Handling South Bay Car Accident Claims
Thanks to our world's technological progress, millions of Americans today rely on apps on our smartphones to help us do everything, from navigating via GPS to ordering groceries or takeout. Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft have made hailing rides convenient and provide a suitable alternative to getting around without a car. Unfortunately, the popularity of rideshare apps also means there has been a significant rise in the number of rideshare accidents reported across the country.
Rideshare drivers and occupants can get into accidents like any other vehicle – if you or someone you love has been injured as a result of negligence, AgnewBrusavich can help. Our Torrance rideshare accident lawyers can help you determine who can be held liable for damages and stick with you until the end to ensure you get the compensation you need. Though we're a small firm, we've scored big results for over 35 years and have helped countless clients reclaim their lives after loss and tragedy.
What to Do After an Accident
Whether you're a rideshare driver, passenger, or occupant of another vehicle, it's important to know that the personal injury claim process informally begins at the crash scene. Getting medical attention and documenting as much of the car accident as possible are necessary steps if you want the best chance at recovering damages.
After an accident, keep the following steps in mind:
- Call the police to file a crash report and request medical assistance if necessary
- Take photos of the accident scene, including property damage, injuries, skid marks, positions of the vehicle, and anything else to shed light on the accident and provide time stamps
- Exchange information with the other driver(s), including licenses, insurance cards, and rideshare information
- Contact our team of Southern California-based attorneys for a free consultation
If you're a passenger who was riding in an Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident, it's helpful to screenshot or download your trip information, which should include the name of your driver, their vehicle information, established travel route, and departure and arrival times.
Uber and Lyft drivers can be just as negligent as any other vehicle driver, though it's possible some unique factors contributed to the crash. Uber and Lyft drivers can be distracted when they attempt to use their app while driving. It's not uncommon for drivers to use their phones to accept new rides as they drop off current passengers, and they rely on their phones' maps to help them identify pickup and drop-off locations. Distracted driving can prevent a driver from noticing a pedestrian crossing the street or suddenly-stopped traffic, which can result in serious accidents and injuries.
Uber & Lyft's Insurance Policies
If you were injured in a rideshare accident as a passenger or driver, you may be wondering who can be expected to pay damages when you file a personal injury claim. Anyone who drives for Uber and Lyft is required to carry their own car insurance. Thanks to Prop 22, which passed in California in the 2020 election, rideshare drivers aren't afforded the same rights and benefits as employees. This means that as independent contractors, drivers will most likely be held responsible for damages and rideshare companies will be able to avoid responsibility.
However, insurance laws require rideshare companies to carry insurance policies to use in certain situations. Uber and Lyft both have $1 million insurance policies that cover on-duty drivers. This policy doesn't apply to crashes that occur when the driver isn't on duty or has their app open.
Several factors must be taken into consideration when determining insurance liability, including:
- Cause of the accident
- Whether you're a rideshare driver, rideshare passenger, a pedestrian, or a driver or occupant of another vehicle
- Whether the rideshare driver was on duty at the time of the accident