If you have been brushing up on employment law news in the past year or
so, you have undoubtedly come across several articles regarding Uber,
Lyft, and other ridesharing applications. In particular, many ridesharing
drivers believe they are full-fledged employees of the company that produced
and manages their app of choice. Ridesharing companies have typically
countered with the argument that they are only independent contractors.
All of this confusion about employment impacts the everyday people who
use Uber and Lyft when it comes to pinpointing liability in accidents.
If you are riding in your friend’s car and they crash, they or the
other driver will be to blame in most cases. If you are riding in a
taxi, the driver and usually the parent company will share some liability.
But what about for
car accidents that occur when you are riding in a ridesharing vehicle?
Finding Liability in an Uber or Lyft Accident
Parties that could potentially be partially liable for a ridesharing accident include:
Driver: A driver that does not take the responsibility of safe driving seriously
will not be able to pass blame for any accidents onto anyone else. If
your driver was clearly not paying much attention to the road while taxiing
you around, he or she will likely be the sole person named in your claim.
Other drivers: Sometimes the best driving habits in the world cannot protect a driver
from other motorists. If your Uber or Lyft driver is going to file a car
accident claim against another driver for negligence, that is probably
the person you should name in your personal injury claim.
Other passengers: A truly disruptive and intentionally distracting passenger on public transit
systems, like the
bus, can be held accountable for any accidents. The same might be true of
other unruly passengers in your Uber or Lyft that went out of their way
to upset the driver.
Ridesharing company: Some personal injury claims for ridesharing accidents have named the ridesharing
companies themselves. Such claims usually cite that drivers must use the
apps while driving despite this being a distraction; driver hours are
unregulated so someone could use the app all day and become exhausted;
and other interesting points that could link liability to the company,
especially if the driver is considered an employee to some extent.
There is clearly some unusual room for interpretation in an Uber or Lyft
accident, but this does not mean that finding the answers to the question
of liability will be impossible. With Oronoz Ericsson & Gaffney LLC
and our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys on your side, you can create
and advance your case with as little stress on you as possible. Dial
702.904.8858 to request a
free consultation with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.