Individual and Class Action Lawsuits Against Lyft and Uber
The meteoric rise of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft has provided many benefits for society, including an additional option to public transportation or expensive taxi services, a safer alternative to driving while impaired, and a versatile means of earning full or part-time income for many people. But with rideshare apps comes an overall rise in vehicles on the roads as those who might formerly have used public transportation now prefer the convenience of ordering a rideshare transport from one location to another with just a couple of taps of a smartphone. The popularity of rideshares also means rideshare drivers crowd the roads while cruising around waiting for customers.
According to a study by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the rise of rideshares has led to a 3% increase in traffic accidents resulting in fatalities and a rise in the total number of yearly accidents. This as well as sexual assault cases involving Lyft and Uber drivers and questionable business policies have led to many individual accident claims as well as class action lawsuits against these rideshare companies.
Complexities in Accident Claims Against Rideshares
Although determining who is at fault in rideshare accidents works very much like any other car accident, the fact that rideshare accidents also involve an additional entity in the company itself throws a third party into the liability mix. However, unlike truck companies who remain liable for claims in any accident involving their employee drivers, Lyft and Uber function as a marketplace aimed at connecting customers with drivers who are not employees but individual operators working as contractors. This necessarily prevents the rideshare companies from being liable. Fortunately, these companies do offer some protection for accident victims by maintaining liability coverage for each driver with up to $1 million dollars in coverage. The policies work on a scale depending on the status of the driver at the time of the accident with the categories as follows:
- Up to $1 million in coverage for rideshare passengers or drivers and passengers in other involved vehicles if the driver was actively transporting rideshare passengers
- Up to $50,000 in coverage for individuals, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage compensation if the rideshare driver wasn’t carrying paying passengers but was actively seeking customers with their rideshare app active at the time of the accident
- Only the driver’s personal insurance policy is liable for claims if the driver wasn’t working as a rideshare at the time of the accident but operating the car for personal use with the app off.
Uber and Lyft drivers spend many hours on the roads not only transporting passengers but also seeking them, causing an overall increase in accidents, especially in metropolitan areas. In Florida, a qualified Uber accident lawyer can help determine if you have a claim or a valid rideshare accident case against Uber.
Class Action Lawsuits
Uber and Lyft rideshare services have also become the subject of class-action lawsuits, not regarding individual accidents, but instead focused on faults in their business practices. The majority of class action lawsuits against Lyft and Uber center around the financial harm their policies cause drivers, but some litigation also involves assault cases.
Class actions occur when large groups of individuals experience the same or very similar harm from a company or organization. Class action lawsuits against both Uber and Lyft center around the following financial wrongs and safety failings:
- Discrimination in the workplace
- Violations against the Americans with Disabilities Act by charging “wait fees” for disabled passengers who take longer to get to a waiting rideshare vehicle and to get into the car
- Misleading passengers about the extent and thoroughness of safety measures and driver background checks
- Mass tort litigation for dozens of sexual assault victims allegedly assaulted by Lyft drivers due to lack of proper screening
- A 2021 lawsuit by victims from multiple states alleging sexual assault by Uber drivers
Navigating legal issues around rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft is a complex challenge and constantly changing as more and more people come to rely on these fast-growing services for transportation. An experienced rideshare accident attorney can help determine if you have a claim or a valid Uber accident case or Lyft accident case.