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How Does the Concept of Negligence Apply to a Rideshare Accident?

Published on Aug 26, 2019 at 9:16 am in Rideshare Accidents.

When you order an Uber or Lyft, you expect to get to your destination safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, not all rides end as they should. If you were in a rideshare accident, you can hire a lawyer to help you seek compensation for your losses related to the accident. Proving fault with a rideshare crash can be challenging, but your attorney can investigate your situation. In some cases, they may be able to apply the concept of negligence to the event.

What is Negligence?

Negligence refers to the legal cause of damage. If a person fails to use reasonable care, does something that a reasonably prudent person would not do, or departs from what a reasonable member of a community would do in that same community and someone is injured as a result, their actions or inactions can be classified as negligent.

There are multiple elements needed to prove negligence. First, it has to be shown that a duty existed. With a rideshare accident, the driver owes a duty to the passenger to abide by traffic laws and arrive at the destination without putting the person in harm’s way. Then there has to be a breach of duty. If an Uber or Lyft driver flies through stop signs or disregards the speed limit, they breached their duty. The third element is causation. This part involves proving the driver’s actions caused the victim’s injuries. Finally, the last element is damages. Your lawyer will need to show that you suffered economic or noneconomic losses as a result of the accident the rideshare driver caused.

Driver Negligence and Rideshare Accidents

No matter which rideshare company a driver is working for, there are certain responsibilities they’re supposed to meet. Common duties include picking up the right passengers, transporting clients safely, abiding by traffic laws, arriving at destinations as expected, and keeping their vehicle in good condition. When any of those responsibilities are breached, negligence could be attributed to the cause of a rideshare accident. Common types of driver negligence include:

  • Distracted Driving. Rideshare drivers are constantly at risk for distractions. For example, they may be unfamiliar with the area and need to rely on their GPS system to get the passenger where they’re going.
  • Fatigued Driving. It’s not uncommon for an Uber or Lyft driver to pick up passengers in the middle of the night. While some people are used to staying up late, there are accidents caused by fatigue. This is because driving while tired is similar to driving under the influence because of how the body reacts.
  • Failing to Maintain Vehicle. Rideshare drivers are required to maintain the vehicle they use to transport people. This means they need to regularly check their fluids, ensure their tires have air, keep their windows clean, and fix any problems that arise. A poorly maintained vehicle can quickly cause an accident.
  • Ignoring Traffic Laws. Irresponsible drivers have a habit of ignoring traffic laws. Whether they’re disregarding traffic lights or merging improperly, they’re putting others at risk.
  • Reckless Driving. The more passengers a rideshare driver can pick up, the more money they can make. Because of this, drivers may choose to speed or commit other reckless driving accidents that can cause wrecks.

How Negligence Could Impact Your Compensation

Depending on where you live, the award you receive from your car accident claim could be diminished because of negligence. Different states have different negligence rules. The majority of states follow comparative negligence. This means that if the person filing the claim is found to be at fault for a portion of the accident, the percentage of compensation they receive will be impacted. A handful of states use contributory negligence. If a person is found partially liable, they will not be able to recover any amount of compensation.

Most states also have laws around failing to mitigate damages. This means that after an accident the victim is expected to take reasonable steps to minimize the financial impact of the harm caused by the crash. If, for example, an injured person decides to forgo medical treatment and their injuries get worse, their compensation can be impacted.

If you’ve been injured in a Lyft or Uber accident that you believe was caused by your driver, it’s important to get in touch with a lawyer. Going up against a rideshare company can be challenging. If the driver is underinsured, your lawyer will need to fight to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. The attorneys from Rideshare Law Group will build a strong case that proves the driver’s negligence resulted in your injuries. To learn more about the benefits of seeking legal representation for a rideshare crash, schedule a free consultation with us today.