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Rideshare accident liability if a driver is under the influence

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | Car Accidents

When people have been injured or have lost their lives in a New Jersey auto accident, some consideration might center on who is responsible and what options are available. If, however, a collision occurred when the victim was a passenger in a rideshare, there might be questions about how to proceed because liability might be in question. This is especially true if the rideshare driver was under the influence. Knowing the facts if these circumstances arise is important when determining what to do next.

Company policies, complaint procedures, and driver liability

There are certain issues to address when this unfortunate situation arises. The two main rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft, claim to have a zero-tolerance policy if drivers are under the influence while on the job. Passengers are told to leave the vehicle and to call 911. The company also asks to be informed based on its complaint process. If there is a DUI accident, the facts are somewhat muddled by the way in which drivers’ employment statuses are categorized.

In general, if a person is injured by a company’s employee while that employee is working, the company is liable and can be sued. With rideshare companies, there has been extensive debate as to whether drivers are independent contractors or direct employees. This is frequently linked to employee benefits like medical coverage, working hours, time off and minimum wage. It might extend to liability after car accidents. Other cases in which sexual assaults occurred resulted in the rideshare company being responsible for drivers’ actions. This may impact all liability claims.

With rideshare liability, professional advice can be helpful

For many, the entire idea of a rideshare is a matter of convenience, speed, and safety. Perhaps the rider wants to drink alcohol without worrying about how he or she will get home. If the driver in the rideshare was under the influence and there was an accident that resulted in injuries and death, it is wise to know who might be liable for medical costs, lost income, long-term care, and funeral expenses. Having experienced advice from an attorney might be useful.