Uber / Lyft Accidents
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the transportation industry. Today, these rideshare services ferry millions of customers across the country by uniting them with available drivers, and charging a fee for a safe ride. Unfortunately, safety can’t always be guaranteed, especially when others on the road are negligent.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a preventable car accident involving an Uber or Lyft – either as a passenger, a driver or occupant of another vehicle, or a bicyclist or pedestrian – you may have the right to seek compensation for your losses by pursuing a personal injury case. Although compensation is available to victims harmed by the negligence of others, the unique legal issues surrounding Uber and Lyft services can make these cases complex.
Our award-winning legal team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP has the experience and resources to help you navigate the personal injury claim process and pursue the compensation you deserve. Our injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured victims and families across Southern California, and are prepared to help you through the journey ahead.
Unique Issues in Uber & Lyft Personal Injury Cases
Uber and Lyft are new services that involve unique relationships between the company, drivers, and customers. In fact, the nature of these relationships and how the service works can create unique challenges in auto accidents that give rise to personal injury or wrongful death cases. These include:
Liability – Determining fault and liability (or who can be held financially responsible for a victim’s damages) is an essential part of any personal injury case. With Uber any Lyft accidents, however, the fact that drivers are not classified as employees provides these companies with the ability to dispute or deny liability for certain types of accidents. This may be the case when Uber or Lyft drivers cause accidents when they are not using the smart phone app or not yet transporting a customer, creating questions over whether the driver, the rideshare company, or both should be held liable.
Insurance Coverage – Insurance coverage issues can create additional challenges in Uber and Lyft accident cases. Although every case is different, there are some general coverage issues to consider:
- When drivers are transporting a fare – When drivers are actively using the app to transport a customer, any victims harmed in accidents in which they cause (be they passengers, other motorists, or pedestrians) are covered by a commercial insurance policy. This commercial policy also includes coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, meaning that if another driver without insurance causes a crash, injured passengers may still be able to recover compensation through the company’s commercial policy. However, insurance companies aren’t keen on automatically paying out claims, and may dispute liability by placing the blame on another party.
- When drivers are not transporting a fare – Coverage can differ when accidents involve drivers who aren’t actively transporting a fare. That’s due to a contingent policy (with lower policy limits) that covers victims harmed when a driver has accepted a fare and is en route to pick them up. In cases where drivers are not using the app, transporting a customer, or on their way to pick a customer up, victims may need to pursue compensation from the driver’s personal insurance.
- Additional coverage – In cases involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, where damages can be extensive, Uber and Lyft insurance policies can be a significant source of needed compensation. That is especially true when at-fault drivers cause accidents that injure an Uber or Lyft passenger, but don’t have sufficient coverage to cover all of their damages. In these cases, victims may be able to pursue any remaining damages by filing an additional claim with the rideshare company.
These two issues, as well as the many unique circumstances that may be involved in accidents, necessitate the insight and experience of proven personal injury lawyers. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our attorneys know how to explore all avenues of available coverage to help our clients pursue the maximum compensation possible, and have the resources to fight back against insurance companies that all too often try to pay victims as little as they possibly can.
Request a FREE Review of Your Auto Accident Case
Whether you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident as a passenger, motorists, or pedestrian, Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is available to review your case and explain how we can help you through the personal injury process. Our attorneys have experience handling accident cases involving these rideshare service companies, and know how to tackle even the toughest issues that may arise.
If you have questions about taking the next steps in your legal journey, contact our firm for a FREE and confidential consultation. We serve clients throughout Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, and beyond.
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