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Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have quickly become a go-to method of transit in Los Angeles. And as more rideshare drivers carry Angelenos around the city, inevitably, more LA auto accidents involve Ubers and Lyfts.

As with other types of car accidents, victims who are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident can be entitled to compensation when their injuries were caused by the negligence of another person. Uber and Lyft accident victims can be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, their lost wages, their pain and suffering, and more. But there’s an element of Uber and Lyft accident cases that can make them more complicated than other car accident cases: determining liability.

Determining who is legally responsible for an Uber or Lyft accident can be incredibly complex. When considering liability for this type of accident case, you need to consider at what point in the rideshare process the accident happened, the parties involved in the accident, the unique circumstances that caused the accident, and all of the applicable laws and regulations in place at the time of the accident. Thoroughly considering and weighing all these factors is crucial in determining liability in an Uber or Lyft case, since it’s common for more than one party to be liable for this type of accident.

Due to the immense complexity of Uber & Lyft accident cases, we strongly recommend that ridesharing accident victims seek the services of a personal injury attorney if they are thinking of filing a personal injury claim. Seeking legal counsel for an Uber or Lyft accident case is now more important than ever, since the recent passing of AB5 has further complicated the laws connected to ridesharing services. An expert personal injury attorney that has experience handling ridesharing accident cases can help you determine liability, understand the type of compensation you may be entitled to, and protect your best interests.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact the expert personal injury attorneys at LA Lawyers Group today for a free case evaluation. We’ve helped our personal injury attorney clients recover compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income, emotional damages, and more. Note that our services are offered on a contingency basis. You never need to pay any legal fees until we settle or win your case.

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What Makes an Uber or Lyft Accident Different From Other Auto Accidents?

Accident claims that involve Uber and Lyft can be somewhat more complicated than other auto accidents simply due to the fact that more parties are involved in a ridesharing accident. There’s the ridesharing driver, the ridesharing company, the passenger(s), and any number of outside parties to consider. Then, Uber and Lyft accident claims can be considerably more complicated than other auto accidents due to ridesharing laws and regulations, which are constantly evolving.

Ridesharing companies, also known as transportation network companies, are fairly new. Ridesharing companies provide a new type of service that is unlike traditional driving services, which has allowed them to avoid being subject to the same regulations that govern traditional driving companies. A traditional driving service, such as a taxi or a limousine service, provides people with vehicles for hire and the services of a driver that is employed by their company. Technically, ridesharing companies don’t provide driving services, but instead match drivers that are using their own private vehicles with passengers who are seeking taxi-like transportation. Additionally, according to Uber and Lyft, their drivers are independent contractors, not employees.

In the earlier days of Uber and Lyft, these ridesharing companies were able to operate without insurance and with very few regulations, since they weren’t subject to the same laws and regulations as traditional transportation companies. However, ridesharing companies and the regulations connected to them have been the subject of much scrutiny, reform, and legislation. Several years of legal disputes led to ridesharing companies becoming legally classified as transportation network companies (TNC), a new category of company that is subject to its own unique regulations. To operate in California, TNCs now must get a license from the California Public Utilities Commission, have criminal background checks done on all drivers, have a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, have a driver training program, and provide at least $1 million per incident insurance coverage.

The legal disputes that led to ridesharing companies being classified as TNCs are far from the only legal disputes these companies have been involved in. A recent notable development in this arena was the passing of California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), a bill that regulates employee classification. According to the guidelines in AB5, many California workers that have previously been considered independent contractors are actually employees, including rideshare drivers. While Uber and Lyft are fighting this bill and are currently refusing to change their drivers’ independent contractor status, AB5 is in effect regardless. This means that Uber and Lyft drivers could be considered employees of their respective companies in the event of a claim or lawsuit, which could affect the outcome of the case.

The constantly evolving regulations surrounding ridesharing companies is in large part why we recommend that Uber and Lyft accident victims seek legal representation. A California personal injury attorney that specializes in rideshare accident cases can help you understand your rights, whether or not you should file a claim, who could be liable in your accident case, and how much compensation you could be entitled to.
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Who is Liable in an Uber or Lyft Accident in California?

As with other types of car accidents, liability in ridesharing accidents is generally determined based on negligence. The party liable for a Lyft or Uber accident that takes place in California will generally be either:
●   The Ridesharing Driver
●   The Ridesharing Company
●   An Outside Party (Such As Another Driver)
●   Some Combination of the Above

In California, a combination of parties can be liable for the damages caused by an accident. This is because California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that fault for an accident is determined in percentages. One party could be found to be 100% at fault for an accident, making them fully liable for the damages caused by the accident. Alternatively, multiple parties may be assigned a percentage of fault for an accident, making each party liable for a percentage of the damages caused by the accident.

Note that California’s comparative negligence status means that victims who were partially, but not entirely, at fault for an Uber or Lyft accident may still be able to recover damages for their losses. These damages will just be less than they would be if the victim shared no percentage of fault.
Insurance Coverage in Uber or Lyft Accidents in California
In most instances, Uber and Lyft accident cases are settled with insurance companies. In the event that a ridesharing driver or company is liable for an accident, the accident claim would be covered by their insurance coverage.

All Lyft and Uber drivers must have their own insurance and, as we mentioned previously, ridesharing companies are now legally required to have insurance when operating in California. Whether a driver’s coverage or the ridesharing company’s coverage would cover an accident claim typically depends on the rideshare period during which the accident took place.
Rideshare periods are the different steps of the ridesharing process. Uber and Lyft have insurance that provides different levels of liability coverage based on the rideshare period in which an accident occurred:
Period 1: The rideshare driver has turned their rideshare app on but they are waiting for a ride request.
During Period 1, Uber and Lyft have insurance on behalf of the driver that has 50/100/25 coverage, with liability limits of $50,000 per person, $100,000 for any accident involving bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.
Period 2: The rideshare driver has accepted a ride request and is on their way to pick up a passenger.
During Period 2, Uber and Lyft have insurance on behalf of the driver that has $1 million third-party liability coverage. Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage for this period includes uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and contingent comprehensive and collision (up to cash value of car, $1,000 deductible). This contingent comprehensive and collision coverage applies to damage to a driver’s vehicle if they have personal insurance that includes comprehensive and collision coverage.
Period 3: The passenger is in the rideshare driver’s car being transported to their destination.
During Period 3, Uber and Lyft offer the same coverage as in Period 2.
No Period: The rideshare driver is not logged into the rideshare app.
If a rideshare driver is not logged into the ridesharing app, they’re not in any rideshare period and they are not at work for the ridesharing company. In this case, the ridesharing company cannot be connected to a claim. If an Uber or Lyft driver is involved in an accident when they’re not working for Uber or Lyft, this accident would be treated like any other auto accident. Claims related to the accident would be covered by the driver’s personal auto insurance policy.

Monetary Compensation for an Uber or Lyft Accident

The damages available for a victim or an Uber or Lyft Accident are generally the same as the damages available to victims of other types of auto accidents. Victims who have been injured in an auto accident due to the negligent or malicious actions of another party may be entitled to damages related to:
●   Medical Costs (Including Medical Bills for Physical Therapy)
●   Property Damage
●   Lost Wages
●   Loss of Future income
●   Pain and Suffering
●   Loss of Consortium

Additionally, punitive damages may sometimes be awarded by a court in vehicle accident cases. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a liable party for a particularly reprehensible act, such as extreme negligence, malicious behavior, or fraud. For example, a court may award punitive damages if a driver deliberately tried to hit a vehicle. Or, to give another example, a court might award punitive damages if a rideshare company tried to hide evidence of something that could make them liable for an accident.
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Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Lyft or Uber accident in Los Angeles, contact the expert personal injury attorneys at LA Lawyers Group today. Our dedicated team of Uber and Lyft accident lawyers can help you recover damages for the losses you’ve suffered due to the negligence of another party. The personal injury attorneys at our law firm stay continuously up-to-date on current Uber and Lyft regulations in order to help our personal injury clients recover the maximum amount of damages they’re entitled to.

Call LA Lawyers Group today at (818) 386-6777 to receive your free consultation with one of our Uber/Lyft accident attorneys.

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