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In today’s fast-paced world, Uber and Lyft have become reliable alternatives for taxis, buses, and other common modes of transportation. These ridesharing companies make it easier for people to get to their destination, thus changing how transportation works all over the U.S. Instead of hailing cab drivers on the street, Uber and Lyft let users get a ride through their mobile apps. They offer cheaper fares as well compared to taxis, making them worthy competitors.
Although there are several distinctions between these ridesharing services and taxis, they do share a single similarity. Uber and Lyft do not directly manage their drivers nor own their cars, making them similar to taxi companies. Despite this fact, their technological nature has not impacted driver liability and accident compensation.
If you have been involved in a ridesharing accident, seeking damages against Uber or Lyft is your best resort. Both companies provide passengers with insurance coverage in case of accidents while using their services. You may also get compensation through a car accident claim against either company.
Whether you are opting for coverage or a legal case, consulting a competent Uber and Lyft accident lawyer is vital. An expert car accident attorney will help prevent insurance adjusters and defense lawyers from taking advantage of your claim. Mesriani Law Group’s car accident lawyers offer excellent legal services for ridesharing accident victims. Seeking the best Uber and Lyft accident lawyer Los Angeles has to offer will ensure you get through the entire legal process properly and get the appropriate compensation you deserve.
What are the Different Causes of Uber & Lyft Accidents in California?
Uber and Lyft accidents share the same causes as ordinary car or motor accidents. The following situations may lead to mishaps while using ridesharing services:
- Running or beating red lights
- Reckless driving
- Using a cellphone while driving
- Distracted driving
- Poor weather and road conditions
There are also instances wherein Uber and Lyft drivers might have poor safety records with previous arrests for violations such as reckless and drunk driving. To prevent these cases, ridesharing companies ensure employee safety and driving ability by screening their drivers thoroughly. Failure to do so might cause these individuals to endanger passengers at any time.
Is Ridesharing Putting You at Risk for Car Accidents?
According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, 36% of Americans use Uber and Lyft apps for their daily commute. However, these ridesharing technologies pose possible car accident risks. Government data shows that traffic accidents around the U.S. in 2010 dropped to 32,885, an all-time low since 1949. However, Uber and Lyft’s arrival saw a gradual increase in motor accidents these past few years.
Researchers from the University of Chicago and Rice University found that ridesharing services caused a two to three percent rise in car accidents and passenger fatalities. Their report also showed a dramatic surge in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) since Uber’s 2010 launch.
Thus, knowing what to do after a ridesharing accident and how you can obtain compensation is vital in building your case.
What Should You Do in Case of Uber & Lyft Accidents?
Uber and Lyft always require their drivers to take the following measures once an accident occurs:
- Contact 911
- Check their passenger’s condition
- Seek medical attention
Both companies also exert effort in ensuring passenger loyalty and safety. Lyft’s Trust and Safety team is one example, as they will give you insurance information and handle your situation after an accident.
After an Uber or Lyft accident, you should gather necessary information such as:
- Your Uber/Lyft driver’s name and contact details
- The other driver’s name and contact details
- Your Uber/Lyft driver’s personal insurance information
- Information about Uber or Lyft’s insurance policies
- The other driver’s insurance information
- Information on both vehicles involved, including their registration numbers and license plates
- Witness names and contact details
- Photos of your injuries or vehicle damage
Filing a formal incident report through 911 and seeking medical attention for your injuries are also vital after a ridesharing accident.
How Can You Get Compensation for an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Uber and Lyft accident victims may seek damages for their injuries through any of the following options:
- Using their driver’s personal insurance coverage
- Filing a third-party insurance claim and a personal injury suit if another driver is involved in the accident
- Filing a claim against Uber or Lyft’s insurer
If your Uber or Lyft driver has his or her own insurance policy, that policy will cover your injuries. This condition, however, will only apply if the policy offers coverage for ridesharing drivers. Unfortunately, the provision is not present in existing car insurance policies that cover Uber and Lyft drivers. Most ridesharing drivers do not even have commercial insurance.
Getting compensation through a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury suit is another option that you might want to consider. You can file any or both of these claims if another driver is responsible for a ridesharing accident. This may be enough if you were involved in a minor accident with relatively minor injuries and if the driver’s policy provides enough coverage. But do keep in mind that their policy might give you inadequate coverage.
Uber and Lyft also offer uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance coverage to their passengers. Injured passengers are usually given $1 million for accident compensation given the following scenarios:
- The negligent driver cannot be identified
- The negligent driver does not have car insurance
- The negligent driver’s policy is not adequate for compensation
Filing a claim against an Uber or Lyft driver’s liability coverage is possible as well, but only if the Uber or Lyft driver collided with a car that you were inside of. Otherwise, pursuing a lawsuit against either company would be your last resort. This step will need legal consultation from an expert Lyft or Uber accident attorney.
Consult an Expert Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles Today
Negotiating your claims with a ridesharing company such as Uber or Lyft on your own is ill-advised, as you will be faced by insurance adjusters and defense lawyers who will protect their clients through manipulative actions. These people may deem your claims as invalid, use legal technicalities against you, and prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve. An Uber or Lyft car accident lawyer will help you avoid these particular situations and seek necessary damages from these entities.
It is best to seek legal help from Mesriani Law Group’s Uber and Lyft accident lawyers in Los Angeles given these factors. From your initial consultation to presenting your case in court, our attorneys will make sure that you get just compensation for your injuries and emotional pain and suffering.