Rideshare Pick-up Zone SignRidesharing apps such as Uber have become hugely popular in metropolitan areas across the world. Unfortunately, this rise in popularity has resulted in an increase in ridesharing car accidents. If you use ridesharing apps, it is important to understand liability and your rights as a passenger in the case of a car accident.

On Duty vs Off Duty

If an Uber or other ridesharing driver was logged into the Uber app and accepted the ride request, Uber and its insurance company will be liable for any accidents caused by the driver’s negligence. If your Uber driver was not using the Uber app at the time of the crash, Uber will claim that it is not liable and that drivers who are not logged into the app are considered “off duty.” Of course, it is the law and the facts, and not Uber, that ultimately decide whether Uber will be liable for a given accident.

Negligent Driving

Like all motor vehicle accidents, ridesharing car accidents can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Ridesharing drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in a safe manner. Reckless and careless acts and omissions are a breach of a ridesharing driver’s duty of care. Uber drivers may be found liable, like any other driver, for negligence ranging from driving while intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted, to ordinary negligence such as speeding or failing to obey traffic signals.

Insurance Issues

Uber drivers are required to carry insurance on their vehicles, and should have a personal policy, in addition to the business insurance policy through Uber for when they are using the app. Both insurance policies may be applicable to a collision, so the precise circumstances of an accident are important in determining what insurance must pay for the damages. If another driver caused or contributed to the Uber accident, the victim may also be able to seek compensation through that driver’s insurance policy as well.

Personal Injury Protection and Insurance Coverage

As an injured passenger, you will have the right to get at least some of your medical bills paid by Uber’s insurance company, regardless of fault. Every driver in the state of Massachusetts must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which will cover certain medical bills not covered by private health insurance.

Passenger’s Rights

As a passenger of a ride sharing app, you have the right under Massachusetts law to seek compensation for injuries suffered due to a negligent driver. If you sustained serious injuries in an accident involving a ride sharing vehicle, you can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. SUGARMAN attorneys have decades of experience advocating for injured persons to ensure they recover maximum damages. If you or a loved one has suffered injury as the result of an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more, speak to one of our principals today by calling 617-542-1000 or email us at info@sugarman.com.