If an auto accident involving a ride-sharing vehicle has left you with damages, you might be left wondering who is liable for your expenses. If you are wondering, “Do I sue the ride-sharing company or the other driver after a crash?”, a personal injury attorney can offer some guidance.
As independent contractors, the drivers are not employees. Instead, they are a third-party that offer use of their services and their private vehicle to transport paying customers. These clients set up rides through an app and all payments and all billing are done through that app as well.
Because ride-sharing drivers are not technically employees, most likely you cannot pursue legal action against the rideshare company itself. That however, does not mean the insurance company is off the hook.
Who Would Be Liable for My Damages?
Based on the legal argument, employer s can be held somewhat liable for the actions of their employees, but those operating a vehicle under a ride-sharing brand are not employees of the company itself itself. As independent contractors, they are not classified as employees.
As a contractor, the driver is an independent third-party, therefore, they have limited liability when their driver is involved in an accident. It would be difficult to directly file suit, however, their insurance coverage might have some liability for the damages suffered in an accident involving a ride-sharing service driver.
As a ride-sharing service driver, the independent contract must have his or her own auto insurance coverage. But, most ride-sharing services have insurance coverage to supplement the driver’s policy. Some ride-sharing service coverage is only in effect when the driver is transporting a paying customer or is available to transport a client via the app.
The Liability Process
There is a three-tier insurance process for ride-sharing service drivers. The first tier involves the driver’s personal insurance coverage. The driver’s personal insurance coverage is in effect when the driver is not acting on behalf of them, available to transport passengers, or transporting clients that booked a ride through the ride-sharing app.
The second tier of insurance coverage comes into play when the driver is actively available to transport a customer. While the driver might still be protected by his or her own insurance, there might be situations where the personal coverage is not available.
In that case, their coverage would kick in. The third tier involves when the driver is transporting a ride-sharing customer.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
Various damages can result from an accident. Some damages include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, property damages, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
While some damages are economic in nature and have a set value, such as a medical bill, others, such as pain and suffering, are not that easy to put a price tag on.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney
If an accident with a driver has left you with damages, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form today so a lawyer can tell you how to get your claim underway.
- Am I Protected by Insurance If I Am Hit By a Lyft Driver?
- Top Reasons to Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Lyft, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.