Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become extremely popular in recent years, providing convenient transportation options for millions of people. However, the rapid growth of these companies has also raised concerns about safety—specifically, about the thoroughness of driver background checks and ongoing monitoring procedures. When rideshare drivers cause accidents due to negligence or misconduct, injured victims may have legal recourse against the rideshare companies themselves under claims of “negligent hiring” or “negligent retention.”
What is Negligent Hiring and Retention?
Negligent hiring refers to when a company fails to adequately screen an employee or contractor during the hiring process. For rideshares, this could mean not identifying past driving infractions, criminal records, or other red flags that should disqualify someone from transporting passengers. Negligent retention is when a company doesn’t address safety problems with drivers that emerge after the hiring process. Rideshares may receive complaints about a dangerous, intoxicated, or reckless driver but fail to investigate and remove that driver from their platform.
In these situations, the rideshare companies themselves may share legal liability for any subsequent accidents or assaults caused by the negligent driver. The premise is that the company’s own negligence in hiring or retaining that driver enabled the driver’s misconduct.
Burden of Proof for Negligent Hiring/Retention Claims
To successfully bring a negligent hiring or retention claim against a rideshare operator, an accident victim must demonstrate:
- The driver had a record of driving infractions, assaults, or other misconduct that should have raised red flags in a thorough background check.
- The rideshare company failed to adequately screen the driver during hiring OR failed to address known issues with the driver from passenger complaints or other evidence.
- The driver’s history of negligence/misconduct directly enabled or contributed to the accident.
Meeting this burden of proof requires detailed investigation into the driver’s past record and the rideshare company’s protocols and response (or lack thereof) to any complaints submitted about that specific driver. An experienced attorney can subpoena necessary records and build a compelling argument for shared liability.
Potential Damages in Negligent Hire/Retention Cases
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a rideshare driver who should not have been hired or retained, damages may include:
- Medical expenses from any injuries suffered
- Lost income due to missed work
- Loss of future earnings capacity if injuries are permanent
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage if your vehicle or other belongings were damaged
Because rideshare companies are large corporations, securing fair compensation for your damages may require aggressive legal advocacy and negotiation tactics. An attorney can deal with the company’s insurance providers and legal team on your behalf.
When Can Rideshare Accident Victims Sue for Damages?
Like with other car accidents, injured rideshare passengers or third-party victims typically have two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against negligent drivers and potentially the rideshare company as well. It is important not to delay consulting an attorney, as building a convincing negligent hiring or retention case requires extensive evidence collection while memory is still fresh.
Additionally, rideshare accident victims may be entitled to quicker compensation by making an injury claim with the rideshare company’s insurance first. However, insurance settlements often underpay the complete costs victims face. An attorney can handle negotiations to gain rightful compensation before taking legal action.
Speak to a Lawyer About Your Rideshare Accident Case
Don’t hesitate to consult an attorney after any significant rideshare accident. A lawyer with relevant experience can thoroughly investigate fault and build the strongest case possible against negligent drivers and rideshare operators. Victims should focus their own efforts on healing and recovering, not fighting big companies. With sound legal advice, many serious rideshare accidents lead to settlements that fully cover the victim’s damages, loss, and suffering.
If you are the victim of a rideshare crash caused by a potentially unfit driver, contact us at Binder Law Group today to discuss your case in a free consultation. An attorney from our team can begin gathering evidence regarding past complaints and other warning signs about the driver that may establish the rideshare company’s liability for negligent hiring or retention. By holding these transportation giants accountable, we help ensure better screening and monitoring procedures that protect public safety. Don’t leave compensation or corporate accountability to chance. Pursue maximum damages with strong legal representation.
You can find our offices at 16633 Ventura Blvd. #602 Encino, CA 91436.
Call now for a free consultation on (818) 659-8588.