California Rideshare Accident Attorneys
Ridesharing offers a convenient solution for many California residents, especially as options expand beyond Uber and Lyft to programs geared toward families and other specific demographics. and, some studies have concluded that the availability of rideshare options makes the streets safer, reducing both DUI arrests and fatal traffic accidents.
Unfortunately, there are complications as well. When a rideshare accident occurs and a passenger, driver of another car, pedestrian or bicyclist is injured, liability can be difficult to determine. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, it is to your advantage to speak with an attorney experienced in handling rideshare car accident claims as soon as possible.
Who is Responsible for Damages in a Rideshare Accident Case?
One reason rideshare accident cases are complicated is the complex nature of automobile insurance for rideshare drivers. In most car accident cases, the responsible driver will have automobile insurance, and that insurance company will be responsible for paying any claims against the driver. If the driver is illegally operating the vehicle without insurance, then the injured party’s own uninsured motorist coverage will apply. However, most personal automobile insurance policies do not cover professional use of a vehicle, such as offering rideshare services.
California law provides greater protection than many states, in that the legislature has required rideshare companies to provide $1 million in liability coverage from the moment the driver is matched with a passenger through drop-off. However, in a catastrophic accident or an accident involving multiple injury victims, $1 million in coverage may be far from adequate. And, the rideshare company is not required to provide coverage for the driver and his vehicle, only for third parties.
Gaps in Rideshare Insurance Coverage
The company-provided insurance generally won’t cover an accident that occurs while the driver is logged in to the app but waiting for a match. However, the driver’s personal automobile insurance carrier may argue that this phase constitutes commercial use of the vehicle and deny coverage for an accident that occurs during this transitional period. Thus, if a rideshare driver who has not yet been matched with a passenger is responsible for an accident, both insurance companies may attempt to deny responsibility and avoid payment of the claim.
Working with an Experienced Rideshare Accident Lawyer
An attorney who is knowledgeable about rideshare accident cases can investigate your claim and determine which party or parties may be liable for your injuries. That’s critical, because suing the wrong party or leaving out a party can greatly reduce the compensation available, or even result in no recovery at all.
If you’ve been seriously injured by an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle, or if you’ve lost a loved one to rideshare accident, you don’t have to sort out the complicated maze of responsibility and insurance coverage alone. Give yourself the advantage of working with an experienced attorney from the beginning.
It’s easy to get started. Just schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.