What Type Of Lawyer Handles Rideshare Accident Lawsuits?

by | Feb 3, 2024

Services like Uber and Lyft have made it possible to hail a ride with just a few taps on a smartphone, offering an alternative to traditional taxi services and public transportation. However, as ridesharing becomes more ingrained in our daily routines, it’s essential to turn our attention to a less discussed but increasingly significant issue: rideshare accidents. This article aims to shed light on the complexities surrounding these type of accidents. Whether you’re a rideshare user, driver, or perhaps someone that has been involved in a rideshare crash, this discussion is relevant, as it delves into the legal and safety nuances of a service that’s become an important part of our lives.

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What Does “Ridesharing” Actually Mean?

“Ridesharing” refers to the sharing of a personal vehicle that is taking passengers to a similar destination, thereby offering a unique blend of convenience and cost-efficiency. Thanks to technology giants like Uber and Lyft, in recent years ridesharing has skyrocketed in popularity, fundamentally altering how we think about transportation. It’s not just about hailing a cab anymore; it’s about an app connecting drivers with passengers, using personal vehicles for public transport needs.

Whether you’re a passenger, driver, or just curious, understanding “ridesharing” means recognizing it as a double-edged sword: it offers convenience but also introduces new complexities, especially when things go wrong.

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Who Are The Main Companies That Offer Ridesharing As a Service?

Uber and Lyft are the two primary US-based companies that facilitiate ridesharing on a large scale. Both Uber and Lyft share the vision of reducing the reliance on personal car ownership and transforming the urban transportation landscape. Their rapid growth can be attributed to their user-friendly platforms, flexible work opportunities for drivers, and commitment to innovation. However, their journey hasn’t been without challenges, including legal battles over driver classification, regulatory hurdles, and concerns over safety and privacy.

Uber: Launched in 2009, Uber rapidly grew from a luxury car service in San Francisco to a globally-dominant player in this space. Founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were initially inspired to solve a common problem: finding a ride at the tap of a button. Uber’s model, which leverages technology to connect drivers with riders through a smartphone app, revolutionized the taxi and transportation industry. The company went public in May 2019 and continues to expand its offerings, including food delivery (Uber Eats) and freight services (Uber Freight).

Lyft: Founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer, Lyft started as Zimride, a long-distance ridesharing company that focused on college campuses. The duo saw an opportunity to improve local transportation options, leading to the creation of Lyft. Known for its friendly and community-driven approach, Lyft quickly became Uber’s main competitor in the U.S. ridesharing market. The company went public in March 2019 and has also ventured into bike-sharing and scooter services, further diversifying its transportation offerings.

Uber and Lyft are at the heart of the ridesharing revolution, providing convenient and flexible transportation options for millions of Americans. Their backgrounds tell a story of innovation, challenge, and relentless pursuit of transforming how we move through our cities. As ridesharing continues to evolve, these companies will likely remain at the forefront, driving changes and facing new challenges in the transportation ecosystem.

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What Ridesharing Company Has The Most Car Crashes?

Based on available data as of 2023, 25% of the United States’ population uses Uber at least once per month and it’s user base is significantly larger than that of competitor, Lyft. Using the most-currently-available-data (2020), Uber’s sales report advised that over 100 people were fatally injured in Uber accidents where speed was the largest contributing factor to these collisions, followed by driving under the influence. It’s also important to note that a small percentage of accidents were caused by passenger behavior. More than 90% of all Uber accidents also occur in urban areas.

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Is It Common To Have a Ridesharing Crash?

Since its introduction into the American marketplace, ridesharing has continued to occupy an increasingly larger space. These services register millions of trips daily, which, by sheer volume, increases the potential for ridesharing vehicles to be involved in the number of collisions that take place on a given day in a given city. However, to call these incidents ‘common’ might be a misrepresentation.

While there is an inherent risk of accidents whenever a vehicle is in motion, ridesharing companies assert that their services are as safe—if not safer—than traditional taxis or personal driving. Using Uber’s published 2019-2020 safety report as a guide, 99.9% of all Uber trips ended without any recorded safety incident.

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What Make and Model Are The Safest Ridesharing Vehicles To Travel In?

Currently, there is no official data that determines the safest ridesharing vehicle(s) however, based on observable data, the Toyota Prius is the most popular vehicle operated by Uber and Lyft drivers (information current as of 2018). More than 22% of all Uber and Lyft drivers have stated that they drive a vehicle manufactured by Toyota. Toyota regularly features in NHTSA safety reports as making vehicles that are 5 star safety rated. Below is a list from the NHTSA’s 2024 5-star rated safety vehicles:

Make Model
Buick Envision
Cadillac Lyriq
Chevrolet Blazer EV
Chevrolet Equinox EV
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Chevrolet Silverado 2500
Chevrolet Traverse
Chevrolet Trax
Chrysler Pacifica
Ford Bronco (two door)
Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford Ranger (Super Crew)
Genesis G80
Genesis GV60
Honda HR-V
Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Santa Cruz
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Tucson
Jeep Compass
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep Wrangler (four door)
Kia Carnival
Kia Seltos
Kia Sportage
Mazda CX-50
Mazda CX-90 MHEV
Mazda CX-90 PHEV
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan Sentra
Subaru Crosstrek
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Grand Highlander
Toyota Tacoma
Toyota Tundra

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Who is The Most Expensive Ridesharing Service?

Both Uber and Lyft offer a range of services from budget-friendly carpool options to luxury rides. Generally, their standard services are competitively priced, often mirroring each other. Uber’s premium service, Uber Black, provides high-end vehicles driven by professional drivers and tends to come with a higher price tag. to qualify for this service, drivers must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Professionalism: Uber Black drivers are expected to maintain a high level of professional behavior, providing top-notch service to their passengers.
  • Vehicle Standards: The car must be a higher-end luxury sedan or SUV that comfortably seats at least four passengers. The specific make and model requirements can vary by city however, they generally include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Tesla.
  • Vehicle Age: Generally, the vehicle must be relatively new, usually 5 years old or newer, to qualify for Uber Black.
  • Insurance: As with all Uber services, the driver must have commercial car insurance that meets or exceeds local regulatory requirements.
  • Inspection: The vehicle must pass an Uber-approved inspection to ensure it meets the high standards for luxury and safety that passengers expect from an Uber Black experience.
  • strong>Ratings: Uber drivers must maintina a 4.85 average rating or above based on a driver’s most-recent 500 trips.

From a rider’s perspective, the benefits of Uber Black include:

  • Quality Assurance: Expect a high-quality, well-maintained, and clean vehicle for your journey.
  • Professional Interaction: Drivers are experienced and professionally licensed, offering a discreet and top-tier service akin to a private chauffeur.
  • Comfort and Style: The vehicles are not only luxurious but also offer more space and comfort, making them ideal for business trips, special occasions, or when you want to ride with a touch of elegance.

Lyft’s equivalent, Lyft Lux, also offers a plush experience at a premium. These services are tailored for those who don’t mind paying extra for a touch of luxury, a more spacious ride, or a higher level of service.

For Lyft Lux drivers, mandatory standards include:

    • Vehicle Requirements: Typically luxury sedans or SUVs that can seat up to four passengers. Models from manufacturers like BMW, Lexus, and Cadillac, are usually eligible for Lyft Lux services.
    • Vehicle Age: Newness matters here. Generally, Lyft Lux cars must be a recent model—the requirement can be as recent as a 2017 model or newer. As each year passes, this base year increases accordingly. This list includes:
Make Model
Acura MDX, RLX (incl. hybrid)
Bentley Bentayga, Continental, Continental Flying Spur, Mulsanne
BMW 5 series, 7 series, X4, X5, X6, X7 (incl. hybrid)
Cadillac CT6, CT6 Plug-In, CTS, CTS-V, CTS-V Wagon, Escalade, Escalade ESV, Lyriq
Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe (incl. hybrid)
Ford Expedition (incl. EL and MAX variants)
Genesis G90
GMC Suburban, Yukon (Denali, Yukon and Hybrid variants)
Infiniti QX60, QX80
Jaguar XF, XJ
Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Land Rover Range Rover (Base, Sport and Velar variants)
Lexus ES, GS, GX, LS, LX, RX models
Lincoln Continental, MKC, MKS, MKZ, Navigator, Aviator (incl. hybrid), Corsair
Lucid Air
Maserati Ghibli, Levante, Quattroporte
Mazda Levante
Mercedes-Benz CLS, E-class, G-class, GLE, M-class, Maybach, S-class (incl. hybrid)
Porsche Cayenne, Macan, Panamera (incl. hybrid)
Rivian R1S
Rolls Royce Ghost, Phantom
Tesla Model S, Model X, Model Y
Toyota Landcruiser
Volvo S90, V90, XC90

  • Vehicle Condition: Lyft Lux vehicles should be in excellent working condition with a clean, high-quality interior.
  • Insurance and Permits: Drivers must comply with all local regulatory requirements for insurance and permits, often at a level that meets or exceeds standard Lyft services.
  • Driver Standards: Lyft Lux drivers are expected to maintain a high rating (minimum of 4.85 out of 5 rating), indicative of their experience and commitment to providing exceptional service.

Lyft Lux customers can expect:

  • A Premium Experience: This isn’t just a trip from A to B; it’s a journey wrapped in luxury.
  • Professionalism: Expect your driver to know the ropes, be courteous, and offer service with a touch of class.
  • Comfort: With high-end interiors and extra legroom, these rides are set up for relaxation or to impress your clients or date.

In reference to pricing, the “most expensive” label can shift depending on several factors:

  • Surge Pricing: Both Uber and Lyft implement dynamic pricing models, meaning the costs increase during high-demand periods. One service may be more expensive than the other at different times or locations.
  • Geographic Location: Prices vary by city and region, with certain metropolitan areas naturally seeing higher rates due to regulatory fees or operational costs.
  • Service Options: Beyond the standard and luxury options, there are services like UberSUV or Lyft XL, which cater to larger groups and also carry higher fares.

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Who Can Be Held Liable in a Ridesharing Accident When a Passenger is Injured?

In ridesharing accidents where a passenger is injured, liability can extend to various parties. Primarily, the rideshare driver may be held liable if their negligence led to the accident. The driver’s insurance is the first line of coverage, however both Uber and Lyft provide additional insurance that can cover damages and injuries when the driver’s policy does not suffice. If there were issues with how the driver was vetted or monitored, the rideshare company itself may also face liability.

Additionally, other drivers involved in the crash or entities responsible for vehicle or road maintenance may also be accountable. Determining liability requires a detailed examination of the accident circumstances, driver status, and the legal framework governing rideshare operations in the specific state. A reputable lawyer from the Injury Law Support network of Cincinnati car accident lawyers can help to review the details of your specific ridesharing crash and provide an accurate assessment of the legal options that may be available to you.

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Who Pays My Bills While I Recover From A Rideshare Crash Injury?

Recovering from a rideshare crash injury involves navigating insurance policies, especially when the driver is at fault. These policies can cover medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, ongoing rehabilitation costs and potential long-term care for severe injuries. As these costs can quickly accumulate, seeking appropriate legal guidance to ensure all expenses are addressed during the recovery process.

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Can I Sue For Compensation If A Rideshare Driver Is Involved in a Car Accident?

Yes. Rideshare accident victims can sue for financial compensation – whether you’re a passenger, another driver, or a pedestrian affected by the incident. Liability depends on the driver’s status with the rideshare company at the accident time and the specific circumstances. Engaging a personal injury attorney who specializes in rideshare cases can provide guidance on navigating the complexities of such claims, including dealing with insurance coverages from both the driver and the rideshare company.

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Can Uber or Lyft Drivers File a Lawsuit if They are Injured in a Crash While On The Job?

Yes. Uber or Lyft drivers injured in a crash while on the job can file a lawsuit for their injuries. These cases can be complex due to the independent contractor status of drivers and the specific circumstances of the accident. It also needs to be determined if it would be a workers compensation claim or a car accident claim. This varies depending on state laws and the employment status of the individual involved.

Uber typically categorizes its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, a status that often disqualifies them from accessing workers’ compensation benefits. Nevertheless, Uber offers its own insurance for drivers actively using the app or engaged in trips, providing a potential route for compensation after an accident. Injured drivers are encouraged to explore this insurance option for possible compensation, rather than relying on workers’ compensation or filing personal injury lawsuits.

Drivers may also need to navigate through personal insurance, rideshare company policies, and possibly third-party insurance. Legal representation is often recommended to help drivers understand their rights and pursue appropriate compensation for their injuries, lost wages, and other related damages.

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How Much Financial Compensation Can I Expect From a Ridesharing Accident Lawsuit?

Recovering compensation from an Uber or Lyft car accident involves various factors, such as the driver’s status during the accident (active ride or awaiting a passenger), the extent of your injuries, documentation of the incident, and the applicable insurance policies. The severity of injuries, loss of wages, and the impact on your daily life are critical in determining the compensation amount. Consulting with a legal professional experienced in ridesharing cases is crucial for navigating these complex scenarios effectively.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Rideshare Accident Lawyer?

When meeting with a rideshare accident lawyer, you may like to consider asking the following questions:

  • How much experience does the lawyer have handling rideshare accident cases?
  • Are there any specific legal strategies they recommend?
  • How they will communicate with you throughout the case?
  • What costs – if any – might you incur during the handling of the case?
  • How is compensation calculated based on your injuries and losses?
  • If you have a case, what is it worth?
  • What information does the law firm need from you?
  • Does the firm gather all the necessary information on your behalf?
  • Will industry experts be needed to further validate the case?
  • What is the potential timeline and outcome of your case?

Asking these questions can help you understand the process and set realistic expectations for your lawsuit.

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How Long Do I Have To File A Rideshare Accident Lawsuit and Is There a Time Limit?

The time limit to file a rideshare accident lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state in the U.S. Just because the accident occurred in a rideshare vehicle, this does not exclude or make it exempt from existing auto accident/personal injury laws. Typically, the filing deadlines range from 1 to 4 years for personal injury claims, starting from the date of the accident. There can also be instances where this date can be extended. Learn more about this topic here – statute of limitations.

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Can I File a Rideshare Accident Lawsuit By Myself or Do I Require a Licensed Attorney?

Technically, you can file a rideshare accident lawsuit by yourself, as individuals have the right to represent themselves in court, a process known as “pro se” litigation. However, rideshare accident cases often involve complex legal and insurance issues, making it advisable to hire a licensed auto accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can navigate these complexities, negotiate with insurance companies, and maximize your compensation. Given the stakes, seeking professional legal assistance is generally in your best interest to ensure your rights are fully protected.

If you need some help finding a reputable accident lawyer, at Injury Law Support we offer a free service that connects accident victims with local attorneys that have been vetted by our internal teams. There is no fee or obligation for this service. Simply fill out and send the “Free Case Review” form on this page and your question will be securely sent to a local lawyer who will reach out and contact you to learn more about your incident. That initial consultation is free and there is no obligation to proceed with a lawsuit.

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