As legislators scramble to fix the problems and deficiencies, victims of accidents involving Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies unequivocally need the services of a an experienced, knowledgeable ridesharing auto accident attorney. Without legal representation, the prospects look dim for victims, especially since insurance companies may not provide adequate compensation as they would in other types of auto accidents.
Whether you were a passenger injured in a rideshare vehicle, a motorist hurt during an accident where a Lyft or Uber driver was at fault, or a ridesharing professional injured in a collision with an at-fault motorist, we are here to provide you with the experienced and skilled counsel you need to get the compensation you deserve.
Causes of & Circumstances Complicating Ridesharing AccidentsIt must be pointed out that Uber & Lyft don’t use professional drivers. This is in sharp contrast to taxi, limousine and public transportation companies that do. Consequently, Uber and Lyft drivers may not be proficient in properly managing their time or following basic safety rules, such as getting enough sleep, making sure their car has been properly inspected and maintained, and taking defensive/safety training classes. Uber and Lyft drivers may also not have enough professional driving experience to know that violating traffic rules, such as speeding or looking at the rideshare app while driving, can be a costly mistake. Professional drivers depend on having a clean driving record since, after all, it’s their livelihood. It’s silly to expect people who are only doing this on the side to practice the same kind of precautions. Another issue is vehicle maintenance. Cab and limousine companies generally include these costs in their budget. After all, if their cars break down it can seriously affect their bottom line. Uber and Lyft drivers may or may not properly maintain their vehicles but who’s to know either way? Uber and Lyft drivers may also, by virtue of being overly zealous to get their clients to their destinations as quickly as expected, violate traffic rules and laws, thus resulting in accidents. Professional drivers, conversely, often have to abide by company-imposed restrictions or even special devices such as speed monitoring tools, that Uber and Lyft drivers are not subject.
Liability Laws, Policies & Regulations in CaliforniaUnfortunately, many of the rules, policies, and laws that apply to buses, cabs, limousines, tractor- trailers, ambulances, etc., may not presently apply to transportation services like Uber and Lyft. Simply put, these companies are unique business entities that have brought up legal issues and concerns which not even the state of California has adequately addressed, in spite of the fact that California is leading the way in this area of law.
Following the death of a 6-year-old girl pedestrian in San Francisco in an accident involving a Uber driver and the death of a passenger in Sacramento involving a Lyft driver in 2014, for example, California has since passed a law requiring ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft to at least provide supplemental driver’s insurance so that passengers/victims are guaranteed some source to tap into in the event of an accident. This is especially important if drivers lack insurance or have inadequate/deficient coverage. Uber and Lyft had already agreed to provide some insurance coverage but this law was important because it requires coverage even if no passenger has been picked up by the driver.
Uber and Lyft now provide $1,000,000 both in terms of liability as well as for underinsured/uninsured coverage. Such coverage ensures that victims of accidents involving ridesharing drivers get adequate compensation for their losses and injuries.
Compensation Victims May ReceiveThe level of insurance covering Uber and Lyft drivers means that those injured may be able to obtain more complete compensation for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering following an accident. This also means that these companies have highly paid lawyers that will try and get you to settle for the lowest amount possible. It’s important, therefore, to have the representation of a skilled accident lawyer who is able to obtain the best results possible after an accident.
Some of the things you may be compensated for include:
- Property damage (to your car or other things you own damaged because of an auto accident/incident—i.e., a fence, mailbox, trailer, etc.)
- Medical/health-related expenses (hospital, therapy, special meds/treatments, etc.)
- Lost income; missed work
- Diminished future-earning capacity (if disabled)
- Pain, emotional trauma & suffering
- Disrupted/cancelled vacations/events costs (non-refundable plane tickets, etc.)
- Missed school/educational opportunity time/incurred expenses
- Incidental expenses (childcare, car rental, taxi fares, etc.)
What Should You Do If you are a Victim in an Uber/Lyft Car Accident?What you do (or fail to do) may greatly affect your case. Some important things to remember include:
- Document everything, including dates, names and addresses of all persons involved, including witnesses.
- Take pictures, if possible; you can also videotape the aftermath—again, if feasible.
- Make sure a police report is filed; get a copy ASAP—challenge in writing any discrepancies or omissions.
- Make sure that you receive medical attention, even if you “feel fine.” Injuries may come to the surface later on after you leave the scene.
- As soon as possible, contact an attorney experienced and well-informed about Uber/Lyft ridesharing auto accident cases/law.
Contact Our California Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation and Zero-Fee GuaranteeIf you need a trusted law firm on your side, consider Johnson Attorneys Group. Our well-established and respected track record includes millions of dollars in settlements for satisfied clients. We understand the real-world problems that accident victims face and we are here to help you recover and get properly compensated. We offer free consultations, and you won’t pay anything out of pocket! We have multiple locations throughout California to serve you. Call 1-800-208-3538 today!