Liability in Uber and Lyft Accidents
Any auto accident is a stressful and overwhelming experience. There are added legal complications with liability in Uber accidents. No injury victim should have to deal with these issues alone. Let an experienced Los Angeles Uber accident attorney protect your legal rights and fight insurance company tactics. Call (844) 335-3271 to schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles Uber accident attorney at Deldar Legal. We fight for your right to full compensation for all the losses you have sustained.
Car Accident Fatalities Are On the Rise in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Times reports on Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to eliminate traffic deaths in Los Angeles by 2025. Unfortunately, this plan – named “Vision Zero” has been remarkably unsuccessful. Since Vision Zero launched in 2015, fatal car accidents in Los Angeles have actually increased by 32 percent. Why is this? Like road users in many other cities across America, Los Angelenos faces dangerous driving behaviors:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving by alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, or any combination thereof
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Running red lights
- Drivers who are not familiar with L.A. streets and don’t know where they are going
- Following too closely
Uber and Lyft drivers can be especially prone to these dangerous driving behaviors. Being paid by the ride is an incentive to squeeze in as many rides as possible. This could lead a driver to speed, change lanes dangerously, follow too closely, and engage in other dangerous driving habits. It might lead a driver to keep accepting rides after he or she is too tired to drive safely. (This is an easy trap to fall into: unlike intoxication, there is not a clear rule for when you are too tired to drive.) A “fee per ride” price structure encourages all of these habits.
Distracted driving is also a particular problem for Uber and Lyft drivers. In order to accept a ride, drivers must log into the app and stay alert for fares in their area. The app stays open to document the driver’s progress. When the ride is done, the app updates and alerts the driver to other potential fares in the area. All of this requires a rideshare driver to constantly pay attention to his or her mobile device. This can easily distract from the task of driving. Though Section 23123.5 of the California Vehicle Code prohibits the use of handheld wireless devices while operating a motor vehicle, many Uber drivers ignore this law. Even looking at the phone without typing can divert a driver’s attention from the road. A distracted driver who negligently causes an accident must compensate all victims for all the damages caused by their injuries.
Who Pays for Uber Car Accident Injuries?
The person who is at fault (liable) for causing a car accident has a legal obligation to compensate accident victims for their injuries. This is why the state requires all drivers to carry liability insurance. Liability can be assigned to one driver or apportioned between different parties. For example: if a bicyclist was struck while riding outside the bike lane, he or she might be partly liable for causing an accident. This would reduce the amount of compensation available to the injured cyclist.
If an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident, the liable party will depend on what the driver was doing at the time the accident occurred.
- If the driver was not functioning as a ridesharing driver in any capacity (the app is turned off), the driver’s own insurance will cover any damages to his or her policy limits.
- If the driver had the app on and was waiting for a ride request, Uber and Lyft both provide third-party coverage in the amount of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage that will kick in if the driver’s personal insurance does not apply.
- If the driver had accepted a ride or was in the process of giving a ride, both Uber and Lyft provide $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage.
As you might imagine, insurance companies and their lawyers are protective of this injury coverage. They might claim that another driver was partly at fault for the accident, or that you contributed to your own injuries, or that your damages do not exceed the limits of the driver’s personal auto policy. This is an important reason to have your case reviewed by an Uber lawyer. Whether you are an Uber passenger, the driver or passenger of a vehicle struck by an Uber, a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by an Uber or injured by an Uber in any other way, you have the legal right to be compensated for your injuries.
What Damages Are You Entitled to After an Uber Accident?
A negligent driver who causes an auto accident must compensate all injury victims of that accident. This compensation must fully pay for all losses – tangible and not – that were caused by the accident. These losses often include:
- Lost wages and any decrease to your future earning potential
- Medical bills and projected future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Mileage to medical appointments
- Scarring and other disfigurements
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Many of these “intangible losses” (such as pain and suffering) are difficult to value at a particular dollar amount. Because of this, insurance companies tend to lowball these losses when making settlement offers. An experienced Los Angeles Uber accident attorney can help you prove the value of the very real losses you have suffered. What about a concert pianist who loses an arm in an accident? What about the paralyzed victim who can no longer hold her children? These are very real and devastating losses that can dramatically affect the rest of an injury victim’s life. You don’t have to settle for an insurance company’s lowball offer. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer can prove the value of these losses during settlement negotiations or make a persuasive case at trial.
Call Us Today to Speak with a Los Angeles Uber Accident Lawyer
After an auto accident, you need time to rest and recover from your injuries. You should not have to waste time and energy fighting insurance companies. Let an experienced personal injury lawyer protect your legal rights while you take care of yourself. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles Uber accident attorney today. Call Deldar Legal at (844) 335-3271 or contact us online. The sooner you have an experienced auto accident lawyer in your corner, the better protected your legal rights will be.