With the rise of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, more and more people are relying on these platforms for convenient transportation. However, accidents involving rideshare vehicles can occur, and understanding who may be held liable is crucial when seeking compensation for injuries and damages. We’ll detail five ways an Uber or Lyft driver can facing liability issues following an accident. Recognizing these potential sources of liability can help accident victims pursue the appropriate legal recourse.
1. Negligent Driving
Negligent driving is one of the primary ways a Lyft or Uber driver can be held liable. If the driver fails to uphold their duty of care while operating the vehicle, such as by speeding, running red lights, following too closely, or engaging in distracted driving, they may be deemed negligent. Negligent driving behavior can directly contribute to an accident, and victims can hold the driver liable for their injuries and damages resulting from the negligence.
2. Failure to Follow Traffic Laws
Uber and Lyft drivers are expected to follow all traffic laws just like anyone else on the road. If an accident occurs because the driver violated traffic laws, such as by making an illegal turn, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or disregarding traffic signals, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. Proof of the driver's violation, such as witness statements, police reports, or traffic camera footage, is crucial in establishing their liability.
3. Fatigue or Drowsy Driving
To earn a living, many Uber and Lyft drivers will work long hours without too many breaks inbetween. Fatigue can impair a driver's ability to focus, react quickly, and make sound decisions, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. If an accident occurs due to a driver's exhaustion or falling asleep at the wheel, they can be held liable for their negligent behavior. Proving driver fatigue may require examining their work records, trip logs, or even obtaining statements from passengers who witnessed signs of fatigue during the ride.
4. Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance
Uber and Lyft drivers are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are properly maintained and safe for passengers. If an accident occurs due to a mechanical failure, such as faulty brakes, worn-out tires, or malfunctioning lights, the driver may be held liable for negligence in maintaining their vehicle. In such cases, the driver's failure to conduct regular inspections, perform necessary repairs, or address known issues can be a significant factor in establishing liability.
5. Inadequate Background Checks
Uber and Lyft have a responsibility to conduct thorough background checks on their drivers. If an accident occurs due to the driver's criminal behavior or history, such as a history of reckless driving or DUI convictions, the drivers themselves can be held liable. However, the ridesharing company may also be held liable for negligence in hiring and retaining a driver with a questionable record. Victims can argue that the company's failure to conduct adequate background checks directly contributed to the accident and resulting injuries.Determining liability in Uber or Lyft accidents can be complex, but there are several ways in which an Uber or Lyft driver can be held responsible. This includes negligent driving, failure to follow traffic laws, fatigue or drowsy driving, inadequate vehicle maintenance, and inadequate background checks. If you have been involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, it is essential to gather evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and any available documentation, to support your claim. Consulting with a knowledgeable Uber accident lawyer can also provide valuable guidance and ensure that you navigate the legal process effectively. A lawyer can result in the right party being held liable, which our friends at Council & Associates, LLC agree with!