LA Uber and Lyft Accident Attorneys
Since Uber was established in 2009, ride-sharing companies have exploded in usage. Uber and Lyft are popular alternative methods of transportation in Los Angeles. Because of their popularity, the chances of being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles are not uncommon. If you are injured in an accident involving a ride-share driver, our Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorneys can help you to navigate the recovery process.
Contact our Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation so that you can learn more about the rights that you have.
Los Angeles Office: 323-553-1000 | Torrance Office: 310-256-2299
What are Uber and Lyft?
Uber and Lyft are both companies that offer ride-share apps. People can download these apps onto their smartphones. Drivers for the two companies can also sign into their apps to be connected with people who need rides. Uber and Lyft are very popular because they are convenient, fast, and affordable modes of transportation.
While traditional taxi companies provide vehicles to their employees and directly supervise them, Uber and Lyft do not. Instead, the drivers for the companies drive their own vehicles and are not directly supervised by Uber and Lyft. Historically, companies have deemed their drivers to be independent contractors. However, this might change because of the recent passage of California AB 5. Under this law, the companies will have a more difficult time treating their drivers as independent contractors. Both companies have vowed to fight the law and have stated that they intend to continue characterizing their drivers as independent contractors.
The companies screen potential drivers before they are allowed to join the network. They conduct background checks, and the drivers’ vehicles must meet certain minimum standards. If serious complaints are made against a driver, his or her contract may be terminated. A percentage of each fare is paid by the drivers to Uber or Lyft. In exchange, the drivers receive insurance.
Regulation of Uber and Lyft
Because of legal battles that have been fought by taxi companies and others, the California Public Utilities Commission now licenses transportation network companies, including Lyft and Uber. They are in a different category from taxicabs since the rides are arranged in advance. At first, the commission only required these companies to provide insurance coverage when the drivers were driving to pick up passengers or were actively transporting them. However, this changed after an Uber driver hit and killed a girl in 2013. In that accident, Uber refused to compensate the victim because it claimed that it was not required to provide insurance for drivers who were seeking customers. The government then expanded the insurance requirements. The companies must now provide insurance coverage for any driver that has the ride-sharing app turned on.
Phases of driving and insurance caps
The available insurance depends on the driver’s phase of driving. When the apps are turned on, but the drivers have not connected with a fare, Uber and Lyft must provide coverage of at least $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident for bodily injury. This insurance is contingent insurance, meaning that it won’t kick in until the driver’s insurance policy limits have been reached. The coverage also must provide at least $30,000 for property losses. When a driver is en route to pick up a passenger, Uber or Lyft must provide coverage of at least $1 million per accident. When the driver is transporting passengers, the company must also provide coverage of $1 million for underinsured and uninsured motorists. Some auto insurance companies offer policies that are designed for drivers of Uber and Lyft. These policies might pay repair or hospital bills that the company’s insurance won’t cover.
Getting compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident
Uber and Lyft accidents can result in substantial injuries and cause people to suffer tremendous losses. While money will not erase the pain and suffering that someone might endure in a ride-share accident, it can help to relieve financial stress. If you have been seriously injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, our experienced Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorneys understand how to recover fair compensation. When you retain an attorney, you can let him or her handle your claim while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. When you are seriously injured in a ride-share accident, you need to determine all of the sources of recovery. The situation can be complicated when an Uber or Lyft driver is involved.
If an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident, the insurance coverage from the company will depend on whether the driver had the app turned on and the phase of driving the driver was in. The insurance coverage from Uber and Lyft is contingent insurance. This means that it will only pay after the driver’s policy limits are exhausted. Many insurance companies specifically exclude coverage when people are using their vehicles for commercial purposes. This means that if the driver has not purchased an endorsement for driving an Uber or Lyft or a separate policy for coverage, the Uber or Lyft coverage might not be available.
An experienced attorney will conduct an investigation to identify all of the potential sources of recovery. This might help you to recover more compensation than you otherwise would. If the driver does not have his or her app turned on, his or her insurance will pay for the damages up to the policy limits. In this type of case, an Uber or Lyft accident will be no different than a different car crash.
If the driver does not have insurance or is underinsured, you might have to file a claim with your UM/UIM policy. An attorney can help you with a claim against your UM/UIM coverage.
Whenever you are injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you will need to investigate to determine who is liable. An experienced attorney understands how to investigate these types of cases and to identify all of the potentially responsible parties. Contact our Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation so that you can learn more about the rights that you have.
Los Angeles Office: 323-553-1000 | Torrance Office: 310-256-2299
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Personal Injury | Car Accident | Uber & Lyft Accident | Motorcycle Accident | Rear-end Accident | Truck Accident | Rollover Accident | Bus Accident | Government Vehicle Accident
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