Your health and safety is our priority. Video and Telephone Appointments Available. Learn More.

Who Is Liable After An Uber or Lyft Accident?

Posted by Denis Zilberberg
Filed in Auto Accident

Both Uber and Lyft have been in the news a lot lately. On November 3rd, 2020, voters in California passed the Prop 22 ballot measure, which effectively exempts most “gig worker” companies from AB 5, a law passed by the California legislature that required companies to treat workers as employees and not independent contractors. At first glance, it may seem like Prop 22 has nothing to do with personal injury law. However, this has major implications concerning how accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers are handled.

Does Prop 22 change liability?

In many cases, when a vehicle accident is caused by the driver of a commercial vehicle, the company that employs the driver can be held liable for any injury and damage expenses caused to other parties. However, that has not been the case with Uber and Lyft drivers.

In California and throughout the United States, Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors. This means that the drivers’ personal insurance carriers remain largely responsible for handling accident compensation in many scenarios. Had AB 5 gone into effect, there would have been little doubt that Uber and Lyft would be held liable for the actions caused by their drivers when the drivers are on duty. However, the drivers themselves will still be held liable in most circumstances after the passage of Prop 22.

Who pays after an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident?

Both Uber and Lyft operate under a tiered insurance system that depends on the status of the driver at the time they allegedly cause an accident.

  • If a rideshare driver is not signed into the app to work when they cause an accident, then they will be considered to be operating on their own time, and their personal insurance carrier will be responsible for covering any expenses.
  • If a rideshare driver is signed in to the company app to work but does not yet have a passenger or is not on the way to pick one up when they cause a crash, their personal insurance carrier will still be primarily responsible for compensating injury and property damage victims. However, both Uber and Lyft will provide limited coverage if the driver’s personal carrier limits are not enough to cover the expenses.
  • If a rideshare driver is signed into the company app to work and has a passenger or is on the way to pick one up when they get into an accident, then both Uber and Lyft have $1 million insurance policies designed to cover every person involved.

Contact our Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers for help today

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of John B. Richards, our skilled and experienced team is ready to step in to help investigate your case so we can secure the compensation you deserve. We will use our resources and legal expertise to conduct a complete investigation into your case to determine liability. When you need a Santa Barbara Uber or Lyft accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 805-683-2736.


    Request Your Free Case Evaluation Now!

    By clicking submit you are agreeing to the terms and conditions

    Your Personal Details

    • Name
    • Phone No.
    • Email Address
    • Message

      Contact Us

      All fields are required.
      By clicking submit you are agreeing to the terms and conditions.