Understanding the Issues Involved in Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accidents
Jul 9 2018

Understanding the Issues Involved in Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accidents

Rideshare accidentsServices like Uber and Lyft, also known as rideshare companies, generally insure their drivers with separate policies. When they don’t, the drivers themselves are required by California law to carry traffic accident liability coverage in the amount of twice the minimum standard. In California, that means $50,000 per individual or $100,000 per accident.

Uber, for instance, insures its drivers with a $1 million policy. The drivers themselves can carry the minimum coverage required by California law. Whatever the driver’s personal policy does not pay out, Uber’s policy foots the bill for.

In other words, if an Uber driver is found liable for $100,000 worth of worth of damage to you and your vehicle, but their policy only covers $30,000, Uber’s insurance would foot the bill for the extra $70,000.

Due, however, to the nature of these companies, their drivers often feel pressured to get to and deliver passengers in a timely manner. Meanwhile, their attention might be divided between the road and the app they use to connect with riders. Rideshare accidents are thus more common than you think.

A Rideshare Accident Attorney Can Help You With Your Claim

Rideshare accidents are more complicated to deal with because you’re often not making a claim with one insurance company – but two. The auto accident attorneys at Russell & Lazarus, APC can help you with your claim.

Traffic Accident Law in California

California is a fault-based state when it comes to traffic accident law. This means that when a traffic accident occurs, either you or another driver is to blame for it. While sometimes both drivers may be partially to blame for an accident, chances are good that one or the other driver is more to blame than the other.

When you’re in an accident, regardless of whether or not the driver is on duty for a rideshare company or not, you make a claim against their auto insurance. This is true if you are another driver, a passenger in either vehicle, or an unsuspecting pedestrian simply making their way across the street.

You may be able to receive compensation under any of the following scenarios. You are:

  • injured by an Uber driver in a traffic accident;
  • injured in a traffic accident in which you are the passenger of an Uber vehicle;
  • a pedestrian or bicyclist who is struck by an Uber vehicle;
  • a passenger in a car that has been struck by an Uber vehicle.

If the rideshare driver is responsible either in whole or in part for the accident, then you may be able to receive damages.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

If you’re a passenger in a rideshare accident, you’re not to blame. Under California’s tort system, you have a right to make a claim either against the Uber driver or the other driver involved in the accident. In fact, if they are both partially responsible for the accident, you can make a claim against both drivers.

In either event, the process gets complex. And there’s a strong chance that you won’t be filing a claim with one insurance company, but two.

Nonetheless, there are several things that you can do to help your claim. If you are capable of doing so, you should take photos of the scene. This includes not only the Uber driver’s car but the other driver’s car as well. You’ll want to take pictures of both license plates and pictures of other people at the scene as well. Their testimony could be important to the case.

You’ll also want to seek medical attention immediately. Insurance companies use claims adjuster software that seeks ways to devalue your accident claim. Insurance companies will therefore assume your injuries are not sever, based on the time at which you sought medical attention. It’s best for your claim to seek medical attention immediately. This is the case even if you don’t feel like your injuries are that serious.

Speak to a Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today to Learn More

As we said earlier, claims involving rideshare accidents can get very complex with the number of parties involved. If you are in an auto accident involving a rideshare driver, you could be dealing with up to three insurance companies all at the same time. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Russell & Lazarus, APC have helped victims of rideshare accidents settle numerous claims against at-fault parties.