If you live in Southern California you have probably taken advantage of popular ridesharing methods of transportation such as Uber or Lyft. Uber currently has more than 8 Million users and its rival, Lyft, has more than 631,000 registered users. Many of these users are former taxicab riders. Others are opting to be driven to their destinations, rather than drive themselves. In fact, data released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) suggests that the ridesharing options have resulted in 60 fewer drunk driving crashes in the United States each month.
The demand for Uber and Lyft services is not showing any signs of slowing down. Unfortunately, the chances of being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident grows as more ridesharing vehicles take to the road. If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contacting an experienced car accident attorney is an excellent first step in filing a successful personal injury claim for damages after your Uber accident.
What to Do If You Are Injured as an Uber or Lyft Passenger
The steps you take immediately after a San Diego Uber or Lyft car accident can make or break any future personal injury claim for damages. If you are injured in an accident, we suggest that you keep the following steps in mind.
Seek medical attention immediately. A medical evaluation can treat serious injuries and rule out the possibility of life-threatening injuries that may arise in the future. This evaluation can also preserve and document information and evidence that may be crucial to maximizing the damages you receive.
Contact the police. A police report can be a great source of information for your attorney. Memories and perceptions about an accident can fade with time and evidence can be lost. A Traffic Collision Report can provide a snapshot of the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident.
Refuse to Speak with Insurance Companies. Insurance companies are not on your side. They are an adverse party with an interest in minimizing the amount(s) they pay to accident victims like you. Do not speak with an insurance company representative unless and until you have consulted with an attorney.
Contact an experienced San Diego Uber accident attorney. An attorney will fight to protect your legal rights and maximize the compensation you are awarded.
Can I Recover Compensation Directly From Uber and Lyft?
Ridesharing companies are required, by law, to carry insurance coverage in case a passenger is injured. In California, companies like Uber and Lyft must carry a minimum of $1 Million in insurance to cover death, personal injury, and property damage caused by their drivers. Companies are also required to carry an equivalent amount of Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
Since the cars operated by the Uber and Lyft drivers are privately owned, how do we know when the ridesharing company’s insurance coverage is effective? California law states that the mandatory insurance coverage is effective as soon as a driver accepts a user’s request for a ride. The coverage only ends when the driver completes the transaction on the ridesharing application. At that time, the coverage drops to a maximum of $100,000 per accident until a new ride is accepted.
Your Uber Driver May Also Be Personally Liable
What happens if Uber denies your claim, partially covers your request for damages, and/or argues that the driver should be held personally responsible? Some ridesharing companies may maintain internal policies stating that they will not be held responsible for accidents/injuries that result from a driver’s misconduct. Uber and Lyft drivers are still required to carry their own personal insurance on the vehicles they operate – regardless of whether they are driving personally or professionally.
However, most states do not require that Uber and Lyft drivers carry additional ridesharing liability insurance above and beyond their regular policies. Drivers in Alaska and Maine must carry at least $100,000 in ridesharing liability coverage, while drivers in other states have no such obligation. As it turns out, most ridesharing drivers do not carry additional coverage. When more than 1,000 ridesharing drivers were surveyed, 77% indicated that they did not buy additional insurance to protect themselves or their passengers.
Regardless of the driver’s choice to carry additional coverage, they may still be held liable for injuries they may cause. An experienced San Diego Uber accident attorney can help you identify appropriate defendants and recover the damages to which you are entitled after an accident.
Need Help? Contact Our Experienced San Diego Uber Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a San Diego Uber car accident do not hesitate to contact the Injury Trial Lawyers, APC today. We have over 35 years of combined experience helping San Diego area accident victims and are here to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Injury Trial Lawyers, APC