Knoxville Lawyers Fighting for Victims of Crashes in Uber and Lyft Vehicles

Holding rideshare companies liable when their drivers crash their vehicles

New rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber offer passengers transportation at affordable prices without long wait times. Unfortunately, rideshare companies often don’t screen their drivers to see if they have a history of prior accidents or traffic tickets. Even the best drivers always run the risk of getting into an accident. The time is money adage also means that rideshare drivers are likely to speed so they can get more paying customers. Many rideshare drivers also text while they drive, use mobile applications, eat or play with their GPS systems. These driver distractions dramatically increase the chances of being in an accident. Both Uber and Lyft are available in Knoxville.

When car accidents happen, drivers should be held accountable for the deaths and injuries they cause. At Banks and Jones, our Knoxville rideshare lawyers don’t stop with the driver. We also demand that the companies that hire the drivers be found liable for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. Our lawyers are respected for getting clients full compensation for catastrophic, permanent, long-term, and short-term injuries.

Who’s liable if you get into a rideshare accident?

Tennessee has something called modified comparative fault, where if you’re found partially responsible for the crash, you can’t recover the full amount. This is why it can be difficult to get a fair settlement or jury award in a case involving a car crash. Still, if you’re a passenger in an Uber or a Lyft and there’s a crash, you’re clearly not to blame. Right?

Turns out, it’s more complicated than that. Rideshare companies are required to pay injury victims according to the higher rideshare policy limits (one million in coverage) provided their driver is found negligent. The rideshare company is not required to pay damages over their policy limits (typically the one million in coverage) unless they also were negligent. Acts of rideshare negligence by a company include:

  • Not running background checks on their drivers
  • Not responding to complaints of negligence
  • Not investigating complaints of drunk driving or other traffic violations

Passengers who are injured while using a rideshare may be able to use their own underinsured/uninsured policy if the policy limits of the driver and rideshare company aren’t enough to pay for your pain, medical bills, and lost wages.

How is insurance handled in rideshare cases?

Tennessee now has a financial responsibility law that regulates the type of insurance rideshare drivers and rideshare companies are required to have. The Tennessee law refers to rideshare companies as transportation network companies.

The driver and rideshare company itself must have one million dollars, $1,000,000, primary liability coverage for death, bodily injury and property damage.  This coverage applies to any passenger injured or killed while using an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare service.

Primary insurance means that if you are in a car wreck, the primary insurance company pays for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and property before any other insurance company.

Rideshare drivers who are part of a transportation network (formally work for Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company), but who don’t have a customer in their vehicle, are also required to have primary insurance that meets the following requirements:

  • Primary liability insurance must be at least $50,000 – for death or bodily injury – for each victim
  • The total liability insurance for multiple victims – for death and bodily injury – must be at least $100,000
  • Property damage coverage must be at least $25,000

If the driver doesn’t have the above insurance, then the rideshare company must provide similar insurance.

These limits are almost double what most Tennessee drivers must have. The limits can be claimed if someone, other than a rideshare passenger, is injured due to the driver’s negligence.

Taxis, limousines, carpool services, or other for-hire services are regulated by different Tennessee laws.

Speak with a respected Knoxville attorney if you were hurt using Uber or Lyft

Coverage and liability questions are extremely complicated. At Banks and Jones, our Knoxville rideshare attorneys understand how to prove fault. We know which insurance policy should pay you once fault is established. We Fight 2 demand that these drivers and the companies who profit from rideshare drivers pay the full extent of the damages owed. For immediate help, please call us at 865-546-2141 or contact us now.