Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

Ridesharing is one of the most popular transportation choices for getting around Los Angeles. With just the click on an app, riders can book a ride from one specific location to another. Compared to most taxi companies, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft offer riders more affordable fares. While Uber and Lyft state that they are committed to safety, rideshare accidents still happen too frequently. If their drivers get into an accident, Uber and Lyft have been known to attempt and deny personal injury claims. For this reason, the Los Angeles Uber accident lawyers at Mesriani Law Group have helped rideshare accident victims with their claims. With an experienced lawyer managing the claim, you can rest assured that the legal aspect of your accident will be handled diligently so you can focus on your recovery.

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"Mr. Mesriani is an excellent lawyer. I am very thankful and very happy with everything he and his staff had done for me. He treated me like a friend, but at the same time he was very professional and helped me with all my legal concerns amazingly. If ever I will need any legal assistance again, I will definitely go to him. I highly recommend him. Again, thank you very much Mr. Mesriani and may God bless you."

Why You Need an Uber Accident Lawyer

Uber offers their drivers a $1,000,000 liability policy that covers many accidents. However, attempting to obtain compensation from Uber without the assistance of an accident lawyer may be extremely difficult. Without understanding California ridesharing laws, you may accept a very low settlement or have your claim denied completely.

Accident victims already have a lot on their mind after getting injured. The Uber accident lawyers at Mesriani Law group will handle all communication with Uber and other responsible parties so you can focus on your well-being. Our law firm has the knowledge, experience, and resources to help obtain the maximum compensation for our clients. With our no win no fee policy, clients can benefit from legal services with peace of mind knowing that if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us anything.

Why Choose Mesriani Law Group

While there may be numerous legal counsel options for uber accident claims, choosing the right representation for your specific situation is essential to obtaining successful results. At Mesriani Law Group, we provide our clients with the following:

No Win No Fee Policy

At Mesriani Law Group, we have a No Win No Fee guarantee. You don’t pay us anything if we don’t win your case.

Proven Track Record

Mesriani Law Group was founded in 1996 and since then, it has maintained its outstanding reputation of recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for its clients.

Experienced Uber Accident Attorneys in Los Angeles

Rodney Mesriani and his team of highly skilled and accomplished lawyers have over two decades of experience among them and are thoroughly dedicated to fighting for victims injured in an rideshare related accident.

Satisfied Clientele

Mesriani Law Group represents clients all over Southern California and have been given the highest ratings as seen in Yelp, AVVO, Google, and alike. Direct communication and superior customer service is what our firm is known for.

Multilingual Staff

The firm’s multilingual team also speaks Farsi, Spanish, and Tagalog. Our professional and gracious staff are pleased to answer any queries you may have.

Available 24/7

We are available 24/7 to give consultation over the phone and if our clients are unable to meet at our office, we are amenable to meet you at your convenience.

What Makes an Uber or Lyft Accident Different in California?

Despite Uber or Lyft’s popularity, ridesharing is still a relatively new service. With the numerous accidents involving Uber or Lyft in California, ridesharing laws may continue to evolve to protect both riders and drivers.

One of the most important reasons that makes Uber or Lyft accidents different in California is the fact that ridesharing companies are not considered transportation companies. Today, both companies are considered Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). They are regulated by the California Public Utilities code and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

 

As a platform that connects drivers (independent contractors) to riders (passengers), Uber and Lyft were originally able to operate without strict regulations or insurance. But after numerous accidents and safety issues, these companies now provide drivers with insurance in case of an accident. However, a rideshare driver’s liability may vary depending on the time the driver is in during an accident. 

Types of Rideshare Accident Claims Mesriani Law Group Handles

  • Accident claims filed by rideshare drivers
  • Accident claims filed by rideshare passengers
  • Accident claims filed by pedestrians
  • Accident claims against Uber or Lyft
  • Accident claims against rideshare drivers
  • Accident claims against drivers of other vehicles
  • Accident claims against a government entity
  • Rideshare accident claims due to wrongful death
  • Other rideshare accident claims

What You Should Do After Being in a Rideshare Accident

If you were a passenger involved in an accident while taking a rideshare, be sure to take appropriate steps to ensure your health and safety. Here are several important tips on what you should do after a rideshare accident:

  • Make sure you’re safe – The Lyft or Uber driver will likely know to pull over to a safe location away from traffic. If they don’t, remind them to do so. Check yourself for injuries right away to see if you’ve been hurt.
  • Report the accident – Just like with car accidents, call the police and report the accident immediately. The police will collect information about the rideshare accident and file a report. These police reports are important documents that an accident attorney will need when building your case.
  • Seek medical attention – Next, make sure to seek prompt medical attention. Although you may not feel symptoms from the accident right away, it may show up days, weeks, or months later. It’s a good idea to seek professional medical attention and have a professional give you a full diagnosis after an accident. If you decide to file a claim later, it’s important to show that you sought medical attention for any injuries you may suffered from the accident.
  • Collect information– Write down the Uber or Lyft driver’s full name, driver’s license number, insurance company, and insurance policy number. If there are any witnesses at the scene, collect their contact information as well. Be sure to collect video or photo evidence of the scene of accident, vehicles involved, and any injuries.
  • Write down details of the accident scene – The date, time of day, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and any other details about the rideshare accident. Write down these details as soon as possible because as time passes, your memory of the accident may start to fade, and it will be more difficult to remember what happened that day. If possible, take photos of any visible injuries you may have sustained and damages to the vehicles involved.
  • Contact a Los Angeles rideshare accident lawyer – As soon as possible, contact an experienced Los Angeles Uber accident lawyer about your accident. There are numerous legalities when dealing with rideshare accident cases and any mistake may negatively affect your ability to collect compensation for your injuries. An Uber accident lawyer at Mesriani Law Group will help advise you about your legal options and the next appropriate steps.

What Does Rideshare Mean?

Ridesharing is a service that matches passengers with drivers to arrange transportation and can typically be arranged on a short notice. Users can pre-arrange the one-way transportation service for compensation through a mobile app or website. Currently, Uber and Lyft are the two most popular rideshare companies in Los Angeles and throughout California. Most Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees of the company.

Before ridesharing started, passengers had the option to use taxi companies to arrange transportation. Today, taxi services are no longer popular in most parts of the United States including Los Angeles and other major metropolitan cities. Unlike taxi cabs, Uber and Lyft provide passengers with an estimated ride cost so users know ahead of time how much they will pay for the ride. Additionally, taxi fares are generally higher compared to rideshare fares.

In California, Uber and Lyft are considered Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). Both companies are regulated by the California Public Utilities code and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). In addition to setting rules and laws for TNCs, these state agencies are also responsible for enforcing them.

Differences between TNCs and traditional taxi or limousine services 

Although companies like Uber and Lyft offer similar services to taxis or limousines, there are several key differences including:

  • Rideshare drivers generally use their own personal vehicle to provide the service. They are solely responsible for expenses such as fuel costs, cleaning expenses, and car maintenance.
  • Rideshare drivers can typically set their own schedule. They can pick their own working hours and can generally work as many or little hours as they’d like.
  • Rideshare drivers aren’t required to accept a specific rider or ride if they don’t want to.
  • TNC vehicles generally don’t have obvious displays or signage. However, some Uber and Lyft drivers have a small signage on their vehicle to help passengers easily identify the car.

What Is Uber?

Uber is a ridesharing platform where passengers can request rides from drivers. Passengers can request rides from an app using a cell phone or from the Uber website. Once a driver accepts your request, the app will show the time of pick up at your location, and time of drop off. In most cities, your total ride cost is calculated up front before you confirm your ride. In other cities, you’ll see an estimated fare range. Uber operates in over 900 cities worldwide including Los Angeles and major cities throughout California.

What Is Lyft?

Like Uber, Lyft is a ridesharing platform that matches passengers with drivers. Riders can choose to use the service through the Lyft app on a mobile phone, tablet, or Lyft website. After you enter a pick-up and drop-off location, Lyft will give you an estimated fare. Upon accepting the fare, your ride will be confirmed. Lyft operates in major cities throughout California including Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

If you’re a passenger who got hurt riding in an Uber or Lyft, a rideshare accident lawyer at Mesriani Law Group can help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Our law firm is conveniently located in Santa Monica, California.

How Common Are Rideshare Accidents?

According to Uber’s US Safety Report published in 2019, there were a total of 107 deaths in 2017 and 2018 across 97 total fatal crashes. In 2017, Uber-related motor vehicle death rate was 0.59 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In 2018, they had 0.57 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. Approximately 90% of Uber death-related accidents occurred in urban areas like Los Angeles. 21% of the deaths reported were riders that used the Uber platform.

Lyft’s Community Safety Report revealed 22 motor vehicle fatalities in 2017, 34 motor vehicle fatalities in 2018, and 49 motor vehicle fatalities in 2019. From the report, the data shows that rideshare accidents have increased each year in the past several years.

Since drivers use their personal vehicles to drive, the types of cars involved in rideshare accidents vary. Common automotive make and model cars used for Uber and Lyft services include Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and 6, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu, and Chevrolet Cruze. Riders can also choose from SUVs or large trucks such as a Tesla Model X, Ford Explorer, Ford Escape, and Toyota Tacoma.

Uber and Lyft provide drivers with auto insurance when they’re working. For example, when drivers are available or waiting for a ride request, Uber maintains auto insurance on the driver’s behalf in case of an accident. If there’s an accident when the driver is on the way to pick up a rider or during a trip, Uber maintains $1,000,000 for third-party liability.

Determining Liability in a Rideshare Accident

It’s difficult to determine liability in any type of car accident. However, accidents involving multiple parties such as Uber or Lyft are even more complicated. Determining liability with an Uber or Lyft accident will typically be based on the other party’s negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise a certain level of care to prevent harm to others. In other words, the driver who caused the accident and harm to the other person will likely be held liable for injuries suffered by the victim. They will likely also be responsible for damages.

Common examples of negligence related to Uber or Lyft rideshare accidents include:

  • Distracted driving such as texting or talking on the phone
  • Reckless driving or speeding
  • Disobeying traffic laws
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Not paying attention to the road
  • Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Failing to use proper turn signals

If you were injured in a rideshare accident due to the driver’s negligence, you’ll have to prove that their negligence was the direct cause of your injuries. In Los Angeles, the required elements of negligence are:

  • Duty of care – Duty to use reasonable care.
  • Breach of duty of care – Beach is the actual wrongful act.
  • Causation – Legal and factual causation. Meaning that the defendant’s actions must have caused your damages.
  • Damages – Sum of money for injury or loss caused by a wrongful act.

In California, negligent behavior is not only unacceptable, but it is unlawful. Every California driver has a duty of care to exercise a reasonable amount of care to avoid hurting others. Uber and Lyft drivers are responsible for exercising the same caution while providing transportation services to riders. If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, an experienced personal injury accident attorney can determine liability and help you obtain compensation for your losses.

What if the Uber / Lyft Driver was Responsible?

If an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare driver is responsible for an accident, injured riders may file a claim against the driver. In these situations, liability will depend on whether the driver:

  • Has turned on the app and is waiting for a rider
  • Has the app turned off and does not have a rider
  • Is already transporting a rider or is on their way to pick up a rider

Liability will vary depending on the situation because if a driver has the app turned off, any accident they are involved in will be treated similarly to a normal car accident. Additionally, insurance coverage will be limited to the amount on the driver’s personal car insurance policy.

On the other hand, if a rideshare driver has the app turned on and is waiting for a rider, insurance will be covered by the company. For example, Uber maintains auto insurance to cover its drivers that are available or waiting for a ride request:

  • $50,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

Additionally, Uber maintains a $1,000,000 third-party liability insurance to cover drivers if they are on their way to pick up riders and during trips.

Liability and Ridesharing Periods 

Uber and Lyft separate their insurance coverage based on the different time periods for drivers. A driver’s liability may vary depending on what he or she was doing at the time of the rideshare accident. Generally, there are three separate time periods for Uber and Lyft drivers:

  • Offline/No Period – This is the time when a driver has the app turned off or is not logged onto the app. If the Uber or Lyft driver gets into an accident during this time, they will need to use their personal auto insurance coverage since they are considered off the job.
  • Period 1 – This is the time when a driver is logged into their Uber app but haven’t accepted a ride yet. If the driver gets into an accident while he or she is online and waiting for a ride, the following insurance policy coverage will apply: $50,000 for bodily injury liability per person, $100,000 for bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 for property damage liability per accident.
  • Period 2 – During this time, the Uber or Lyft driver has accepted a ride and is on their way to pick the passenger.
  • Period 3 – This is when a driver has picked up the rider and is on their way to the drop-off location.

When drivers in are in period 2 and 3, Uber and Lyft provide them with $1,000,000 in commercial auto insurance coverage and $1,000,000 in uninsured or underinsurance motorist coverage.

Getting into an accident with a rideshare company can be complicated. Aside from the multiple levels of insurance coverage, it can be overwhelming to try and deal with insurance adjusters or defense attorneys while you’re trying to recover from your injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a rideshare accident in Los Angeles or anywhere in California, contact our law firm for a free consultation. Our experienced Uber accident lawyers has substantial knowledge of California ridesharing driver laws and can advise you of your legal options.

What Are the Insurance Policy Limits if I’m Involved in an Uber Accident?

The policy limits of an Uber driver will depend on the time they are in when the accident occurred. A driver can be in following time periods:

  • Offline/No Period – This is when the Uber driver is not logged on the app. They are considered off the clock and will only be covered by their own personal auto insurance policy.
  • Period 1 – The Uber driver is logged into their Uber app but haven’t accepted a ride yet. He or she is online and waiting for a ride. In this period, the following insurance policy coverage will apply:
  • $50,000 for bodily injury liability per person
  • $100,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage liability per accident
  • Period 2 – The Uber driver has accepted a ride and is on their way to pick the passenger.
  • Period 3 – The Uber driver has picked up the rider and is on their way to the drop-off location.

While the driver is in period 2 or 3, Uber provides them the following insurance:

  • $1,000,000 coverage for commercial auto insurance
  • $1,000,000 coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorist

Although this coverage may seem generous, Uber has been known to lowball accident victims by giving them the low settlement amount or even completely deny liability. Uber has an experienced legal team and accident victims may not have the experience to negotiate the best settlement for their injuries. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, speak with an Uber accident lawyer at Mesriani Law Group as soon as possible.

Why Would Insurance Dispute My Uber Accident Claim?

One of the main benefits of hiring a Los Angeles Uber accident attorney is to anticipate possible disputes from the other party. Insurance companies are notorious for finding any reason to dispute or completely deny accident claims. After all, paying out money to accident victims means less money for themselves. If you were hurt or injured in an Uber accident, you deserve compensation for your losses. However, there are several situations where you might face a dispute including:

  • Making a critical mistake – Certain mistakes can negatively impact your Uber accident claim. For example, delays with seeking medical evaluation and treatment may weaken your accident claim. The other party may also dispute your claim if you failed to follow your medical provider’s instructions. Another common mistake is providing a seemingly harmless statement to the other party’s insurance may cost you. Without knowing so, you may have unintentionally said something that the other party can use to hold you liable for the accident.
  • Your negligence contributed to the accident – California’s comparative negligence law states that injured parties may collect damages even if they’re partially to blame. However, this means that if your negligence contributed to the accident, the damages you receive may be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 25% responsible for the accident, instead of obtaining the full compensation, your damages will be reduced by 25%. The issue comes up when the other party tries to assign more negligence to you. Disputes often come up when determining the percentage of fault. At Mesriani Law Firm, our Uber accident lawyers in Los Angeles have extensive skills and experience to obtain the maximum compensation possible for our clients.
  • Your pre-existing conditions – Insurance companies will not pay for any pre-existing illness or injuries you may have had before the accident. However, if you can prove that the accident aggravated your condition or extended your healing process, you may be able to recover compensation. Disputes over pre-existing medical conditions are highly complicated, and it is unadvisable to attempt negotiations without the help of an experienced personal injury accident attorney.
  • You failed to pay your insurance premiums – Majority of ridesharing accident claims are made against the party at-fault, also known as third-party claims. However, in some situations, victims may bring a first-party claim against their personal insurance provider. If you failed to pay your insurance premiums on time, the insurance may dispute your claim or completely deny it.
  • Disagreement about settlement calculations – Disputes about settlement calculations are common because insurance companies will always try to pay out as little as possible. Although there are widely accepted formulas for calculating damages, there may be disputes about the calculations depending on the specific case. Due to this, hiring an experienced rideshare accident attorney can provide significant benefits as attorneys have the resources and skills to resolve disputes.

What Damages Can I Win in a Rideshare Accident Claim?

California rideshare accident victims are entitled to compensatory damages for losses suffered. In a personal injury lawsuit, victims may be awarded economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are expenses or losses incurred from the accident. They are generally simple to calculate as the amount can be verified by receipts or bills.

Economic damages (past or future):

  • Medical costs
  • Property damage
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Retraining or re-education costs
  • Long-term care or in-home modifications
  • Out of pocket expenses including medical insurance co-pay
  • Any other lost opportunities or expenses incurred from the accident

Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses because of the accident. These damages are generally more difficult to calculate as they’re subjective losses.

Non-economic damages (past or future):

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Any other non-economic loss incurred from the accident

In special cases, victims may also be awarded punitive damages if the defendant exhibited extreme recklessness or inflicted harm intentionally. Speak with an Uber accident lawyer at Mesriani Law Group to find out the damages you may be owed from a rideshare accident. 

How Long Do I Have to File an Uber Accident Claim?

In California, rideshare accidents victims only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim. If you were involved in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare crash, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.

However, rideshare accidents involving a government entity (such as city, state, or federal vehicle) have a much shorter time frame. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim against the government is six months from the date of the accident.

If you’re a victim of a rideshare accident, contact an Uber accident lawyer at Mesriani Law Group as soon as possible. Any delays or missed filing deadline may impact your ability to obtain compensation for your losses.

Speak to an Experienced Uber Accident Lawyer from Mesriani Law Group

Were you injured in a Los Angeles Uber or Lyft accident? If so, contact Mesriani Law group as soon as possible for legal assistance with your personal injury claim.

Our personal injury attorneys have over 20 years of experience helping accident victims in Los Angeles and throughout California. We’re willing and ready to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Call our law office today to schedule your free consultation.

CONTACT US TODAY AT (866)500-7070 OR MESSAGE US ONLINE TO SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

Uber Accident Lawyer FAQs 

Does Uber pay for accidents?

In California, Uber covers their drivers in the event of an accident. This means that if you’ve been injured in an accident with an Uber driver, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. Uber’s insurance policy can cover up to $1,000,000 but coverage is based on specific time periods the driver is in during the time of the accident.

Is it worth hiring an Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles?

If you want to obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries, it’s worth hiring an Uber accident lawyer. One of the main reasons why you may want to consider getting a lawyer is to take legal action against the party responsible for your injuries. A lawyer will make sure that you understand the full value of your claim and ensure the other party does not shortchange you.

How do I contact Uber about an accident?

Drivers and riders who were involved in an accident can report the accident through the app or Uber website. Uber will reach out to the driver to make sure everyone is safe and collect necessary information. Details such as date and location of the accident, injuries, and vehicle damaged will be requested. However, if you are a rider that is involved in an Uber accident, be sure to contact an Uber accident lawyer about your accident before making any statements to Uber. An attorney can advise you regarding your legal options and next best steps.

What to do if your Uber is in an accident?

If your Uber is in an accident, the first thing you should do is to check yourself for any injuries. Make sure that your Uber driver pulls up to a safe location. If he has not, request that he or she does so. Call the police and report the Uber accident. Get the Uber driver’s full name, phone number, and insurance information. Seek medical help and follow your medical provider’s instructions. Most importantly, contact a Los Angeles Uber accident lawyer about your crash. 

Kamran Hayempour

"The Mesriani Law Group’s attorneys and paralegals have been very professional in handling our cases. We were constantly updated with everything that is going on. They have been very helpful in answering our questions and attending to all our legal concerns. They achieved great results for us, case after case (company and personal). I am very satidfied and I highly recommend them.."

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