Today, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are changing the way that people get around. Those who don’t have vehicles can get just about anywhere. It’s also a great choice for those who want to go out celebrating with libations without the hassle of worrying about how to get home after or monitoring how many drinks they have had. An Uber or Lyft driver is just a few taps on your mobile phone away.
Of course, with the increased frequency of Lyft and Uber services being used by everyday people, that means there will be an increased risk of accidents where passengers and other motorists may be involved.
If you were injured by a rideshare vehicle, an Uber or Lyft accident lawyer can help you file a claim and pursue compensation for your injuries. With an increasing rate of car accidents in Downey, CA, the need for rideshare accident lawyers is on the rise. Here is a look into why these collisions are becoming so common and how a Lyft or Uber accident attorney can assist in your personal injury claim.
Ridesharing Is Becoming More Common, So Are Accidents
As the need for ridesharing services increases, so will the number of traffic accidents. While companies like Uber and Lyft are prepared with insurance, plenty of contractual lingo to exempt them from responsibility, and steep insurance requirements for drivers, accidents will always happen. The worry is that while ridesharing drivers are insured and advised to drive carefully, nothing is stopping your driver from texting, being on the phone, or otherwise being distracted on the road.
A lawyer can help you determine exactly what happened and whether your Uber or Lyft driver needs to be held accountable for the accident, and what kind of compensation and justice you deserve as a result.
How Is Ridesharing Different?
In accordance with California law, accident victims can seek damages for their injuries from those held financially responsible for them. But unlike a traditional car accident, Uber accidents and Lyft accidents involve a third party (or parties) that are simply riding along and will have no fault in the accident. However, they are usually the ones that risk the most damages, injuries, and other potential issues. Not only that, but the aforementioned risk of distracted driving comes into question.
In a traditional car accident, there are limited parties involved:
- The drivers or passengers involved in the accident
- The drivers’ insurance companies (1 or 2 companies, max)
In a rideshare accident, you suddenly have to consider:
- The rideshare driver
- The passengers in the rideshare
- The driver and passengers in the other cars
- Multiple insurance companies and policies
As you can see, it gets a little more complicated when there are more moving parts. The challenge here is not just determining who is at fault (the Lyft or Uber driver or the other vehicle), but in determining how the injuries and damages will be paid. If the rideshare driver is found to be at fault, is it on them entirely? Or should the rideshare company be held accountable? After all, while the drivers for rideshare companies are well-insured (more on that later), they’re not completely absolved from responsibility. Should you file a claim against the rideshare company, their contracted driver, or the other driver of the vehicle involved?
So, Who’s Responsible?
Just like with any vehicle accident, it will be up to law enforcement to create a report that can assist the courts in determining who was at fault for the accident in question. In most cases, fault will lie on the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, or the other driver(s) involved in the accident. There are some rare cases where passengers could be placed at fault, such as if they were distracting the driver or otherwise causing them to drive recklessly, so that’s another good reason to have a lawyer on call—just because you’re the passenger doesn’t mean you’re automatically in the “victim” column.
Therefore, if you have been the victim of an Uber accident or Lyft vehicle incident, you should contact an attorney that’s experienced with rideshare accidents. Lyft and Uber accident attorneys can help determine who was at fault through investigation, accident reconstruction, and other methods. They will go over the details of the accident report and the statements that were taken to determine whether the rideshare driver was liable or even simply negligent.
Let’s take a closer look at liability and negligence.
- Liable means they were actively responsible for the accident.
- Negligent means that the accident happened because of something they did, but perhaps not deliberately.
For example, a rideshare driver knowingly running a red light and causing an accident is a case of clear liability. This is true because their negligence to follow traffic laws caused the Uber accident or Lyft accident.
Rideshare Companies Are Ready
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have their own attorneys and legal protections in place already. As most major corporations do, they’re going to fight tooth and nail to make sure that they aren’t held accountable for an accident or that they don’t have to pay extensive fines and damages. Since they have people sign liability waivers, it helps cut down on the number of suits against them. They also require their drivers to have a million-dollar liability policy that includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
This means that drivers have at least a million dollars of coverage for any injuries, damages, or deaths that happen as a result of a rideshare accident. It also includes protection against being involved in an accident with another vehicle that is not properly insured. Of course, that doesn’t always mean that the insurance company will want to pay that much.
That also doesn’t mean that it will always be enough. Sometimes, victims need to take their case to a rideshare attorney. You need to have your own Uber or Lyft accident lawyer to ensure that you can fight back and get a fair outcome. If you’ve been involved in an accident during a rideshare in Downey or the surrounding Los Angeles area, contact a qualified rideshare attorney immediately.