Uber, Lyft, Gett and Rideshare Accident Attorneys
In Los Angeles, there are rideshare services everywhere. Lyft and Uber have made a permanent mark on how people get to places in Los Angeles, making transport a lot easier. Unfortunately, with the ubiquity of Lyft and Uber rides, also comes a tidal wave of accidents. If you suffered injuries in a Los Angeles rideshare accident, you deserve compensation just like any other accident. However, getting fair compensation for an Uber or Lyft accident is not easy. We are here to help.
When your are injured in an accident caused by the negligence of rideshare service driver — whether as a passenger in the Uber/Lyft itself, or as a third-party injury victim — you may not necessarily have a claim against the company, since companies like Uber do not consider their drivers as employees. All Uber drivers are independent contractors. When and if rideshare insurance coverage “activates” can be confusing.
Taxi cabs have licenses through the state. The drivers and the vehicles owners must meet all state and local insurance requirements. If there is an accident, laws specific to taxi cabs determine liability. Uber and Lyft are not taxi cab services. With companies such as Uber/Lyft, they are first and foremost “tech companies,” and the governing laws get muddy.
Unlike taxis, the vehicles belong to the drivers, not the company. Hiring practices of rideshare companies are often subpar, and do not include full background checks nor vehicle suitability checks. When you get into strangers’ vehicles, you have to trust them and their car to get you safely from point A to point B. When you are injured as a result of a ride share accident, it can be very difficult to work with all the potential insurance carriers, and tough to determine what insurance carrier to ultimately pursue.
Although Uber and Lyft carry insurance, the drivers must carry personal vehicle insurance to guarantee coverage for all accidents. Yet, the rules determining liability are unclear. Specific facts and events trigger different coverage limits
In many cases, the company insurance is secondary to the driver’s personal vehicle insurance. In some cases, there is no insurance coverage at all! As such, Uber accident injury victims must jump through additional hoops to secure compensation for their losses
Unfortunately, navigating the maze of laws, rules, and regulations to determine the proper party to sue and the applicable coverage limits can be an extremely daunting task. There can be conflicts over shared company and driver liability, as well as complicated insurance coverage issues. We will make the process easy so that you take care of your injuries, while we tirelessly work behind the scenes to take care of the legal issues. We know the laws, the insurance company tactics, and we have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for rideshare accident victims.
Accidents Caused by a Lyft/Uber Driver vs. Accidents as Passenger inside of a Rideshare Vehicle caused by a 3rd party
When you’ve suffered an injury due to an Uber accident in Los Angeles, you have a number of possible options for securing damages. If the driver was negligent, reckless, or acted intentionally or maliciously in causing your injuries, then you can potentially sue the driver directly and thereby obtain damages as compensation.
Uber will only cover damages if their drivers have their apps turned on during a trip. Uber’s substantial $1 million liability insurance policy will only apply in situations where the driver is actively logged onto the app and transporting a passenger. If the driver is logged onto the app but is not transporting a passenger, then Uber has a separate liability insurance policy ($100,000 in total) that may apply. If their app is off, victims may have to pursue compensation through the driver’s personal auto insurance, which is almost always small drivers typically people cannot afford to pay for large policies.
Uber is not technically considered an employer of their drivers, Uber may be held liable under certain circumstances. Although Uber cannot be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their drivers, they are still responsible for performing background checks on drivers and for inspecting the vehicles to ensure that they are reasonably safe for the road. Given certain circumstances upon investigation of the driver history, you could argue that Uber was negligent in allowing the driver to use the platform and exposing you to an unreasonably high risk of injury.
In cases involving the negligence of your own driver, companies typically carry a $1 million commercial liability policy. If a third party is involved and collides into your Uber driver while you are passenger, you may need to make a claim against multiple parties. If the party that causes the accident is insured less than $1 million, Uber’s rideshare insurance generally also carries some type of underinsured motorist coverage. However, your ability to recover compensation can be complicated by their unique insurance policies and terms of their underinsured motorist coverage. For example, the driver was operating their vehicle while intoxicated and subsequently collided with another vehicle, causing you injuries, then you would be entitled to bring an action against the Uber driver for damages.
We encourage you to contact a qualified Uber/Lyft personal injury attorney for guidance as soon as possible, so that your claims can be investigated and evaluated in a timely manner.
The Franklin attorneys have taken over 100 Lyft/Uber cases and have secured many favorable settlements. We are aggressive and thorough advocates for our clients. Call or e-mail to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.