Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have transformed how people travel. This is especially true in California, which became the first state to legalize ridesharing. Yet with the convenience and efficiency of these services comes a complicated legal landscape when devastating rideshare accidents occur. Who’s responsible? The driver, the rideshare company, or another party?
If you were injured in a rideshare accident, securing the compensation you need could be challenging. Luckily, you don’t have to take on the insurers alone. The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP have been helping accident victims in Bakersfield for over 80 years.
We understand the unique challenges rideshare accidents present and can navigate the complexities of corporate insurance policies on your behalf while you focus on your health. Our lawyers are prepared to aggressively advocate for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Whether you got hurt in a rideshare accident as a passenger, driver, or pedestrian, the legal team at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can help you seek financial relief. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation with a Bakersfield Uber and Lyft car accident lawyer.
Common Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents in California
While rideshare accidents happen for various reasons, the most common causes of Uber and Lyft accidents are related to driver errors. The following are the causes we most often see in the cases we handle:
- Distracted Driving – One common cause of rideshare accidents is distracted driving. This is because drivers often use multiple apps to navigate, accept rides, and communicate with passengers. Glancing at a smartphone while driving, even for a few seconds, can lead to severe accidents.
- Drowsy Driving – Drowsiness is another significant issue among rideshare drivers, who often work long hours or drive late to maximize their earnings. This can lead to dangerous fatigue and decreased alertness, increasing the risk of preventable crashes.
- Mechanical Defects – Inadequate vehicle maintenance also contributes to many rideshare accidents. Unlike professional and public transportation services, which usually have rigorous maintenance schedules, rideshare drivers are responsible for their vehicle upkeep. If a driver neglects routine maintenance, it can lead to mechanical failures and accidents.
- Reckless Driving – Risky driving behaviors such as speeding, abruptly changing lanes, tailgating, and aggressive driving are other common causes of rideshare wrecks. Because rideshare drivers often hurry to collect and drop off as many passengers as possible, some engage in unsafe driving practices.
- Unfamiliarity with Local Areas – A lack of local knowledge also contributes to some rideshare accidents. Rideshare drivers often have less experience with the roads and traffic patterns in the locations they serve. This can lead to confusion and dangerous mistakes, especially in complex or congested traffic.
What Should I Do If I Get Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Accident in California?
In the aftermath of an Uber or Lyft accident, you can take steps to protect your health, finances, and legal rights. Consider doing the following:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention – No matter how minor your injuries might seem at the time, it’s essential to seek prompt medical attention. Many crash injuries do not manifest symptoms immediately but can worsen quickly if left untreated.
- Document the Scene – If your condition allows, document as much as possible from the crash scene. Take photos of the vehicles involved, their positions, any visible damage, nearby traffic signals, and any apparent injuries you sustain.
- Gather Relevant Information – Collect as much information as possible from the other parties involved. This means other parties’ names, contact details, license numbers, and insurance information, including the rideshare driver’s information and the contact details of any witness.
- Consult an Attorney – Before speaking to any insurance company, it is essential to speak with a lawyer. They can explain what information to share and which details to avoid so you don’t damage your potential claim. An attorney can also speak to insurers and other parties on your behalf.
How Much Compensation Is Available for an Uber or Lyft Accident?
If you get hurt in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, such as an Uber or Lyft, the types and amounts of compensation available will vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. One key factor is the rideshare driver’s status at the time of the collision:
- If the Driver Was Offline and the App Was Off – If the rideshare driver wasn’t logged onto their app when the accident happened, their personal auto insurance policy would typically apply. So, if you got hurt in a rideshare accident with an offline driver, you could make a claim against the driver’s personal liability insurance. In California, drivers must have at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance, plus $5,000 in property damage liability insurance. Auto liability insurance covers other parties’ crash-related losses when the policyholder is at fault for an accident.
- If the Driver Was Online but Hadn’t Accepted a Ride Request – If a driver was logged onto a rideshare app but hadn’t yet accepted a ride, there’s usually more compensation available in the event of an accident. When rideshare drivers are online but without passengers, rideshare companies are legally required to provide expanded third-party liability coverage if drivers’ personal insurance policies don’t meet certain minimum coverage levels. If you were in an accident in which an available rideshare driver was at fault, you could make a claim against this type of expanded policy. Coverage for such accidents should pay up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $30,000 for property damage.
- If the Driver Had Accepted a Ride Request or Was Carrying a Passenger – If a driver is online and has accepted a ride request or has a confirmed rideshare passenger in the car, rideshare companies are responsible for providing up to $1 million in accident liability coverage. If you were in an accident with a rideshare driver carrying a passenger or on their way to pick up a confirmed fare, your losses could be covered under this policy.
Remember, the exact coverage amounts and claims process can change depending on the specifics of your situation, the terms of the applicable insurance policies, and California’s most current laws and regulations.
If you get hurt in a California rideshare crash, consult an experienced Uber and Lyft accident attorney in Bakersfield. Your lawyer could determine the potential value of your Uber or Lyft accident claim, which may include money for your crash-related medical bills, income losses, and more.
How Can Our Bakersfield Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Help?
Our Bakersfield Uber and Lyft accident lawyer can offer valuable assistance in multiple ways, including by:
- Conducting a Comprehensive Investigation – Your lawyer can conduct an independent, exhaustive investigation into the accident and collect compelling evidence. These could include police accident reports, eyewitness statements, medical records, vehicle maintenance and inspection reports, and other relevant documentation.
- Assessing Your Losses – To calculate a fair value for your claim, your attorney can also determine the full extent of your losses, including past and future medical costs, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and personal losses such as pain and suffering.
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies – An attorney can file insurance claim paperwork on your behalf and negotiate aggressively with the insurance company, keeping consistent pressure on them to maximize your settlement payout.
- Filing a Lawsuit – If settlement negotiations are unfruitful or unfair, a good lawyer will have the skills to file a lawsuit and represent you in court. They can identify and follow all the legal requirements, filing rules, and deadlines associated with this process.
- Handling Litigation – If your case goes to trial, your attorney can prepare and present your case, use collected evidence to prove liability, and argue for the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Experienced Bakersfield Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a rideshare accident in California, you could be facing costly medical bills, lost wages, and other crash-related losses. You need effective legal representation to pursue the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party.
An experienced Bakersfield Uber and Lyft accident attorney at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can advocate for your rights and interests. We are prepared to take on large insurance companies to seek your financial relief. In addition, you pay nothing unless we recover compensation for your accident injuries.
Contact us today at 661.327.9661 or online for a free case review. Hablamos español.