Who Is Responsible for Uber or Lyft Accidents in California? 2024

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Just like with any car accident, Uber or Lyft accidents can result in serious injuries and significant costs. There can be more complications, however, than a standard car accident because of the involvement of the rideshare company and the status of their drivers as independent contractors. This can create some confusion around who actually has a duty to pay. It leads many to wonder who is responsible for Uber or Lyft accidents in California.

Responsibility for Uber or Lyft Accidents in California

California law has had to address the sudden rise in accidents involving Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies and liability. The state has set rules regarding the insurance requirements that transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are required to carry when their drivers are waiting for riders and have increased that amount when they have passengers.

These insurance requirements help address the costs associated with many of the accidents for which they or their drivers could be responsible.

In scenarios where the required insurance coverage does not cover the total costs of the accident, there is still a possibility that the rideshare company could be held liable. Usually this is the case if they can be shown to have failed to properly screen their drivers during hiring, provide adequate training, or have proper supervision.

Responsibility for a rideshare accident could extend beyond just the rideshare driver and company, though. It may be that another driver was responsible for the accident, and the rideshare driver was a victim of the other driver’s negligence. In other cases, the failure of an auto part, whether it was faulty or poorly installed, can lead to the part manufacturer or installer being liable for the accident.

It is also possible that the government may be liable as well. They are responsible for the upkeep of the roads, signage, and lights. Some accidents are caused by an issue within one of these areas or by failure to properly maintain them. If that can be shown, then it may be that the government can be held liable for the accident.

How Responsibility for an Uber or Lyft Accident Is Proven

Responsibility, or liability, for the costs related to an accident, is based on being able to show that the party behaved in a negligent manner and that their negligence was the cause of the accident. This gives the injured party the right to seek compensation for the injuries that they suffered related to the accident. This usually will require proving three elements:
  • Duty of Care. The defendant will need to have had a duty to take reasonable precautions to ensure that they are not exposing others to any unnecessary risk of harm.
  • Breached Duty. If the defendant can be shown that they failed to meet their duty of care, for instance, by driving recklessly, they are said to have committed a breach of duty.
  • Cause. Lastly, it must be shown that their breach of duty was what caused the accident and injuries.


Q: How Can I Hold Someone Responsible for a Rideshare Accident?

A: How you can hold someone responsible for a rideshare accident is ultimately through California’s personal injury law in most situations. While the threat of going to litigation may exist, there are times when it is possible to reach a negotiated settlement before that point.

It is wise to work with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer when seeking to hold someone responsible for a rideshare accident, as they can help you understand your options and make your strongest case.

Q: Are You Required to Have a Lawyer to File a Rideshare Accident Claim?

A: You are not required to have a lawyer to file a rideshare accident claim, but not working with one could limit the potential compensation that you could earn. The experience of a lawyer can be critical both in negotiations and if your claim needs to be made before the court. Having a lawyer is also critical because your opposition is likely to be represented by lawyers.

Q: What Compensation Are the Liable Parties Responsible for in a Rideshare Accident?

A: The compensation that the liable parties are responsible for in a rideshare accident are the costs that are a direct result of the injuries that were suffered in the accident. This compensation is typically divided into two categories of “damages.” For costs with a direct financial component, such as medical expenses or lost wages, there are economic damages. For psychological and emotional costs, such as pain and suffering, there are non-economic damages.

Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Rideshare Accident Claim?

A: How long you have to file a rideshare accident claim is typically two years. This is the standard statute of limitations for personal injury claims in California. However, there are some circumstances that can shift the deadline based on factors like who you are seeking to hold liable and when injuries were discovered. Be sure to speak with your lawyer soon after your accident to understand what deadlines may apply to your situation.

Our Team Can Help You Seek Compensation After a Rideshare Accident

While you do have legal protections and the opportunity to hold the responsible parties liable for your rideshare accident injuries, doing so can often be challenging. Whether it be an unwillingness to pay altogether or a dispute about the extent of the compensation that you should be given, it is not uncommon for there to be challenges in getting the full compensation you deserve.

One of the most effective ways to improve your odds at fair restitution is by working with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Kreeger Law Firm has been working with those who have been injured in accidents for more than 30 years. We understand the challenges involved in seeking compensation after a car accident and a rideshare accident in particular. We have helped clients negotiate fair settlement packages and made their case in court when that wasn’t possible. If you’ve been injured in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare accident, contact us, and we can discuss options that are available to you.