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Rideshare Accidents: Legal Implications for Drivers and Passengers

The process for making a personal injury claim in Ontario can be complicated. It gets even more complex when a rideshare vehicle is involved in the accident that caused your injuries. Whether it’s Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare app, let’s have a look at the unique legal considerations related to liability and insurance coverage that arise from rideshare motor vehicle accidents.  

Barrie car accident lawyers at our firm are here to help if you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident that occurred during rideshare services, whether you were a driver or passenger. This area of law is very nuanced—we welcome you to reach out to us to discuss the specifics of your case, your legal rights, and how to obtain full compensation for your injuries.  

rideshare accidents

Auto Insurance Coverage for Ridesharing 

Ontario law states that rideshare companies must have commercial insurance coverage in place. There is a publicly available list of rideshare companies and the details of their respective auto insurance policies. Vehicle owners are also required by Ontario law to have coverage under a personal auto insurance policy, and they must advise their insurer that they will be operating the vehicle for ridesharing purpose (the insurer may deny insurance coverage if they were not informed).  

This is how insurance coverage works in the event of a ridesharing motor vehicle accident:  

  • All drivers, passengers and vehicle owners are covered under the rideshare company’s commercial insurance policy from the moment the rideshare app is turned on to the moment passengers exit the vehicle.  

  • When the app is turned off, the vehicle owner’s personal auto insurance policy applies. 

Seems straightforward, right? But there’s more. In Ontario, we have a “no fault” insurance scheme, which adds another layer to the question of insurance coverage. Let’s have a look at the legal implications first from an injured rideshare driver’s perspective, and then from the perspective of an injured rideshare passenger.   

Driver of Rideshare Vehicle Hurt In A Car Accident 

If you are a driver of a rideshare vehicle who gets injured, when the accident occurred dictates who covers you, and the question of fault is also important.  

You’re eligible for statutory accident benefits (also known as “no-fault benefits”), even if you caused the accident. Statutory accident benefits provide many different kinds of benefits, including income replacement benefits if you’re unable to work, and medical benefits to cover costs such as medications, hospital care, wheelchairs, physical therapy, or chiropractic services. If you are hurt when logged into the rideshare app, you make a claim for statutory accident benefits against the rideshare company’s policy. If the app was off when the car accident occurred, you claim for statutory accident

benefits from your personal insurer.  

Now let’s talk about how fault factors in. If you were hurt in a car accident caused by someone else’s fault or negligence while providing rideshare services, you may also have a liability claim against that at-fault driver (also known as a “tort claim”). A tort claim is a lawsuit to get compensation for additional losses, including loss of future income and out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t provided under your statutory accident benefits claim, as well as for any pain and suffering that you endured. Your tort claim would be against the at-fault party’s auto insurance policy.  

Passenger Injured In A Rideshare Vehicle 

If you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle that is involved in a car accident, you are entitled to make a statutory accident benefits claim, and you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver(s) who caused the car accident. The auto insurance policy that covers your claims depends on a few factors:  

  • If you have your own auto insurance coverage, your statutory accident benefits claim must be brought against your own insurance policy.  

  • If you don’t have your own auto insurance coverage, your statutory accident benefits claim will be against the rideshare company’s insurance policy. 

  • If you’re seriously injured and require more than what statutory accident benefits cover, you have the right to sue the wrongdoer(s). If the rideshare driver caused the accident, you would sue the driver to obtain coverage under the rideshare company’s insurance.  

  • If both the rideshare driver and the driver of another vehicle share fault for the car accident that caused your injuries, you would sue both parties. A determination of fault would be made, and the wrongdoers’ insurance policies would pay your tort claim based on the degree of fault assigned to their insured.  


Barrie law firm Littlejohn Barristers has a dedicated team of professionals with over 30 years of combined experience. 

If you’ve been injured in a rideshare crash, reach out to a car accident lawyer in Barrie today for advice. Let us review your claim, discuss your goals for the case and help you decide what the next step should be.


Contact Littlejohn Barristers at 705-725-7355 to set up a free, no obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer. Collingwood, Midland, and Innisfil clients are also served from our Barrie office.  


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