Who is Responsible for a Rideshare Collision?
Uber and Lyft are some of the more common rideshare companies that we come across daily, especially here in Chicago. Whether you are an Uber or Lyft driver or passenger or find yourself sharing the road with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, as another driver, bicyclist or pedestrian, it is important to understand how their services can impact liability in an accident with them.
Uber and Lyft Have Insurance
Illinois requires all drivers to operate a vehicle with a valid policy of insurance. Illinois also mandates that all rideshare companies have insurance in the event of an accident with one of its drivers. Most rideshare companies have at least a $1 million dollar policy of insurance that covers injuries to riders and third parties involved in an accident. There may also be “excess insurance” available under certain circumstances involving very serious personal injury and wrongful death crashes.
Uber and Lyft also have other policies of insurance for scenarios such as when the driver is on the application but not transporting a passenger and when drivers are enroute to pick up a passenger.
If you are involved in an accident with Uber or Lyft or are a driver for one of these companies, it is important to hire an attorney who is familiar with these nuances as you could be entitled to more compensation.
Illinois Rules of the Road Apply
If you are in a car accident with an Uber or Lyft, the laws and regulations in place that impact liability are the Illinois Vehicle Code and all applicable local ordinances and regulations. Uber and Lyft are not granted statutory protections to shield them from liability. In fact, as of January 1, 2024, Uber and Lyft drivers are held to a heightened standard of care, the common carrier standard, when operating a motor vehicle. This is the same standard that taxicabs, limousines, and buses are subject to.
Under Illinois law, “a common carrier owes its passengers the highest duty of care consistent with the practical operation of its conveyances. It is not a guarantor of its passengers’ safety, but it has a duty to its passengers to use the highest degree of care consistent with the mode of conveyance used and the practical operation of its business as a common care by road. Its failure to fulfill this duty is negligence.” Sheffer v. Springfield Airport Authority, 261 Ill. App. 3d 151, 154 (4th Dist. 1994) and Illinois Jury Instruction 100.01.
This new classification of Uber and Lyft drivers makes it easier for those injured in a rideshare accident to receive compensation for their injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of a normal life and to hold the driver and company responsible for negligent and wrongful acts. Ultimately, the party’s action that violated the Illinois Vehicle Code, such as failing to yield the right of way, disregarding the traffic light or stop sign or discharging a passenger into a bike lane, will be held responsible for the injured party’s damages.
Keating Law Offices Has a History of Prosecuting Rideshare Cases
Keating Law is the premier personal injury law firm representing victims in rideshare accidents. The firm has extensive experience handling cases against rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft and has been a leader in cases filed against these companies and their drivers. The firm has filed more lawsuits against Uber in Cook County than any other law firm in Illinois.
The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Keating Law Offices at 312-239-6787 (Office). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. All messages and phone calls are returned promptly.