Uber and Lyft provide an innovative solution for transportation – rather than having to schedule a cab in advance or flag one down, an individual in need of a ride can simply open an app on their phone and within minutes connect with a driver willing to take them wherever they need to go.
Unfortunately, these rides aren’t always safe. In California, Uber and ridesharing accidents happen almost every day.
At GJEL we have helped victims who have been injured either in a ridesharing service or injured by a ridesharing service. We have recovered over $10 Million Dollars from these cases and have a strong understanding of how to maximize the value of your case.
Sometimes being picked up by an Uber feels like a “limo” type experience. However, some injuries can be prevented by wearing a seatbelt. Make sure to buckle up anytime you get in a car with anyone.
All of these accidents can cause serious injuries. If you were in an accident you should seek prompt medical attention and get checked out by a doctor. Even if you don’t have pain right away you may experience symptoms several days after the accident.
Common injuries after a car accident are:
Today, the state of California has passed a number of laws aimed at helping to ensure that when an Uber or Lyft accident occurs, drivers and the people they are carrying or hit (such as pedestrians, cyclists, or drivers/passenger of another vehicle) are protected.
If you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle in California, here’s a look into what you need to know about your recovery options, and whether or not you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation.
The most common types of cases that GJEL has handled with ridesharing accidents are accidents are situations where:
If you were injured in any way due to the negligence of someone else you may be entitled to compensation for loss of work, injuries, pain and suffering, and long-term medical treatment.
Uber and Lyft are also different from traditional taxicab companies in that both Uber and Lyft require drivers to use their own personal vehicles, and insist that Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, not employees.
As such, how much liability the companies hold for their drivers’ actions has been disputed in the past, and how damages from accidents caused by Uber/Lyft drivers should be paid for has been a hot and contentious topic.
The first thing that is important to understand following an accident involving a motor vehicle is that California follows a traditional fault, or tort liability system. This means that when an accident occurs, the at-fault party is responsible for paying for damages. It also means that in order to recover compensation, an injured party must prove that:
Because the state maintains a tort liability system which allows an injured party to file a claim or a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance.
All of this information is applicable to accidents involving Uber and Lyft; insurance is required, and the at-fault party (or their insurance) is responsible for paying for damages sustained by the not-at-fault party.
There are also situations where the Uber driver is not liable. For example, if you were sitting at a stop light when another car rear-ended you. In this situation, the liability would fall upon the driver who hit the parked car.
The insurance requirements for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are different than they are for private drivers. While the minimum amounts of coverage for a non-rideshare driver are $15,000/$30,000 in bodily injury liability per person/per accident, and $5,000 for property damage, the insurance requirements for rideshare companies are:
These requirements are “period I” requirements. Period I is the period of time when an Uber or Lyft driver is logged onto the app, but has not yet picked up a passenger. During this time period, the state of California also requires that drivers maintain an additional $200,000 of excess liability coverage in the event of very severe accidents.
This insurance coverage mandate can be read about in more detail in “California Forces Uber and Its Rivals to Bolster Insurance,” published in Wired.
After an Uber or Lyft driver has accepted a ride request and is transporting passengers, coverage limits increase. To be exact, both Uber and Lyft provide their drivers with $1 million in liability insurance per incident, and $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
Your options for recovering compensation after a crash involving Uber or Lyft vary significantly depending upon what you were doing at the time of the accident and whether or not you caused or contributed to the crash. Consider the following scenarios:
Below are common questions we get in regards to Uber Accident law.
If you’re a passenger and you were seriously injured in a ridesharing accident you may be entitled to compensation. You should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
Sometimes injuries can take hours or days to be noticed. You should seek prompt medical attention from a professional after any type of accident.
Whether the driver hit you while you were walking or whether you were in your car when the accident occurred, the ridesharing companies insurance policy may have to cover the damages.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an Uber accident you will likely be able to sue either Uber or the insurance company who is insuring the driver. Talk to an experienced attorney and have them evaluate the facts of your case.
If you have been picked up by the driver and are in route to your destination then you are covered by a $1,000,000 Uber insurance policy.
Accidents with rideshare companies are complicated, and there are often many insurance companies, including the rideshare insurance, the rideshare driver’s insurance, the insurance of another driver, or/and your personal insurance involved in the claims process. Thankfully GJEL has succesffully gotten many strong recoveries for our clients who were involved in Uber and Lyft accidents.
To help you determine liability for your crash and file a claim against the appropriate party, negotiate for damages, or bring forth a lawsuit, you need an experienced attorney. At the law offices of GJEL Accident Attorneys, our talented California personal injury lawyers have the experience and knowledge your case deserves.
Contact us today for your free consultation and more information.