Business woman sits as a backseat passenger in an Uber or Lyft on her way to work in Boston, MassachusettsUber and Lyft rides are continually on the rise in Boston and all of Massachusetts. Using a rideshare service is an extremely popular way to get around Boston whether you’re a local, tourist, or checking out one of the incredible entertainment options in the city. In Boston alone, there were about 96,000 Uber and Lyft rides per day in the late 2010s. 

Because most people sit in the back seat when they are passengers in an Uber or Lyft, this blog will focus on common backseat car accident injuries suffered by rideshare passengers. You have a legal right to compensation if you’re injured in a Lyft or Uber. 

Handling a rideshare accident is much more complicated than a typical car accident case, but the experienced Lyft and Uber injury lawyers at Spada Law Group are here and ready to help. We will represent you to help you recover medical costs, lost income, and other losses. If you were injured as an Uber or Lyft rider, passenger, or third party, please call today for a free consultation: (617) 889-5000

Common Back Seat Car Accident Injuries Suffered by Lyft and Uber Passengers in Massachusetts

Backseat passengers are vulnerable to being injured in a car accident for many reasons.

Why are Backseat Passengers at Risk for Injury in Uber and Lyft Accidents? 

Secondary Impact

When involved in a car collision, backseat passengers can experience a secondary impact from coming into contact with the car or objects in the vehicle. Upon impact of a car crash, a back seat passenger’s body is thrown forward and then backward, coming into contact with the seat behind them and possibly hitting the seat in front when they are thrown forward. They also may come into contact with a window or other object in the car. Being thrown from the momentum of the car crash can lead to serious injuries to a passenger's head, neck, and spine. 

Limited Protection

While front-seat passengers have the protection of airbags, crumple zones for frontal impact collisions, and other safety features, backseat passengers don’t have the same amount of protection. Backseat passengers often have fewer safety features, do not always have airbags, and are more exposed to the force of impact of a car crash.    

Intrusion from the Rear

Backseat Uber and Lyft passengers are particularly at risk in a rear-end collision. Sometimes, rear-end collisions result in the rear of the vehicle intruding into the back seat passenger compartment. If the rear crumple zone of the car is compromised for any reason, such as being involved in a prior accident, the danger of rear intrusion is greater. If rear intrusion happens in an Uber or Lyft car crash, passengers can suffer severe injuries to their entire bodies and particularly their spines or legs.   


While every passenger should always be buckled, regardless of where they are sitting and whether in an Uber, Lyft, or any car, we unfortunately know that passengers do not always buckle their seat belts. If a backseat passenger is not properly buckled, they are at risk of being thrown and ejected from the vehicle if the Uber or Lyft car is involved in a car crash. Being thrown from a car results in catastrophic injuries and is more likely to kill a passenger


Submarining is when someone slides under their seatbelt. If a backseat passenger is involved in a collision, they may slide forward and submarine, which can cause severe abdominal and pelvic injuries. 

Common Back Seat Injuries Suffered by Uber and Lyft Passengers


Whiplash is an injury a passenger suffers when their head is suddenly jerked forward and then backward. This causes a strain or sprain to the neck muscles and ligaments. Whiplash is a very common injury in all car crashes, but particularly in rear-end collisions. It can be especially common for backseat passengers if the seatbelt is only a lap belt and doesn’t have a shoulder strap.  

Spinal Cord Injuries 

Spinal cord injuries are incredibly common in any car accident, and being a backseat passenger is no exception to the risk of a back or neck injury. Spinal cord injuries can include fractures and herniated discs. Spinal cord injuries can lead to chronic pain, paralysis, or other long-term complications. 

Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Backseat passengers can suffer from a variety of head injuries, including concussions, contusions, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Head and brain injuries are especially common for backseat passengers who hit their head on the seat in front of them, on the passenger side window, or on other objects in the car.  

Soft Tissue Injuries

Common soft tissue injuries include bruises, cuts, strains, and sprains. Back seat passengers are vulnerable to soft tissue injuries in an Uber or Lyft car accident from the force of impact or from being thrown around the vehicle. 

Fractures and Broken Bones

Backseat passengers are vulnerable to broken bones or fractures of arms, legs, ribs, or pelvis from the impact of the car or from being hit by loose objects inside the vehicle. Leg fractures or broken bones can be more common for backseat passengers because they have less legroom than front-seat passengers. 

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are always possible in a car accident. Internal injuries include organ damage or internal bleeding. Internal injuries are not always apparent but are often life-threatening if not treated, which is one reason why it is always essential to get medical attention after a car accident. 

Emotional Trauma 

Physical injuries are not the only way a backseat passenger can suffer after an Uber or Lyft car accident. In addition to physical injuries, passengers may experience emotional trauma such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the car crash. 

Seeking Medical Attention after an Uber or Lyft Car Accident 

Car crash injuries suffered by backseat passengers can range from minor to severe. It is important to always seek medical attention after a car accident, even if your injuries only appear minor at first. Getting medical attention right away will help ensure your injuries are correctly diagnosed and treated. It will also help you prove that your injuries resulted from the Uber or Lyft car accident and not caused by something else. 

Unique Challenges for Back Seat Passengers Injured in Uber and Lyft Accidents 

A variety of factors make Uber and Lyft car accidents unique. For one, as a rideshare service passenger, you have no control over your driver’s behavior. You are entirely dependent on your driver’s skills, experience, and caution (or lack of caution). If you’ve ever ridden in an Uber or Lyft, you’ve also likely experienced a driver who is distracted by new ride notifications, or a driver who is wearing a Bluetooth headset and is involved in a conversation while driving. 

Even if your Lyft or Uber driver is great, they are more likely to be distracted than other drivers. Uber and Lyft drivers will always have their phone or a GPS routing them to your destination, which may be somewhere they’ve never been before. They may also use their phone for texting, arranging to pick up their next ride, or for phone conversations. 

A Lyft or Uber accident is also more complex legally. There are more parties involved when it comes to determining liability and who caused the accident. If it was a two-vehicle accident, the case would involve at least the rideshare company, the rideshare driver, and the other driver. Because the case is more complex, hiring an injury law firm like Spada Law with experience handling Uber and Lyft car accident cases is important. 

What are My Legal Rights if I was Injured in an Uber or Lyft in Boston, Massachusetts? 

If you were injured in an Uber or Lyft car accident in Massachusetts, you have legal rights to compensation

After an accident, you can recover compensation for:

There are several “do’s” and “don’ts” that will help protect and preserve your legal rights after being injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, which is why it is so important to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney with experience handling rideshare accidents after your injury. 

For example, if you were injured in a car accident involving a Lyft or Uber, you DO NOT want to talk to anyone’s insurance company until you meet with an attorney. An injury lawyer knows all your rights and the best way to protect and advocate for them. Your claim could involve the personal insurance policy of your driver, the insurance policy from Uber or Lyft as a company, and the insurance policies of any other drivers involved in the accident.

The best way to protect your potential claim for compensation is to get the medical treatment you need and then meet with an injury attorney as soon as possible. Spada Law Group has extensive experience successfully handling car accident cases, including Lyft and Uber accidents. If you were injured as an Uber or Lyft passenger, call today for a free consultation: (617) 889-5000

Preventative Measures and Safety Tips for Rideshare Passengers in Massachusetts

You can do several things to minimize the risk of backseat car accident injuries while using rideshare services. Some preventative measures include: 

  • Wear a seatbelt: Always wear a seatbelt correctly when driving a vehicle. A properly-fitted seat belt will be positioned across your lap and shoulder. Don’t tuck the shoulder strap under your arm or behind your back. 
  • Sit in the middle: If the middle seat has a shoulder-strap seat belt, sitting in the middle can be safer than the side seats as you will be more protected from a side-impact collision. Being in the middle makes it less likely you would suffer from direct impact to either side of you in a crash. 
  • Adjust your headrest: Adjust the headrest in the back seat so that it’s the right height to support your head and neck. The top of the headrest should be as high as the top of your head. This is especially important in case you are involved in a rear-end collision.  
  • Sit upright: Sitting upright can help distribute crash force and impact more evenly across your body and helps reduce the risk of severe injury. Avoid slouching or excessively reclining when sitting in the back seat, and don’t put your knees or feet against the back of the seat in front of you. 

If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft car accident, document everything you can. Take photos, email yourself notes, talk to witnesses, and get their contact information. 

Always seek medical attention right away. Unless you are severely injured, you don’t need to go in an ambulance if you don’t want to, but you should go to an urgent care or emergency room to be checked out.  

Once you have taken care of yourself, you should report the accident to the rideshare company. Report the accident, but don’t speak with anyone from the company until you consult with an injury attorney. 

If you hire Spada Law to handle your case after a free consultation, we take the burden of managing the case from you. We will do all the communication required with the rideshare company and all other parties involved so you don’t have to. This way, you can focus on your healing and recovery, and we take over the headache of managing everything else, all while protecting and advocating for your rights. 

Injured In An Uber or Lyft Car Accident in Massachusetts? Text or Call a Boston Car Accident Injury Attorney For A FREE Consultation

As Massachusetts car accident attorneys, we know the unfortunate truth: Car accidents in an Uber or Lyft are inevitable. You have legal rights and options after suffering a backseat car accident injury as an Uber or Lyft passenger in Boston, Massachusetts. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about the compensation you deserve and how we can fight for your rights.

Over the last three decades, we’ve helped thousands of people in Massachusetts get the recovery they need after a car accident injury. Spada Law Group was recently recognized as one of Boston’s Top 20 Car Accident Attorneys. Attorney Spada was named one of Boston’s Top Personal Injury Lawyers. We’re here and ready to help.  As personal injury lawyers, you never pay us a penny until we win your case.

We have offices in Chelsea, Peabody, and Worcester, but we proudly serve the entire state and can meet with you remotely from the comfort of your own home

Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help you get the recovery you deserve after your injury.

Call or Text Spada Law Group for a Free Consultation Today: (617) 889-5000

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