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Is the driver or the company liable after a rideshare accident?

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are thousands of rideshare drivers currently working in Illinois. These individuals use their personal vehicles to provide on-demand transportation for others. That creates a source of revenue for the driver and a convenient source of transportation for locals and tourists alike.

People often expect rideshare travel to be convenient and safe. Still, rideshare vehicles can end up involved in collisions like any other motor vehicle might. If the other driver is at fault, they are liable for the crash. Sometimes, the rideshare vehicle operator is the one at fault for the crash, rather than the operator of the other vehicle. And sometimes, the employer of the rideshare driver is liable for any harm caused by a particular crash.

Timing determines liability

When someone is a full-time taxi driver, they might be an employee, which would make a claim for compensation relatively simple to pursue. Employers have vicarious liability for issues connected to the negligence of their employees. Unfortunately, rideshare collisions are not quite so simple. The drivers of rideshare vehicles are not employees but rather independent contractors. Therefore, the final determination about liability depends on whether or not the driver’s app was active at the time of the crash.

If a collision occurs during the ride itself while the rideshare app tracks the distance traveled and the duration of the trip, then the rideshare company will likely provide compensation. Both of the major rideshare app companies carry large commercial insurance policies that can reimburse passengers for injuries and property damage losses.

If the collision occurs before the driver officially picks up the rider or after they technically ended the ride, then the driver would be the one liable. Rideshare drivers typically need to carry special rideshare insurance coverage in addition to the standard liability coverage necessary for all Illinois motorists. That policy could cover passenger losses, as basic liability insurance may not properly compensate those who hired a rideshare vehicle.

It can be difficult for people to establish liability and pursue compensation after a rideshare crash. Learning more about the rules that apply to rideshare companies and their drivers may help those injured in a crash secure proper compensation.