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Liability In an Accident Involving a Rideshare Vehicle

Uber and Lyft Drivers

When rideshare vehicles were first introduced to the public, many people thought the possibilities were endless. They were presented as an alternative to drinking and driving, commuting via public transport, and more. What we weren’t told, however, is how dangerous they could be.

Despite the laws in place and the need for safety when carrying a number of passengers, some Uber and Lyft drivers still act in ways that put others in danger. They are distracted, they are negligent, and they need to be held accountable when they cause injuries.

Lawsuits involving ridesharing accidents are still relatively new in the legal world, but with the potential for negligence, they are not going away. Understanding the possible liable parties when this type of accident occurs is very important. Here are some of the things you should consider.

Can a Company Like Uber or Lyft Be Liable?

Rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft often think that they’re invincible because they are not the correct cause of the crash. They weren’t driving, so how could they be responsible? Well, despite not being the drivers, there are some ways they can assist in causing the accident.

For instance, what would happen if a company didn’t screen its employees before hiring them? What do we do when Uber or Lyft fails to ensure their drivers are properly licensed and have a safe driving record? If there is no screening to ensure safety, the company should be held accountable.

They are also potentially responsible if they knowingly ping a driver with a new ride while the individual is driving, forcing them to manually react to the ping and become distracted.

When Is a Driver Liable for Damages?

Rideshare accidents are most often caused by negligent drivers because their actions are what take their eyes off the road. They’re not always thinking about those in their own vehicle, or those walking across the street, or other cars on the road. They act in a manner that poses significant threat to others.

In order to prove liability, there must be four things shown in the lawsuit against the driver.

  • Duty of care: It must be proven that the defendant (the driver) had a duty of care to the plaintiff (the passenger, pedestrian, or other driver). This means the Uber or Lyft driver must make an effort to keep the other party safe.
  • Breach of duty of care: It must be proven that the driver did something that was considered negligent or reckless to breach that duty of care owed to the plaintiff.
  • The breach of duty caused the accident: It must be proven that the accident was directly caused by the negligent act that breached the duty of care between defendant and plaintiff.
  • The injury was a result of the accident: It must be proven that the injuries sustained was directly caused by the accident.

While distracted driving is most often the problem, we can’t deny the possibility of reckless actions that many drivers are guilty of committing such as speeding, drinking and driving, or any other action that is also against the law.

The Inherent Dangers of Rideshare Driving

Far too many dangers exist when it comes to rideshare vehicles; dangers that shouldn’t be present. Dangers such as negligent drivers and companies who only care about the profit they’re earning and getting from one passenger to the next.

Knowing the dangers of these vehicles can help individuals recognize problems that may be putting their safety at risk:

  • Uber and Lyft drivers are always in unfamiliar areas. This means they have to use their GPS to navigate, taking their attention away from the road. They may also be focusing too closely on street signs losing track of people on the road.
  • Drivers are constantly looking for their riders. When pulling up to the area where the rider is, the driver may start to scan the sidewalks looking for them. Not only does this take their eyes off the road, but it may also result in the driver making illegal U-turns or stopping in the middle of the road, causing significant danger.
  • The driver’s phone is pinged with new riders. Even when there’s already a passenger in the vehicle, Uber and Lyft ping drivers with nearby riders and their locations. If the driver wants the job, they have to physically focus on the phone to accept the ride before the ping goes away after 10 to 15 seconds. This is enough time to take the driver’s eyes off the road long enough to cause a serious crash.

At McGee Lerer, we don’t take these cases lightly. These are large corporations with countless drivers, all looking to make some money. They’re not always focused on safety and when they’re not, they should be held accountable for any of the damages they cause.

When legal matters arise against these large corporations, you need someone on your side who’s not afraid to fight the good fight and stand up for your rights. This is what you’ll find at our firm; people dedicated your well-being and helping ensure you’re taken care of in the future.

Our Long Beach rideshare accident attorneys can explain your rights and options to you so you know what to expect every step of the way. Trust that we know how these matters are handled and can work with you to build a strong case on your behalf.

People injured in a car share accident have the right to seek compensation and justice. We offer free consultations so you can better understand what options you have. Call us today at (562) 270-0546 for yours.