Irvine Rideshare Accident Lawyer Helping Injured Clients Navigate Complex Claims
Ridesharing services are becoming increasingly popular options for transportation, especially in urban areas. Using the rideshare company’s smartphone app, a customer can schedule a ride with a freelance driver who uses their personal vehicle to transport passengers for a fee. Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular rideshare companies. Their rapid growth has been attributed to the simplicity of their system and the relatively reasonable price for services versus hiring a taxi or using other transportation options. By spending just a few moments on the app, customers can schedule a safe ride home from a bar, an emergency ride to work if their car won’t start, or a convenient trip to the airport.
However, despite all the convenience and impressive technology involved, there can still be downsides to these services. People have raised concerns about the hiring processes of Uber and Lyft drivers and whether they take all the necessary precautions to keep their passengers safe. With so many Uber and Lyft drivers on the roads, it’s inevitable that more accidents involving these vehicles will occur, and there are serious questions about how the companies will care for passengers and others harmed by these crashes.
What Should You Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Any vehicle accident can be frightening and leave destruction and confusion in its wake. Knowing what to do afterward can safeguard both your health and legal rights. Whether you are involved in a rideshare accident as a passenger or if you were hit by an Uber or Lyft driver while in your own vehicle or as a pedestrian, these are some steps you should take after the crash:
- Call 911 if you, the Uber or Lyft driver, or other accident victims require immediate medical care.
- Contact the police so they can create an accident report, as this can be a vital document in your ridesharing accident case.
- Get the insurance company name and coverage information of the Uber or Lyft driver and other drivers involved.
- Take photos from several angles documenting the accident scene.
- Call to inform your insurance company of your ridesharing accident.
- Contact a trustworthy attorney with experience with Uber and Lyft accidents to help you determine the next steps for your specific case.
If you were a rideshare passenger at the time of the accident, you should take these two additional steps so Uber or Lyft cannot deny your claim by contesting your passenger status:
- Take screenshots of the Uber or Lyft app on your phone to prove that you were a passenger when the accident occurred.
- Snap a picture of the app used by the Uber or Lyft driver showing their status when the accident occurred.
What Type of Insurance Do Rideshare Drivers Have?
Uber and Lyft drivers are covered by the company’s liability insurance while on the job. But the level of their liability coverage depends on the passenger’s status at the time of the accident. If the driver is active on the rideshare app but has not yet accepted a passenger, they have personal injury coverage through their company of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $25,000 in property damage coverage. If the driver has accepted a scheduled rider through the app and is driving to pick them up or physically has them in their vehicle, the coverage increases to $1,000,000 per accident. This also includes uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage.
However, it is crucial to note that the rideshare company’s insurance coverage only applies while the driver is actively working. If the rideshare driver is not on the clock at all (i.e., they are not active on the app) when the accident occurs, then they are the same as any other driver on the road, and their own personal insurance coverage applies.
Making the insurance situation even more complex is the fact that the rideshare company’s insurance policy will not pay anything until every other available form of insurance has paid its maximum. For instance, if another motorist were at fault for the accident, a victim would have to file a claim against their auto insurance first before they could seek any compensation from the rideshare company’s insurance. A California rideshare accident lawyer can help you navigate this confusing system of overlapping insurance. Your lawyer will ensure that your claims are filed promptly with the correct parties, so there is no delay in securing your compensation.
What Are the Options for Filing a Rideshare Accident Claim?
Accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers can be very complicated for the victims, especially when it comes to determining fault and filing a claim. As noted above, it is often necessary to ascertain the working status of the rideshare driver at the time of the accident to understand which insurance coverage is in effect and what its coverage limits may be. Depending on your unique situation, there are up to three separate insurance companies that you may need to contact:
- The rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance
- The insurance company representing Uber or Lyft
- The personal auto insurance of any other drivers involved in the accident
It can be very frustrating to negotiate with several companies who are all trying to protect their bottom line and minimize the cost of settling your claim. You should not allow them to pressure you into accepting a settlement that does not fully account for your damages. An experienced rideshare lawyer can help guide you through the claims process and ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Compensation Can You Receive in a Rideshare Accident Case?
A rideshare accident attorney is skilled at investigating the details of Lyft and Uber accidents and determining where liability lies. They will gather documentation to support your injuries and damages, such as medical records, bills, police reports, and expert opinions. Once your lawyer has identified who is at fault and what insurance coverage is applicable, they can begin negotiating a settlement that takes all of your damages into account. Similar to other auto accidents, there are two main types of damages available to victims: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are any tangible financial losses you suffered due to your injury. They can be expenses and bills you owe or a loss of income you’ve been forced to endure. These damages may include the following:
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Medical expenses, including bills for ongoing medical care
- Property replacement or repair
- Loss of future earning potential
Non-economic damages are losses caused by the rideshare accident that are non-monetary. It can be more challenging to calculate non-economic damages because they don’t translate as easily into a dollar amount. When determining fair compensation for these damages, your lawyer or the court may consider the injuries’ severity, how much pain they caused, and how long they are likely to impact your life. Some examples of non-economic damages can include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If the case goes to trial and the court determines that the actions of the liable party showed a wanton disregard for the well-being of others, the court may also award punitive damages in addition to the other damages.
What If Your Loved One Was Killed in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Losing a loved one in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. If the deadly accident involved a rideshare service, you might feel unsure about how to get justice for the losses you’ve suffered. An experienced Uber or Lyft accident lawyer can help you explore your legal options for recovering financial compensation from the liable parties. A wrongful death claim is one legal option that can avert an impending economic crisis brought about by the loss of your loved one, particularly if they were the primary income provider for your family. In California, a close family member, such as a spouse or child of the deceased, can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent parties responsible for the fatal crash. Depending on the circumstances, the Uber or Lyft driver, the rideshare company, or other motorists involved in the accident may all be named as defendants in a wrongful death claim. Surviving family members may be eligible to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, outstanding medical bills related to the crash, loss of income and support, and more.
What Does a Rideshare Accident Lawyer Do?
Rideshare companies and their insurers are for-profit businesses. While they may initially act concerned about your injuries, they are most interested in maintaining their bottom line and limiting the amount they have to pay for your claim. A rideshare accident attorney understands the complex laws surrounding Uber and Lyft accident claims. They know how to investigate a rideshare crash and collect the proof necessary for your claim. Your lawyer will consider the extent of all your current and future damages when calculating a fair settlement to ensure you are made whole again. While most claims can be successfully negotiated without taking the case to trial, Hejazi Law Group is willing to take on large companies like Uber and Lyft in court when necessary. To set up a free consultation regarding your rideshare accident, call (949) 749-7402.