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As the use of rideshare services continues to increase and become a normal way to get from point A to point B, more and more accidents involving these vehicles are occurring. But who is liable for injuries if you get into a car accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or some other rideshare service vehicle? Here, we want to discuss rideshare accident liability in California as well as speak on the importance of securing a skilled personal injury lawyer if you have been injured.
Did you know that rideshare drivers are just like every other driver on the roadway? The requirements to become a rideshare driver are not extensive, and nearly anyone with a valid driver’s license, clear background check, and approved vehicle can operate for Uber or Lyft.
We bring this up to say that rideshare drivers could certainly be responsible for causing an incident. However, determining liability after a rideshare crash is crucial. Law enforcement officials need to come to the scene so they can conduct an investigation and fill out an accident report. Additionally, individuals involved in the incident can gather evidence at the scene of the crash, including photographs of the damage and injuries, as well as video surveillance from nearby cameras. Statements from eyewitnesses can also help determine what happened in order to figure out liability issues.
Liability for rideshare crashes could fall to the rideshare driver, another driver, or even a third party (such as a vehicle manufacturer or mechanic). The evidence needs to lead the way. In some cases, there may be multiple liable parties, in which case the pure comparative negligence system in California will be used to determine levels of fault.
If a rideshare driver was indeed responsible for the crash, then you will need to examine the insurance options available. If a rideshare driver caused a crash but was not signed into the company app to receive a fare, then the driver’s personal insurance will be responsible for compensating victims.
In the event a rideshare driver was signed into their app to work but does not have a fare and has not received a notification to pick up a fare, then the driver’s personal insurance carrier will be responsible for paying compensation at first. Both Uber and Lyft have supplemental coverage that will kick in if the driver’s personal insurance limits are met as a result of the incident.
Finally, if an Uber or Lyft driver has a passenger or is on the way to pick one up when they cause a crash, both rideshare companies have insurance policies with coverage limits above $1 million.
After a rideshare accident occurs, issues of liability can lead to significant confusion for victims trying to recover compensation. We recommend contacting a skilled rideshare accident attorney in Orange County who has experience handling complex Uber and Lyft claims. When you have an attorney by your side, you will have an advocate ready to investigate the incident and handle all communication with other parties. Your lawyer will try to recover the compensation you need for your medical bills, property damage expenses, lost wages, and even the pain and suffering caused by the incident.