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Written by: J. Todd Tenge

Who Is At Fault in a Ride-Share Car Accident in Colorado?

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at fault in ride share accident
at fault for ride share accident

Whether you are a passenger in a ride-share vehicle, a pedestrian on the ground, or even another driver on the road—Lyft and Uber drivers can pose a major threat to others.

When an Uber driver is at fault in an accident, you may not be sure whether you can pursue a claim against the driver, the company, or both. 

In this article, the Tenge Law Firm, LLC team will walk you through what to do after a ride-share accident and who may be at fault.

Our personal injury lawyers can help you get back on track after a car crash, and we will explain more about the benefits and pitfalls of filing an Uber or Lyft lawsuit.

If you have questions or would like to speak with a car accident lawyer, please contact us today.

What to Do If an Uber Driver Is At Fault in an Accident

Although ride-share companies carry liability insurance, there are certain factors that can influence whether you can recover compensation from them after a crash.

For example, the driver must be logged into the app and “on the clock” when the accident occurred.

If they are not, you may face a long battle to recover from their personal insurance—assuming they have it.

Read on to better understand who you can file a lawsuit against after an Uber accident in Colorado.

Negligence Standard in Colorado Car Accidents

Meaning of Negligence

In order to recover damages, a car accident victim must prove they were injured by someone’s negligence.

The definition of negligence includes: 

  • Demonstrating that the plaintiff suffered damages in the form of injuries or losses,
  • Showing that the defendant acted negligently, and
  • Proving that the defendant’s negligent actions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s damages.

Typically, a successful claim for negligence will show that the Uber driver at fault in the accident breached the duty of care to you.

Breaching the duty of care could involve violating traffic laws, drowsy driving, or even driving while under the influence.

Assigning Liability 

Some states are “no-fault” liability states in the event of a car accident. This means that each driver claims against their own insurance to cover their own damages.

Colorado is an at-fault state when assigning liability for car accidents.

For instance, if the Uber driver in the accident is not at fault, their insurance would not need to pay for anyone’s injuries.

At-Fault Accident Victim 

In some states, accident victims are barred from recovering damages if they had any responsibility for the accident.

In Colorado, multiple parties may share liability for a car accident and still recover damages.

If the plaintiff shares any responsibility, they may still be able to obtain compensation for their injuries, but their award may be reduced by their percentage of fault. 

However, if a plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, the plaintiff will be barred from recovering damages.

Be sure to check with a personal injury lawyer if you have questions about comparative negligence.

Uber Driver At Fault for Accident

When an Uber or Lyft driver is at fault for a car accident, they may not be alone in shouldering responsibility for your damages.

Ways that ride-share companies can be negligent when an Uber driver is at fault for an accident include: 

  • Hiring drivers with multiple traffic violations;
  • Hiring drivers with criminal convictions, especially for violence or DUIs;
  • Onboarding drivers who have less than one year of driving experience;
  • Allowing drivers on the platform who have a history of major accidents;
  • Allowing their app to operate despite knowing about major defects in its operations or software; and
  • Hiring drivers with major medical conditions that make driving unsafe.

Additionally, in 2015, Colorado passed a law regulating companies like Uber and Lyft.

This law required, among other things, that ride-share companies check driver histories and criminal and medical backgrounds.

If you are injured because of a violation of this law, you may be able to hold Uber and Lyft directly accountable. 

How a Colorado Car Accident Lawyer Can Help 

If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, as soon as possible.

We can help you attain the compensation you deserve.

As experienced personal injury lawyers, we are willing to fight for your rights. Contact us today by phone or online for a free case consultation.

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