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Who is Liable if a Pedestrian is Injured by an Uber Driver in Austin?

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have grown in popularity, replacing conventional taxi services in big cities across Texas, including Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Because these mobile-based services are still relatively new, questions of risk and legal liability have arisen out of their emergence as well.

One question the attorneys of Carabin Shaw are increasingly being asked surrounding ridesharing accidents specifically is: who is liable if a pedestrian is injured by an Uber driver in Austin? It is of course always advisable to seek the help of an Austin Uber and Lyft accident attorney immediately, but there is some basic introductory information that you or a loved one may find useful when navigating this question.

Austin Uber / Rideshare Accident Coverage

Ridesharing companies are distinct from one another and have different policies surrounding their vehicle-related accidents. Yet, there are commonalities that companies like Uber and Lyft share in the way they operate.

When it comes to the question of insurance, both Uber and Lyft share similar liability coverage. When a rideshare driver is on duty and logged into the application on their phone, it is typical for he or she to be covered by company liability insurance. There is thus an assumption made that if a pedestrian is injured by an Uber driver ferrying passengers from 6th street to South Austin, the driver should have insurance that will cover the pedestrian's damages.

The reality is that navigating an insurance claim with a rideshare company is messy business. It is important to seek out the expert help of a qualified attorney with the legal know-how to help you or a loved one in navigating these claims. One of Carabin Shaw’s top Austin Uber liability lawyers has experience with Uber, Lyft and other rideshare-related cases.

Why You Need the Help of an Attorney

Injured pedestrians or bystanders have rights that insurance agencies may unfortunately not prioritize or focus on. Likewise, problems may arise in your claim, such as:

  • The driver may not have been logged on the Uber, Lyft or other rideshare app when he / she struck the pedestrian, meaning coverage from Uber will be denied
  • Lyft or Uber’s insurance coverage may not technically apply to the injured pedestrian’s situation
  • The driver’s personal auto policy may deny responsibility due to a clause known as the Public or Livery Conveyance, which excludes coverage when a driver is using the vehicle for commercial use

To bring a successful personal injury claim against Uber or Lyft, keep in mind the following four aspects of your case:

  1. The pedestrian in question should have been legally crossing a sidewalk or intersection to have grounds for filing a claim
  2. Liability must be proved (who was at fault for the accident)
  3. Damages must be proved (how badly the plaintiff was injured)
  4. The victim (injured pedestrian) must be able to prove that the Uber or Lyft driver was negligent

Yet, the question remains: who is liable if a pedestrian is injured by an Uber driver in Austin?

Beyond the question of company liability, there are other individuals or groups that could be found liable in the event of pedestrian injury. If, for example, the accident could in part be linked to unnecessarily dangerous road or pedestrian walkway conditions, then groups responsible for maintaining these features could be held responsible.

Again, it is always advisable to seek the help of a qualified lawyer in navigating questions like these.

We’re Here to Help

If you or a loved one have been injured as a pedestrian in an Uber accident, the question of liability can be different than if the injury came from a city bus or some taxi cabs. Uber and Lyft drivers are technically “third-party providers,” which is to say that they are essentially independent contractors. Though the driver may be working for Uber or Lyft to cart around folks in Austin, the driver is not technically an Uber or Lyft employee. This means that arguing for company liability in the event of a pedestrian injury would require significant legal know-how. This is not to say that it would be impossible, but both attorney and client would need to be ready for what would be a hard-argued case.

So, just who is liable if a pedestrian is injured by an Uber driver in Austin? Well, it depends on largely on the specifics of the situation. That said, there are options for pedestrians in holding those responsible for injury accountable and liable. Yet, who and how remain unclear without further information about the specifics of an accident. In discussing these specifics, Carabin Shaw has qualified attorneys available throughout not just Austin, but Texas as a whole.

Your Initial Consultation is Free

If you or a loved one has suffered as a pedestrian who was struck by an Uber, Lyft or other rideshare company, give our Austin office a call at 512-832-1101 or toll free at 800-862-1260.

Visits with the Attorney are by appointment only. Main office San Antonio, Texas.

Austin Office
1609 Shoal Creek Blvd #100
Austin, TX 78701

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