Who is Liable in a Rideshare Accident?
Kansas is a no-fault auto insurance state. Under the state's no-fault system, your own insurance carrier will pay for medical expenses and other accident-related financial losses when involved in a traffic crash, regardless of the responsible party. However, in a rideshare accident, the liable party may vary, depending on the surrounding circumstances.
If You Are a Passenger and the Driver Is At Fault
If you were injured while riding as a passenger in a rideshare accident and the driver is responsible, you will turn to the no-fault insurance – personal injury protection (PIP) – coverage of the driver of the car you were riding.
If You Are a Passenger and the Other Driver Is At Fault
However, since Kansas is a no-fault auto insurance state, if you were injured while riding as a passenger and the other driver is responsible, you will still turn to the no-fault coverage of the driver of the car you were riding.
Regardless, you may be able to opt out of the no-fault coverage and file a claim or lawsuit against the other driver if your injuries meet the state's statutory threshold. In order to opt out:
- You must have exceeded your PIP coverage for your medical expenses, and
- Your injuries must qualify as "serious."
Under Kansas law, a serious injury can be described as any injury that results in any of the following:
- Permanent injury
- Permanent disfigurement
- Fracture of weight-bearing bone
- Permanent loss of body function
- Compressed, compound, or displaced fracture of any bone
If Your Car is Hit by an Uber or Lyft Driver
If you are hit by an Uber or Lyft driver in Kansas, the following rules will apply regarding liability coverage:
Driver Is Not Logged In: If the Uber or Lyft driver isn't logged into the app, the driver will provide liability coverage of up to $25,000.
Driver Is Logged In: If the Uber or Lyft driver is logged into the app, the rideshare company will provide liability coverage of:
- $50,000 for bodily injuries per person.
- $100,000 for total bodily injuries per accident.
- $25,000 for property damages.
Driver Accepts a Ride: if the accident occurred after the Lyft or Uber driver accepted the ride request, the rideshare company will provide liability coverage of up to $1 million.
A skilled Kansas rideshare accident attorney can enlighten you about your available options to pursue damages and determine whether you can sue the rideshare company directly.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft Directly?
Additionally, you may be able to recover damages by suing the rideshare company directly – if your injuries meet the state's statutory threshold. However, filing a lawsuit against the company may be a very limited liability since the Lyft and Uber drivers are independent contractors.
To recover damages, you may need to establish vicarious liability or respondeat superior. This is a legal doctrine that places liability on an employer for the negligent actions or omission of their employees that occur within the course and scope of their employment.
Hence, you may be able to hold the rideshare company – Lyft or Uber – liable if they failed to properly train, hire, screen, or supervise their drivers. An experienced attorney can fight to protect your legal rights and enlighten you about what to do when involved in a rideshare accident.
What Should You Do?
If you're injured in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber driver, here's what to do where possible:
- Remain calm and get to safety.
- Get immediate medical attention for your injuries.
- Report the incident to the nearest police department.
- Gather relevant information such as the driver's name, phone number, address, and insurance information.
- Document the accident scene pictures and witness testimonies and statements.
- Get copies of all documentation, including the police report, medical expenses, medical treatments, medical reports, and doctor's appointments.
- Hire a reliable attorney to help file your personal injury claims and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance carrier involved.
A skilled Kansas auto accident attorney can review and investigate your case thoroughly and explore your possible legal options to recover fair financial compensation.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Being involved in a rideshare accident can be emotional and affect your physical, mental, and financial well-being. However, the complex rules and protocols surrounding who can be held responsible, who gets covered, and the amount of compensation that may be recovered can make everything more complicated. Therefore, it is crucial that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney for detailed guidance and to seek fair financial compensation for your injuries.
With more than 30 years of combined experience, the attorneys of Adams Cross, LLC have the diligence, resources, and expertise to assist and represent clients in their rideshare accident claims. Our comprehensive knowledge of the laws and rules addressing liability in rideshare accident cases can help guide you through the often-complicated claims procedures. Above all, we will advocate for your best interests and help you pursue your deserved financial justice.