Rideshare accidents and liability in Virginia

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Rideshare services have become a major part of many people’s daily lives, offering convenient transportation at their fingertips. However, rideshare drivers are as vulnerable to accidents as any other.

In a wreck, the person responsible for the wreck usually bears full liability. Virginia also has a policy where if the plaintiff bears even the slightest responsibility, he or she is unable to recover any damages. However, when it comes to rideshare accidents, liability can be a little complex.

The rideshare driver’s responsibility

Rideshare drivers are independent contractors, so there are times when they are personally liable for a wreck, meaning their personal auto insurance will cover it. This is the case when they are on their personal time, not logged into the rideshare app and not awaiting a ride request. When drivers are in the process of waiting for a ride request, personal insurers may still cover any incidents, but if they do not, rideshare companies carry contingency insurance for what they do not pay. The companies’ full liability insurance comes into play when the drivers have a passenger or are in the process of picking one up.

The other driver’s responsibility

Other drivers may be partially or fully responsible for car wrecks involving rideshare drivers. When a collision or other accident happens because of another driver, he or she bears liability and not the rideshare company or driver. This other driver’s insurance would cover damages and any claims filed would need to be against him or her.

According to a study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Access Collection, the inclusion of ridesharing into society led to a rise in motor vehicle accident-related injuries. Passengers injured in a rideshare accident may be able to obtain compensation for any injuries or losses they sustain as a result of the incident. However, who is responsible for any damages depends on who is responsible for the wreck and the working status of the rideshare driver at the time.