Woodland Hills Rideshare, Uber, & Lift Accident Attorney
If you live in Los Angeles and use a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft, you’re not alone. Ridesharing is a popular, hassle-free way to get around town. Passengers don’t have to worry about finding or paying for parking. They don’t have to bother with fueling up. They can just sit back and let someone else deal with traffic.
Passengers also like the transparency of the Uber and Lyft apps. They can rate their drivers and know in advance who is going to pick them up. Ridesharing is so popular in Los Angeles that both Uber and Lyft now offer monthly ridesharing subscriptions here for daily riders.
Ridesharing use is prevalent all over the country, too. While Uber and Lyft don’t typically disclose their actual ridership numbers, estimates say between 24% and 43% of all Americans have used a ridesharing service. Every day, people trust Uber and Lyft drivers to get them to work, appointments, or even a night on the town. Most rides are uneventful, but it’s devastating when one ends in a car accident.
Rideshare Accidents In Woodland Hills
There are many factors that impact ridesharing accidents. If you’re injured as a passenger during a rideshare commute, you may be wondering who is responsible. Is it Lyft or Uber? The driver? Both?
Is it possible your driver was under the influence? Were they distracted by their cell phone or another device? Was the other driver at fault? Ridesharing accidents are complex matters. You need an experienced Uber and Lyft attorney to guide you through this.
You may think that you should only contact an attorney for major injuries, but this is not true. In fact, any injury sustained during ridesharing is a reason to contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney knowledgeable in Uber and Lyft accidents knows the nuances of ridesharing laws in California. There are many benefits to having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side:
- Insurance companies may not have your best interests in mind. They will try to settle for the absolute minimum amount possible.
- The full extent of your injuries may not be known immediately after your accident. You could settle too soon, and not get the full compensation that you deserve.
- The insurance paperwork may be complicated and confusing. You may be wondering if you should release your medical records.
The days and weeks following an accident are stressful and overwhelming. You trusted your ridesharing driver to take you safely to your destination, but now you are recovering from an injury. You may be missing out on work or school. Your loved ones have likely been impacted by your accident, too. Your injuries could be preventing you from fulfilling your family obligations.
The insurance company may be sending you lengthy or confusing paperwork. You have doctor and therapy appointments to keep track of. You may be overwhelmed, but you don’t have to face this situation alone.
Who is Liable in Rideshare Accidents?
There are few services that have grown as quickly as Uber and Lyft. In just 10 years, these services went from being new curiosities to ubiquitous parts of urban life. People who rarely used taxis now regularly use the word Uber as a verb and “Uber” to dinner or drinks or work on a regular basis.
There are literally tens-of-thousands of Uber drivers in Los Angeles, and while they are not all out on the streets at the same time, Uber and Lyft vehicles are easy to spot no matter where and when you travel the city.
With all these drivers, it of course means that Ubers and Lyfts are often involved in Los Angeles car accidents, but drivers and passengers injured in one of these accidents have discovered that dealing with Uber / Lyft is not like dealing with a regular driver or even a taxi.
Uber And Lyft Cars Are NOT Taxis
It’s easy to think of your Uber as just a modern taxi. From the user (rider) standpoint, it is basically the same thing, with an app replacing a phone call or a loud whistle. Taxis, however, are licensed as professional drivers.
An Uber/Lyft driver is a private citizen. They don’t have to take a class or receive any special licensing. Taxi drivers are also employees of the taxi service they work for. Uber/Lyft drivers are not classified as employees, which greatly reduces the liability to the companies. The vehicles used by Uber drivers are personal vehicles or vehicles rented by the drivers. Uber and Lyft do not own fleets of cars being used to transport customers.
Because these cars are personally owned by the drivers, they are also insured by the drivers own personal policies. If you are a passenger in an Uber and you are involved in an accident, you will NOT be covered as part of that personal car policy held by the driver.
As a passenger, you should be covered by Uber or Lyft’s insurance that is part of every ride, but the companies are getting a reputation for being very difficult to deal with when filing injury claims.
Uber famously denied they had any liability at all when a driver killed a young pedestrian between rides back in 2014, but thankfully the State of California changed the laws in 2015 to mandate that ride-share companies must consider their drivers to be “on duty” whenever they are seeking a ride, not just while rides are ongoing. Basically, it means that when a driver has the app open they are considered working.
If you sustained personal injuries as the result of a Lyft or Uber accident, contact us anytime, 24/7. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Our firm has successfully handled hundreds of Uber/Lyft cases since the inception of their services. These cases have become one of our largest specialties. Both Uber and Lyft have their own rules regarding the insurance coverage they afford under different circumstances. It is important to have an attorney that can navigate these rules and get you the full compensation you deserve.
We represent Uber and Lyft drivers when they are not at fault, those injured in vehicles involved in collisions with at-fault Uber and Lyft drivers, and most frequently, we represent the innocent passengers riding in Uber and Lyft vehicles when they are injured in an accident. Please let us guide you to a fair and equitable settlement if you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident.
At Freeman & Freeman, LLP, we’ve been representing personal injury clients for over 40 years. It’s not just a part of what we do; it’s all we do. Our firm exclusively deals with personal injury cases and we are committed to getting you the compensation you need and deserve.
As each case has unique circumstances, we offer a free consultation to go over your particular situation. Some accidents may be affected by statutes of limitations, so the sooner we start on your case, the better. Let us deal with the legalities of your case, so you can focus on your recovery.
Rideshare Accidents FAQ
Legislation about ridesharing in California has made headlines due to the various disagreements around the conditions of drivers. Although companies like Uber and Lyft have strict policies regarding insurance for their car drivers and liability policies, this is still a complicated and controversial area of the law.
Following, we share some common questions from our clients after being injured in Lyft and Uber accidents.
Do I need to call my insurance if I have an accident as an Uber/Lyft passenger?
Not exactly. Users of rideshare services are insured. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident, report the accident to the rideshare company after you are safe and have the required medical help.
Remember that insurance companies are not concerned about your welfare and might attempt to settle your case as soon as possible, or the insurance limit could be insufficient to cover your medical needs. In that case, a knowledgeable lawyer can assist you and guide you through the required steps to ensure you recover fair compensation
Am I entitled to compensation from the corporate policy if I am injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft ride?
Yes. As a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you are not at fault. Whether the accident is your driver’s fault or another party’s, you are entitled to receive compensation. When you are ridesharing, you have access to the corporate insurance policy, which includes higher coverage. Don’t let Uber, Lyft, or their corporate attorneys try and tell you otherwise.
You need an attorney that has handled hundreds of these types of cases and is willing to fight these big corporations head-on.
After an Uber/Lyft accident, is a $1 million insurance limit enough to cover my medical treatment and needs?
It highly depends on the type of injury you suffered in the accident. In some cases, this amount will serve to cover only half of the medical bills. Severe injuries, for example, might require long-term medical treatment that most insurance companies will fail to provide. $1 million is the coverage Uber/Lyft grants to passengers due to third-party liability.
If you or a loved one was injured after an Uber /Lyft accident, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you define your options and maximize your compensation.
What are the “time periods” and how does that affect my compensation?
An Uber/Lyft ride is divided into periods that help define liabilities in the event of an accident. There are four periods in total, starting from zero. If the driver has an accident at the zero period, the driver’s insurance company will cover the relevant expenses. However, if the accident occurred during other periods, the Uber/Lyft policy would apply to give substantially more coverage.
As practical as this rule seems, there are many exceptions, and it is still a challenge to define explicit liability. Ride-sharing accidents are more complex than car accidents. You do not have to navigate the system alone. Have our compassionate and experienced lawyers in your corner.