How Is Liability Determined in a Ridesharing Accident?

One of the first items to deal with is determining who will pay for damages in a vehicle accident. In a typical situation, there is an assessment of liability, which an insurance adjuster determines. The insurance adjuster will assess the extent of the damage and decide who will shoulder the liability. This assessment of liability will be based on several factors, such as:

Who Was at Fault

The first question is often about who is at fault and whether any injuries were sustained. Other questions are also about the number of damages that will be paid. And whether any legal action will be pursued against the driver of the car or company that was at fault.

Where compensation is sought may be influenced by who is at blame. According to a journal by Harvard Law School, if an accident occurs where the driver is at fault, and the other passengers do not carry any liability. The insurance company does not have to compensate for any damages. Suppose the person who is at fault in the accident has a liability policy.

In that case, the claims adjuster must get the names and ages of all the passengers in the vehicle that was hit. This is to make the liability determination. If an accident occurs and no one can be determined to be at fault, it is the insurance company that will decide who is at fault and pay out the rest of the claim.

Was the Ride Share App Logged In?

This is based on:

If the driver wasn’t logged in or the ride-sharing app wasn’t turned on. If this was the case, the ridesharing business is not responsible for any accidents caused by the driver. Rideshare drivers will need to contact their car insurance provider. This is for liability coverage in these circumstances.

Suppose the rideshare driver was using the app and waiting for a passenger. The ridesharing provider assumes some responsibility after the driver starts to interact with the app. If the app is turned on but no trip requests have been received, the driver’s own car insurance provider may be notified first. If the driver’s insurance does not cover the collision, the ridesharing business may be able to help.

If a passenger was being picked up or transported by the rideshare driver. The ride-sharing company’s insurance coverage might cover the collision if the driver was on their way to pick up a passenger. Or was actively providing a passenger a ride.

If the driver is connected to their work app, any losses should be covered by their business insurance. Even if they are not formally working, the driver’s insurance will apply.

If there was a Third Party Involved

If the accident was caused by a third party, you might be able to recover damages from them via an insurance claim. Or a personal injury lawsuit. In a ridesharing accident, third parties may include:

  • Another vehicle operator
  • If the reason for the accident was vehicle malfunction, the maintenance business that last worked on the vehicle.
  • If the design of the at-fault vehicle was faulty and caused the accident, the car’s manufacturer may be held liable.
  • If the accident was caused because of dangerous road conditions, the municipality might be held liable.

It is prevalent for a victim or family member to consult with a Syracuse rideshare accident lawyer. They have experience dealing with insurance companies with a history of paying claims in this type of situation. It is also common for insurance agents to call on the insured. This is to determine the claim.

This is often a joint determination between the insurance company and the claims adjuster. The insurance agent will try to recoup as much of the loss as possible. While at the same time attempting to find an unbiased third party to decide who handles the damages or injuries.


Determining liability in an accident can be an exciting and complicated process. This is why it can be helpful for anyone who has to deal with the laws surrounding auto insurance coverage to contact an experienced lawyer who can help them understand their rights about the laws surrounding liability coverage. The best way to find an attorney specializing in determining liability in a traffic court is to get recommendations from your family members and friends. Then call the firm up and ask about their fees for handling these types of cases.

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