Can I Sue for a Ridesharing Accident in California?

ridesharing accident accidents california ca

Ridesharing is so popular that approximately one-quarter of Americans use ridesharing at least once a month. When one is talking about ridesharing in the United States, one is basically talking about Uber and Lyft, which control 99 percent of the market. But this growth comes with legal complexities. Who is responsible if someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a rideshare? The drivers are not employees, so can you hold the ridesharing companies responsible? If you were injured in a ridesharing accident in California that was not your fault, you deserve to be compensated, whether you were a ridesharing passenger, ridesharing driver or the driver or a passenger in the other vehicle. Please read on, then contact one of our experienced Santa Clara County Uber/Lyft accident attorneys to learn more.

Do I qualify for compensation after a ridesharing accident in California?

Following the introduction of ridesharing in California, the state demanded these companies provide better and safer regulations, including the issue of insurance coverage for injury victims. In addition to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, one million dollars ($1,000,000) of third-party liability is available to victims if their injuries were caused by the careless driving of a ridesharing driver who was actively engaged in a fare for a customer.

Can you sue the ridesharing company for a California accident?

Since rideshare drivers are freelancers rather than employees of the company, the company in most cases may not be held liable for their negligence. In other words, vicarious liability rules are not applicable.

If you want to sue the rideshare company, you will need to show that the company itself was negligent, not just the driver. Some possibilities might include the following:

  • The rideshare company did not do a proper background check that would have shown the driver had a history of driving while intoxicated
  • The rideshare company did not inspect the driver’s car which would have revealed safety hazards.

Barring negligence on the part of the ridesharing company, you probably will not get anywhere suing them.

What if the rideshare driver was not at fault for the accident?

If the rideshare driver was not at fault for the accident and you sustained injuries, you would try to recover your damages from the driver who was at fault. Normally, this would start by making a claim against their insurance company, but if that does not bear fruit, you could sue the negligent driver in a personal injury lawsuit.

If you have any questions or would like to commence the process of obtaining compensation, please feel free to reach out to our skilled Santa Clara County auto accident attorney as soon as possible.


When someone is wrongly injured in an accident, they often require financial compensation to heal. Contact the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady today to learn how we can help.