Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber have transformed how we think about transportation. However, with the rise in their usage comes an increase in accidents involving these services. One of the primary challenges in these accidents is determining whether to sue the rideshare driver directly or the company they drive for.

These drivers are typically independent contractors, not employees, which complicates liability issues. Rideshare companies often structure their operations this way to limit their liability, making it more challenging to hold them accountable when their drivers are involved in accidents. Contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to request a free legal consutlation with a personal injury attorney.

Who Exactly Are You Suing?

The specifics of your accident will largely determine the party against whom a lawsuit may be filed. Here is what to consider:

  • Driver Not on Duty: If the rideshare driver was not logged into the app, you would likely sue the driver personally.
  • Driver on Duty without Passengers: If the driver was logged in but between rides, the company’s insurance might cover the incident, albeit typically to a lesser extent than if a passenger was in the vehicle. Here, both the driver and the rideshare company might be viable defendants.
  • Driver Transporting a Passenger: Once a passenger is in the vehicle, the rideshare company’s commercial insurance is more clearly in play, potentially allowing you to sue the company directly for damages, whether you are a passenger or another driver involved in the accident.

How to File a Lawsuit Against a Rideshare Service

Filing a lawsuit against a rideshare company involves several critical steps:

  1. Filing a Complaint: This is the initial document that sets forth the basis of your lawsuit.
  2. Serving the Complaint: Legally delivering the complaint to the defendant.
  3. Awaiting a Response: The defendant has a set period to respond to your complaint.
  4. Discovery Phase: Both parties investigate the facts of the case through the exchange of documents, depositions, and other discovery tools.
  5. Negotiation/Settlement or Trial: Depending on the defendant’s response, the case may settle out of court or go to trial.

It is essential to understand that these cases can become complex, especially when defendants push back. Representing yourself against a company like Lyft or Uber means going against a well-funded opponent familiar with handling such disputes.

The Future of Rideshare Lawsuits

Legal actions like the May 2020 lawsuit filed by California’s Attorney General against Uber and Lyft for misclassifying drivers as contractors show a potential shift in how these companies might be held accountable in the future. The outcome of such lawsuits could redefine the legal landscape for filing claims against rideshare companies, possibly making it easier to sue them directly for accidents.

If You Need an Attorney Who Will Fight for You

Dealing with a rideshare accident on your own can be daunting, particularly when facing large corporations and their insurance companies. At Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, we have decades of experience in auto accident law, including cases involving major rideshare companies. We work on a contingency basis—meaning we only get paid if we win your case.

If you have been involved in a rideshare accident and need guidance on how to proceed, contact our team today at 909-982-0707 for a free case assessment. We are here to ensure you receive fair treatment and the compensation you deserve.