Rideshare platforms have grown rapidly in recent years. Each month, tens of millions of Americans use services like Uber and Lyft to commute, explore new destinations, and get home after a night out. While most rideshare operators are responsible drivers who take safety seriously, they still make mistakes. When an Uber or a Lyft driver is inattentive, reckless, or otherwise negligent, they put everyone on the road at risk—including their own passengers.
If you were hurt in a Missouri rideshare accident, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation. However, it’s wise to obtain legal representation from a personal injury attorney to determine whether the rideshare driver or the company is at fault.
Missouri’s Biggest Rideshare Operators
While some Missourians depend on local taxi companies to get around, rideshare services have become increasingly popular. Missouri rideshare passengers primarily use two transportation options:
Uber alone has thousands of drivers in Missouri, catering to an estimated 200,000 riders.
While most Uber and Lyft rides conclude without incident, accidents still happen with alarming regularity.
Understanding Fault in Rideshare Claims
If you were hurt in an Uber accident, you may need to file a personal injury claim or an injury lawsuit to cover the costs of your injuries. However, before taking any legal action, you need to know who can be held liable for your accident.
Determining fault can be difficult in rideshare-related accidents because companies like Uber and Lyft do not view themselves as transportation companies. Instead, they see themselves as brokers who provide a platform—their smartphone applications—to connect registered drivers with prospective passengers.
Uber and Lyft drivers in most states, including Missouri, are not directly employed by the application. Rather, they operate as independent contractors.
Since Uber and Lyft drivers work as independent contractors, these companies cannot typically be held responsible for rideshare accidents and injuries.
If you want to bring a claim against Uber or Lyft, you have to demonstrate that:
- The company acted negligently
- The company’s negligence caused your accident
- The accident caused recoverable damages
While you could argue that Uber’s policies contributed to an accident, the court may not entertain your claim without substantial evidence. However, you can still recover damages after an Uber accident in Missouri.
Getting Compensation After a Missouri Uber Accident
Uber and Lyft might not always be liable for damages on paper, but you can still obtain compensation after a serious accident. You might be able to seek damages through:
The driver’s insurance company.
Every registered vehicle in Missouri must be insured. This includes rideshare drivers, who must have coverage that provides, at minimum, $50,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $100,000 for bodily injury or death per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Some rideshare drivers might also have liability policies that provide additional benefits.
Uber or Lyft’s accident fund.
Uber and Lyft provide third-party insurance to rideshare drivers. If you were hurt in an accident, you could receive up to or over $1 million in damages by filing a claim directly with the company.
While Uber and Lyft provide generous and mandatory third-party coverage, they do not always cover rideshare-related accidents:
- If the rideshare driver was not using Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident, you cannot file a claim through the company. However, you may be able to claim benefits through the driver’s insurance policy.
- If the rideshare driver was logged into Uber or Lyft but not actively engaged in a ride, you may be eligible to claim up to $50,000 in damages.
- If the rideshare driver was in the process of picking up, transporting, or dropping off a passenger, Lyft or Uber’s insurance will pay for injuries and losses up to $1,000,000.
Even if you are eligible to make a claim through Lyft or Uber, you should still consult a Missouri automobile accident attorney before negotiating or accepting a settlement. Since Uber and Lyft are for-profit companies, they and their insurers will do everything possible to delay or deny a pay-out. They might ask you to seek compensation through the rideshare driver’s policy, even if it does not cover Uber- and Lyft-related accidents. You always stand your best chance of making a successful legal recovery when you have an experienced rideshare accident attorney on your side.
Who Can Receive Compensation After a Missouri Uber Accident
You could receive compensation after a Missouri Uber or Lyft accident if you were:
- An Uber or a Lyft passenger
- A motorist who was struck by an Uber or a Lyft driver
- A pedestrian, cyclist, or other bystander injured in the crash
If you believe you could have a case against Uber or Lyft, you may be able to receive up to or over $1,000,000.
However, Missouri has a strict statute of limitations. If you wait too long to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations will prevent you from taking any legal action—even if you had an otherwise open-and-shut case.
Have You Been Injured In A Missouri Uber, Lyft or Rideshare Accident?
If you've been injured in a Missouri rideshare accident you should speak with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 314.200.1229 to schedule a free consultation. We help car accident victims throughout the state of Missouri including Columbia, Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis, Kirksville and Cape Girardeau.