Uber / Lyft Lawsuits – Will Ride-Sharing Companies Be Held Accountable?

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Overview of the Uber/Lyft Lawsuits

Uber /Lyft lawsuits are being filed now.

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Have you been in an accident that involved an Uber / Lyft ride or another ride-sharing company and subsequently suffered injuries?

If this is the case, we are here to help you understand if you have a legal right to make a claim and file a ride-sharing accident lawsuit.

This industry is still relatively new — and insurance companies are just starting to adjust their policies to include certain agreements and coverage for ride-sharing accidents.

This is why it’s important to talk with one of our experienced car accident lawyers to understand the best course of action for you to take.

Table of Contents

What Happens If Your Uber / Lyft Gets In An Accident?

The answer to this question will come down to the circumstances of the accident.

Uber and Lyft drivers are technically independent contractors — not employees of the company, but in certain circumstances, the company will take responsibility.


If the driver accepted a ride request from the app and the accident occurred before that ride request was complete — then the ride-sharing company’s insurance will assume liability.

You will be able to file a ride-sharing accident lawsuit claim if:

  • You were a passenger during an Uber/Lyft ride
  • You were a driver or passenger hit by an Uber/Lyft
  • You were a pedestrian hit by an Uber/Lyft
  • You were a motorcyclist or bicyclist injured by an Uber/Lyft

Things To Remember To Do Right After You’ve Been In An Uber/Lyft Accident:

  • Call 911 and take pictures of the scene of the accident
  • Write down the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of any witnesses at the scene
  • Write down the name of the driver if you don’t have it already saved in your phone
  • Take a screenshot of your ride and your receipt

Is Uber’s Liable For Accidents?

Uber carries a $1 Million liability insurance policy through James River Insurance, but there are stipulations to being covered by it:

  • If the driver is using his or her vehicle for personal reasons and is not logged into the app and are essentially “off the clock” during the time of the accident — then he/she is only covered by their personal auto insurance.
  • If the ride-share driver is logged into the app, but not transporting a passenger, the accident is first covered by his/her insurance and then covered by Uber for an additional $50,000 per injury up to $100,000 and up to $25,000 in property damage.
  • If the driver has a passenger in the car during the time of the accident — then this will be covered Uber’s $1 Million liability policy.

Is Lyft Liable For Accidents?

Lyft has the same $1 Million insurance policy for ride-sharing accidents.

Their drivers are required to carry their own insurance, but chances are the driver will not be able to pay all of the medical bills, which is why the company offers this policy to cover the rest.

Lyft (like Uber) will also cover the costs when a driver is logged into the app and transporting a passenger at the time of the accident.

California and Washington have ruled that the ride-sharing companies’ policy will cover the accident — even if the driver did not have a passenger in the car.

What Are Common Types Of Car Accident Injuries?

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Brain injuries
  • Spine Injuries
  • Internal Injuries
  • Death

What Can A Ride-Sharing Lawsuit Settlement Cover?

  • Medical expenses
  • Hospital and emergency room bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages from an inability to work due to injury
  • Wrongful death
  • Pain and suffering

Uber/Lyft Car Accident Lawyer

Injured woman after Uber accident

If you’ve been injured during an accident that involved an Uber or Lyft car you may be entitled to file a civil lawsuit against the ride-sharing companies or the driver’s insurance company to cover your medical expenses, lost wages or pain and suffering.

Fill out TruLaw’s case evaluation to see if you have a case now.

Have There Been Uber Accident Lawsuits?

Yes there have been Uber accident lawsuits.

Here are two (2) Uber accident lawsuits from 2015 worth noting:

December 2015 – Pablo Sanchez Jr.

Pablo Sanchez Jr. requested an Uber to transport him and a few friends through downtown Miami.

The ride was early in the morning.

The Uber driver turned his SUV into oncoming traffic during this ride causing the car to flip and catch fire.

Sanchez was trapped in the car and died.  He was 20 years old.

In January 2016, his mother filed a lawsuit against Uber and the driver.

Sanchez’s family attorney argues that the company needs to implement safeguards to ensure their drivers are not too tired to drive safely.

Many drivers go on duty late night or early in the morning after working at other jobs.

December 2015 – Jean Day

Jean Day suffered serious brain damage after her Uber driver crashed into another vehicle while turning into traffic.

The driver failed to yield to oncoming traffic and was issued a citation.

Jean Day’s husband suffered from a broken leg and Jean sustained brain injuries that resulted in several surgeries.

The Uber accident lawsuit alleges that this Uber driver lacked sufficient qualifications for the job and had not undergone adequate training.

Uber Accident Lawsuit Settlement

In 2013, Sofia Liu was struck and killed by an Uber driver in San Franciso.  She was six years old.

The family alleged that since the driver, Syed Muzzafar, was logged into the Uber X app at the time that Sofia crossed the street with her mom and brother the company was liable for the tragic accident.

After the accident, and after widespread criticism over how Uber responded to Sofia’s death, the company changed its policy to also cover drivers who had the app activated but had not yet accepted a ride.

In 2015, Uber continued to argue in court that it was not liable for Sofia’s death, despite the aforementioned policy change.

There was an eventual resolution in August 2016, but the family decided to keep the terms of the Uber settlement private.

Uber Sexual Assault Class Action Lawsuit

Outside of the accident lawsuits — Uber and Lyft have been facing serious sexual assault allegations and the women who have been assaulted are doing everything they can to make sure their voices are heard and that they are awarded their day in court.

The first Uber sexual assault lawsuits were filed on November 14, 2017, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

There are currently nine plaintiffs included in the class action lawsuit which alleges that the company is operating a system in which sexual offenders are given access to thousands of women every day to sexually assault, harass, rape, or kidnap.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Jeanne Christensen, commented on this reality and said:

“Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired.”

The class-action lawsuit is going to include individuals who have alleged or reported the following by Uber drivers in the past four years:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Gender-motivated violence
  • Harassment

How Often Is Ride Share Sexual Assault Happening?

Currently, there is no public data on the number of Uber and Lyft sexual assaults that have happened.

CNN, however, performed an in-depth investigation in order to try and paint a picture of this terrible problem.

The journalists looked at police reports and federal court records for 20 major cities and were able to uncover the serious problem and growing number of ride-sharing sexual assaults.

Uber has not disclosed any information they may have on the actual numbers.

Their reporting found that in the past four years, 103 Uber drivers in the United States have been accused of sexual assault and/or abuse and at least 31 drivers have been convicted of crimes such as forcibly touching, false imprisonment, and even rape.

Has Uber Or Lyft Taken Measures To Keep Their Rider’s Safe?

A spokesperson for Uber said that moving forward they will be rerunning background checks on an annual basis.

Previously, they didn’t have a uniform policy for rerunning criminal background checks.

They are also going to implement what they are calling a “safety center” within the app which will have a button allowing riders to call 911 and let the police know their location in an emergency.

They will also well as being able to share details of their ride with important contacts.

They claim that these steps are just the start.

Lyft is dealing with sexual assaults cases of their own.

CNN’s reporting found at least 18 cases in the past four years and four of their drivers have been convicted.

They claim safety is their first priority and their goal is to make every ride, safe, comfortable, and reliable.

Driver’s Background Checks

To run potential driver’s background checks, Uber and Lyft both utilize Checkr — a San Franciso based company that runs more than one million background checks per month for more than 10,000 customers.

Their system works by screening potential drivers’ records that are within the past seven years.

These people cannot have a felony, violent crime, sexual offenses, or a registration on the National Sex Offender website.

These companies are being criticized for not using a screening process that would require fingerprints to be taken that are then run through the FBI’s database because it would take too long to hire new drivers.

Will Uber continue to put profits before rider’s safety?

The Uber sexual assault class action lawsuit will hopefully push these ride-sharing companies to make drastic changes to the way it screens and monitors drivers — especially after these allegations have come to light.

Can I File An Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

If you, or a loved one, experienced an assault at the hands of a ride-sharing driver, answer the questions on our Uber assault lawsuit evaluation to see if you instantly qualify.

We are here to answer any additional questions you may have.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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