Rideshare Liability After Car Accident

Lyft and Uber are all over Omaha. For that matter, these and other ridesharing apps have become a way of life throughout Nebraska and across all the areas we serve: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota.

As a personal injury law firm, we receive a growing number of calls from people who’ve been injured in ridesharing accidents.

Their first question is who’s at fault, and is it possible to sue a ridesharing company directly?

What do you do if you’re injured by an Uber or Lyft?

Navigating a rideshare accident claim can be difficult because the law hasn’t quite kept up with technology. As a general rule, if you’re injured in an auto accident through no fault of your own, you’re entitled to compensation.

But from whom?

As we’ll see, ridesharing accidents tend to prompt a lot of finger-pointing, and insurance companies are all too willing to leave victims out in the cold. An experienced Omaha car accident lawyer can help by advocating for your rights and fighting for the financial compensation you deserve.

What You Need to Know About Uber and Lyft’s Legal Responsibilities

Rideshare companies like to claim they are not “transportation providers.” In fact, you’ll find that very disclaimer on the official Uber in Omaha website.

That strikes some people as surprising. In fact, there’s a lot about services like Uber and Lyft that might surprise you.

For example, as a general matter, most ridesharing companies:

  • Do not “employ” their drivers. (Most Uber and Lyft drivers technically work as independent contractors instead.)
  • Don’t always ensure that their drivers are maintaining active and adequate auto insurance policies.
  • Usually do not test their drivers for drug use.
  • Usually do not inspect vehicles for safety or follow up on maintenance requirements.
  • Are notorious for denying responsibility after a rideshare accident.

Recognizing the problem, the State of Nebraska has imposed a regulatory framework on rideshare operators in the state, including certain insurance requirements.

Unfortunately, these requirements are far from comprehensive, and victims looking to recover compensation from Uber and Lyft are still left looking at a real challenge in many instances. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have options after being injured by an Uber or Lyft.

Steps to Take After a Rideshare Accident

What to do after a rideshare accident? Here are some basic steps you should commit to memory before getting back inside another Uber or Lyft.

After an accident:

  1. Get emergency medical attention if needed. If you or anyone else is hurt, call 911 right away.
  2. Call the police. Even if no one is injured, the police need to be notified. Don’t leave the scene of the accident until an officer tells you it’s okay.
  3. Get the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance information. Don’t assume that the rideshare company’s insurance company will cover you. That isn’t always the case. In many rideshare accidents, it is the driver (an independent contractor) who must look to his or her own insurance provider for coverage.
  4. Get the other drivers’ insurance information. If any other drivers were involved in the accident, try to swap information with them too.
  5. Get contact information for all drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Anyone who was present at the scene might be helpful to you as you pursue your claim for compensation later. At the very least, you will want to be able to get ahold of these people. Police reports do not always document extensive contact information or even the names of eyewitnesses, so you’ll want to get this information for yourself if you can.
  6. Take photographs. Pictures can provide credible evidence of what happened at the scene, who was injured, and how the accident happened. Try to take numerous photographs from multiple angles — the more the better. Be sure to photograph license plates too, if possible.
  7. Call an Omaha rideshare accident lawyer. Rideshare accidents can be extremely complex. You deserve to have an experienced advocate looking out for your best interests and fighting for the compensation you deserve. The sooner you get an attorney on your side, the better.

How an Omaha Rideshare Accident Attorney Can Help

After an Uber or Lyft accident, it’s not uncommon for all the parties to take a “don’t look at me!” defense.

Uber and Lyft are quick to say that, because they aren’t transportation providers and don’t employ their drivers, they aren’t responsible.

Meanwhile, the rideshare driver’s insurance provider might deny your claim, arguing they aren’t required to cover “commercial use” of the vehicle.

If a different driver was at fault, his or her insurance provider will probably do what insurance companies almost always do: anything they can to avoid paying you the full dollar amount you’re owed.

Even worse, it’s possible the at-fault driver was operating their vehicle with insufficient insurance (or no insurance at all).

Who suffers in this blame game? The one person who has already suffered enough: the injured victim.

Don’t let the insurance companies leave you paying out of pocket or fending for yourself while they give you the runaround, and don’t accept an insurance settlement that doesn’t give you the money you really deserve. Contact an Omaha rideshare accident attorney instead.

While claiming compensation after a rideshare accident in Nebraska can be challenging, you may have more options than you realize. Depending on the circumstances, the rideshare company’s insurance policy might apply. Alternatively, the at-fault drivers and their insurance companies may have an obligation to pay more than they’re offering.

Free Case Review with an Omaha Rideshare Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured by an Uber or Lyft in Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, or South Dakota, we want to help.

Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C. is a Nebraska personal injury law firm with many years of experience and a long record of getting injured Nebraskans the robust compensation they deserve.

We fight to maximize our clients’ financial compensation. Rideshare injury claims are complex. No one can promise a specific outcome. But we are prepared to vigorously explore every opportunity for optimal compensation, doing whatever it takes to passionately pursue the justice you deserve.

We will not charge you for our services unless (and until) we get you money.

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Omaha rideshare accident attorney in our office, please call our office at (402) 241-5020 or contact us online right away.

by Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop
Last updated on - Originally published on

Posted in: Car Accidents