The ease and reliability of ridesharing have become the norm in many cities across the United States. All you need to do is open up your ridesharing apps on your smartphone and have a car dispatched right to you in a matter of minutes.

Inevitably, because there are more and more trips taken in rideshare companies each day, more accidents are now happening, which calls into question the safety of ridesharing companies such as Uber. This calls for concern regarding liability for Uber accidents because ridesharing has a unique nature that can create some complex legal problems. If you’re involved in an accident regarding Uber, you should understand what your rights and responsibilities are.

Uber’s Liability

Ridesharing liability can be complicated due to the interconnection of local regulations and insurance policies. While the insurance coverage is good, it often fails to cover every single situation. This can create significant confusion and additional stress on those that are involved in an accident with an Uber vehicle.

Many times, Uber will deny responsibility for an accident because the Uber driver typically uses his personal vehicle, meaning Uber will place liability on the driver and his personal car insurance. Therefore, you need to understand which insurance policies will take responsibility for any damages or injuries you sustain in an Uber vehicle. And, determining if Uber is responsible depends on the stages of the Uber driver at the time of the incident.

Stage One

This stage is when the Uber driver is considered to be “off the clock” when his driver app is not on. At this time, the driver would not be waiting for or driving any passengers. Therefore, if he’s in an accident when in this mode, it would not be Uber’s responsibility.

Stage Two

A driver is waiting for passengers if he’s in stage two. This can be a confusing stage because while his app is on, he does not currently have any passengers in his car. The driver is simply waiting for someone to page him to go pick him up. At this time, Uber’s contingent liability insurance policy may cover the damages.

Stage Three

An Uber driver is in stage three when he’s picking up a passenger, or when he already has a passenger. Accidents during this time would usually be considered under Uber’s liability policy.

If you have been involved in a Uber accident in Tacoma, it’s vital that you contact an attorney who can provide legal assistance immediately.