If you have been injured in a Los Angeles Uber or Lyft car accident you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. An experienced Los Angeles Uber and Lyft car accident attorney will help you navigate the complex claims process and help to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation to which you are legally entitled.
Recovering Compensation After an Uber or Lyft Car Accident
If you are injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft ridesharing vehicle you are entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. In most cases, you will be able to recover compensation directly from the ridesharing company’s insurance policy. However, an experienced accident attorney will help to determine which parties may be liable for the damages you incur as a result of the accident. There are three distinct possibilities for recovering compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles.
Recovering Compensation From Uber or Lyft
California law requires Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies operating within the state to carry certain insurance to cover damages if an accident occurs while a driver is on the clock. While these insurance policies should apply to any accident a passenger is injured in, some companies claim that they will not pay for damages caused by the misconduct of their driver. Instead, they direct injured passengers to seek compensation directly from the allegedly at-fault Uber or Lyft driver. However, this position may be at odds with the new provisions in the California Vehicle Code, which states that the mandatory insurance policies are to be the first line of defense, regardless of fault.
Recovering Compensation From The At-Fault Uber or Lyft Driver
In some cases, an injured passenger may sustain injuries so severe that they exceed the ridesharing company’s insurance policy limits. If this is the case, and the Uber or Lyft driver is determined to be at least partly at-fault for the accident, then his or her personal car insurance policy can be targeted to cover the balance of the damage.
Recovering Compensation from an At-Fault Third Party
Again, if the injuries sustained by a passenger are so severe that the costs for treatment exceed the ridesharing company’s insurance policy limits, the injured passenger would need to seek to cover the balance of the damage elsewhere. If a third party is determined to be at least partly at-fault for the accident an injured passenger may seek to recover the balance from his or her personal car insurance policy.
The bottom line is that if you are injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft you will be able to recover compensation for your injuries. The difficult part may be in:
- Forcing the rideshare company to accept liability and shoulder the responsibility to pay for the damages you sustain, and
- Forcing the rideshare company to pay your claim in full.
Insurance companies are notorious for denying and underpaying claims – with the hope that an injured passenger is either unaware of the full amount(s) to which they may be entitled or grateful to recover anything at all. Enlisting the assistance of a skilled car accident attorney will help to ensure that you maximize your recovery.
I Was Injured In an Uber or Lyft Accident – What Should I Do?
If you are injured in a Los Angeles Uber or Lyft car accident you should remember to take certain steps and precautions.
- Seek medical assistance. Even if you do not think that you were severely injured in an Uber or Lyft accident you should undergo a complete medical evaluation. This evaluation will serve two purposes. First, it will ensure that there are no underlying injuries that could be life-threatening and manifest themselves at a later point in time. Second, it will provide evidence that may be crucial to recovering compensation for your injuries if you decide to file a claim.
- Report the incident to the police. A police report will list the date, time, conditions, and reason(s) for the accident, which can be helpful in your claim for damages.
- Report the incident to Uber or Lyft on the App. The ridesharing companies will probably try to wiggle out of liability and push the responsibility of paying on any claims for damages to the driver or a third party. Reporting the incident as soon as it happens makes a record of the incident and will serve as proof that the accident happened while the driver was on the clock. Do not do anything more than reporting the incident. Do not speak with representatives from the ridesharing company before you speak with an attorney.
- Contact An Experienced Los Angeles Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney. Speak with an attorney before contacting the ridesharing company about compensation. The insurance companies who represent Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies will try to minimize their payouts after an accident. As experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, we understand how to design, present, and negotiate the terms of a claim with these companies. Engaging the assistance of a Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorney will help to ensure that you recover the compensation you need to get better.
Rideshare Companies Required to Have Insurance Policies
When Uber and Lyft first began operating in California passengers injured in an accident were often required to seek compensation from the Uber or Lyft driver or at-fault third party, rather than the ridesharing companies themselves. However, most insurance companies did not want to cover traditional drivers for what is really commercial work. Fortunately, California lawmakers recognized the problem with this system and passed legislation to require Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies to carry specific types and amounts of insurance to cover drivers, passengers, and third parties in the event of an injury-causing accident.
California Vehicle Code Section 5430 requires ridesharing companies to carry a minimum of $1 million in uninsured and underinsured insurance premiums to cover the personal injury, death, and property damage if an accident occurs while one of their independent contractors is on the clock. These policies are required to be the primary insurance policy for damages caused while drivers are providing the Uber or Lyft ridesharing service. The insurance policy applies the moment a driver accepts a request for a ride and terminates the moment the driver ends the ride on his or her partner app.
Experienced Los Angeles Uber and Lyft Accident Attorneys
Car accidents can be incredibly scary, especially when you are a passenger with no control over the situation. At Citywide Law Group, our skilled Uber and Lyft accident attorneys understand the stress and financial burdens that can follow an accident. Many times, the thought of increasing that financial burden by paying out of pocket for legal representation can make the idea of pursuing a claim on one’s own more attractive.
However, Uber and Lyft accident victims who pursue compensation on their own without the assistance of an attorney are less likely to get the settlement or award they deserve. To ensure that our clients do not feel additional financial pressure, we offer our services on a contingency fee basis. This means that they do not recover a fee unless and until they get a settlement or award on your behalf. Operating on a contingency fee basis allows our clients to focus on recovery while allowing our skilled attorneys to handle the complex claims process on their behalf.
If you have been injured in a Los Angeles Uber or Lyft accident and are thinking about filing a claim for damages contact our office today for a free consultation. When you call we will explain your legal rights, review the details of your accident, determine which parties may be liable, and help you determine the best course of action.