Rideshare Accident Lawyer in California
Using a rideshare service like Uber and Lyft is extremely popular around the world. With a few simple clicks, you can hail a ride to just about anywhere – the airport, your home, or another city. Drivers are verified in the app and choosing one with a high rating is fairly straightforward. But what happens when an Uber or Lyft driver gets into a car accident? Whether you are a passenger in the car or another driver on the road, you must be prepared in case of this event. You also should know your legal rights if you were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident. Call a rideshare accident lawyer in San Bernardino to learn more.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare accidents happen for most of the same reasons as car accidents. However, considering that rideshare drivers spend 8 or more hours on the road, they are more prone to drowsy driving. Fatigue can be extremely dangerous – according to the CDC, drowsy driving was involved in 91,000 crashes in 2027 alone.
Uber and Lyft drivers are also more likely to be distracted. Accepting new passengers is done through a mobile phone app, so drivers must constantly be on their phone. Even a phone mounted on the dashboard can be a distraction.
Drowsing or distracted driving are not the only causes of rideshare accidents. Some other causes include:
- Speeding or reckless driving, including tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and running red lights
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Poor visibility, particularly at night or in bad weather
- Poor vehicle maintenance
An experienced Uber accident lawyer can investigate the cause of the accident and gather the necessary evidence to file a claim.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
It is common to feel disoriented and shocked after a rideshare accident. Shock can mask injuries, which may lead to people skipping out on medical treatment. Do not fall for this common mistake. Take these necessary precautions after a car accident:
- Call the police: In the event of a serious accident involving significant property damage or injuries, you are required to call 911 and wait for a responding officer to arrive. The police officer will create an official accident report, which is very useful if you plan to file a rideshare accident claim later on.
- Report the accident to Uber or Lyft: Report your accident or submit a personal injury claim using Uber or Lyft customer resources center on the app.
- Exchange information: Obtain the name, phone number, address, insurance information, driver’s license plate, and driver’s license number of the other driver(s) involved.
- Document the accident: If you are able to do so, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the vehicle(s) involved, the location, relevant traffic signs, and your injuries.
- Seek immediate medical attention: Even if you feel fine, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Certain injuries, like whiplash and concussions, do not show symptoms right away, but need to be treated to avoid complications.
- Contact a rideshare accident attorney: Before you speak with the other insurance company or even Uber and Lyft, contact an experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer. You may need legal representation if you suffered significant losses or damages from your injury.
Who Is At Fault in a Rideshare Car Accident?
Determining fault and liability after an Uber or Lyft accident is more complex than the average car accident. Rideshare drivers use their own personal vehicles and are classified as independent contractors, rather than regular full-time employees. They do not have a commercial driver’s license or purchase commercial auto insurance like a taxi driver.
When an accident occurs, there could be several different liable parties – the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, another driver, or the city or local government to name a few. To have a clear understanding of fault after a car accident, speak to an experienced rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies
Both Uber and Lyft provide similar insurance coverage for their drivers and passengers in California. However, coverage is contingent based on the status of the driver. There are three separate periods that determine the insurance coverage while driving for or riding in Uber or Lyft:
Period 1: The Driver app is off
If the driver is offline or their app is off, they are only covered by their own personal auto insurance policy.
Period 2: The app is on and the driver is waiting for a ride request
In this period, the driver is working for Uber or Lyft, but has not yet accepted a ride request. Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability insurance for covered accidents if the driver’s personal insurance does not apply. The minimum coverage is $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage.
Period 3: The app is on and the driver has accepted a ride request or is transporting a passenger
The driver is working for Uber or Lyft and has a passenger in the vehicle or is on the way to pick up a passenger. Uber and Lyft provide the following insurance for covered accidents:
- $1 million for third-party auto liability
- First-party coverages such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments (MedPay), and/or occupational accident coverage
- Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible if the driver has comprehensive and collision coverage on their personal policy
Contact a Rideshare Accident Attorney Today
While Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage for accidents, filing a claim isn’t always easy or straightforward. Rideshare companies may be billion-dollar businesses, but they often try to give less than injured victims deserve. In fact, their insurance company will do what they can to not pay you the full extent of your damages.
If you were injured in a rideshare accident, contact a rideshare accident attorney at Arrowhead Accident Attorneys. With years of experience in personal injury, we know how to negotiate fair and full settlements for our clients injured due to negligence. Call us to schedule a free consultation at (909) 677-2674.