Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, provide a convenient and relatively affordable alternative to public transportation. These services remove all the stress and responsibility of driving so that you can relax and enjoy a fun night out. Having the option of riding in a comfortable vehicle to the destination of your choice at any time is one that many in the Bakersfield area are fully taking advantage of.
However, an unintended consequence of this cultural shift is that there are now more cars on the road in Bakersfield than ever. Naturally, the risk of being involved in a collision has greatly increased, especially when some rideshare drivers engage in reckless behaviors, such as speeding or driving while under the influence.
Rideshare accidents are becoming more common, which has left many pondering a very important question: who is liable in the event of an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft?
Despite their convenience, accidents happen. And it’s important to understand your rights in the event of an Uber or Lyft accident. Please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Bakersfield Uber and Lyft accident attorneys 24/7 by calling (661) 299-7554 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Bakersfield personal injury law firm.
I Was Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Accident, What Should I Do?
First and foremost, there are legal options you can resort to if you were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident. If you suffered injuries as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft accident, you are covered by their commercial liability coverage. Furthermore, you are entitled to file a claim against Uber or Lyft if you were injured as a result of a rideshare driver.
Fortunately, these companies have an infamous $1 million commercial policy. For example, if your damages exceed the drivers’ personal insurance coverage, then Uber and Lyft’s commercial policy may cover the difference. In addition, if responsibility for the accident was in the hands of another driver, you may file a claim against the at-fault driver.
However, in the event that the driver who caused your injuries and financial losses was uninsured or underinsured, Uber and Lyft’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) policy will generally cover your damages up to $1 million per accident.
When the Uber or Lyft Driver Is Responsible
No one expects to be involved in an Uber or Lyft accident. However, if an Uber or Lyft driver injures someone, the injured party will be able to file a personal injury claim against the responsible driver.
Liability will depend on whether or not the rideshare driver:
Let’s analyze this information. If a driver has the app turned off, any accidents they are involved in will be treated like a normal car accident. This means that insurance coverage is strictly limited to the rideshare driver’s personal insurance coverage. In other words, being involved in an accident with a rideshare driver who has the app turned off is just like being involved in an accident with any driver. In these cases, Uber and Lyft insurance policies are irrelevant.
However, if a driver has the app turned on and is waiting for a ride, contingent coverage with limits of $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 will apply. Furthermore, if a rideshare driver is on the way to pick up or drop off a rider, then the $1 million commercial coverage plan will go into effect.
If that wasn’t complicated enough, it’s important to understand that California is currently in the process of enforcing AB5. This piece of legislation went into effect in 2020. This means that the laws regarding rideshare drivers’ employee classification are changing dramatically. Most importantly, these laws will significantly alter the way ridesharing claims are handled from now on. However, with the passing of Proposition 22, Uber and Lyft won exemption from AB5.
In short, if you were involved in an accident involving personal injury and property damage, it is encouraged for you to contact an experienced rideshare attorney to assess your case to determine whether or not you may have a claim against the party at-fault for causing your injuries and/or damages.
Uber or Lyft Driver Negligence and Liability
How is liability determined in a rideshare accident? In other words, how does a Bakersfield personal injury attorney determine who was responsible for the accident? It typically comes down to negligence of some kind. Negligent behavior is some form of irresponsible and dangerous behavior, which is also against the law.
California law requires all drivers, including Uber and Lyft drivers, to follow a duty of care and drive responsibly. In the most basic sense, this means that rideshare drivers must be careful, obey traffic laws, and focus on the task of safe driving. If you were hurt because of an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence, your Bakersfield Uber and Lyft attorney will have to show that negligence caused your injuries.
In summary, if you wish to file a personal injury claim for the recovery of damages, you must prove that the Uber or Lyft driver who caused your injuries:
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Always Here to Help
If you have sustained injuries in an Uber or Lyft related accident as a result of someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. A Bakersfield Uber and Lyft accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.
Call us today at (661) 299-7554 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.