively giving a passenger a ride, the ridesharing company’s insurance policy might cover the accident.
If a third party caused your ridesharing accident, you might pursue compensation from their insurance company instead.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Determining Liability Helps You Understand Whose Insurance to Contact
Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §45:201.6 mandates that TNCs and their drivers must both have insurance policies in the event that an accident occurs. Uber and Lyft post general policy limits on their websites, but these values are subject to change.
Based on your accident scenario, you might pursue compensation from:
The Rideshare Driver’s Insurance Company
If the rideshare driver was off duty or not logged into the app, you may pursue compensation from their auto insurance as if they were a non-commercial driver on the road. Filing an insurance claim may allow you to recover compensation for your collision-related medical expenses and property damages.
The Rideshare Company’s Insurance Coverage
If Uber or Lyft is determined to be liable for your accident, they may be compelled to provide coverage for your medical bills, property damage, and other losses.
Ridesharing companies are also required to provide uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage in case an involved party is not sufficiently insured. Other types of insurance coverage may apply, which your lawyer can discuss in more detail.
A Third Party’s Insurance Company
If a third party was liable for your accident, you might pursue compensation from them via an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Third parties in rideshare accidents might include:
- Another motor vehicle driver
- The maintenance company that last worked on the vehicle if a vehicle malfunction led to the accident
- The manufacturing company of the at-fault vehicle if the vehicle’s design was defective and led to the accident
- A municipality if hazardous road conditions led to the accident
Contact the Team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to Help You
If you are not sure how to determine liability in a ridesharing accident, let the team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers help you. We can review your accident and see whether the rideshare company could be held liable for your damages. Once we determine the liable party or parties, a Lafayette personal injury lawyer from our staff can help you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit if needed.
Call us at (337) 777-7777 to speak with one of our representatives in a free consultation. We can get started building your case file and strategizing a legal approach for your case as soon as you call.