Have you ever used a rideshare service such as Lyft or Uber? If so, you know how convenient and efficient it is to open up an app on your phone, request a ride, and just minutes later hop into a stranger’s car to be transported to your destination.
Accidents Can and Do Happen in Rideshare Vehicles
Uber and Lyft drivers are generally very careful, cautious, and alert while working—as riders can rate their experience, irresponsible or careless drivers eventually get winnowed out.
That said, accidents do happen, sometimes due to the driver’s bad decision, but also due to other drivers and vehicles. Who’s responsible when a Lyft or Uber is involved in an accident?
The Concept of Negligence In Colorado
A plaintiff seeking damages must prove that the driver was “negligent” and that this negligence led to the accident and consequential injuries. Uber and Lyft drivers have what’s called a “duty of care” toward their passengers—namely, to deliver them safely and soundly to their destination. The duty of care also precludes them from driving too fast, driving while under the influence, running red lights, etc. If drivers fail to fulfill that duty, they can be held accountable for the accident that transpired, and thus for your injuries.
Who Is At Fault in a Rideshare Accident?
As frustrating as it is, the answer is “it depends.” Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning riders can be considered at fault to some degree. However, after an accident for which they are partly responsible, riders may still be awarded damages.
The rideshare company’s insurance applies only when the driver is on duty. The company owed a duty of care to its customers, but that duty is considered breached by hiring workers with poor driving records, a history of at-fault accidents, or inadequate experience behind the wheel.
What about Lyft contractors who clock out but then accept another fare and get into an accident? In this case, any accidents are treated like a “regular” accident, and the rider files a claim with the driver’s insurance.
When you need a ride to the airport, consume too many drinks to drive safely, or don’t own a vehicle, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are great options. Should you use one and get into an accident, however, it’s important to know where to turn for the compensation you deserve.
The team at Greer Law can help. Drop us a line using our contact form, or call us at 303-331-6460 today.