An accident can get more complicated if it involves an Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare vehicle. People injured in ridesharing crashes are often perplexed as to who is liable to pay for their losses and whether the rideshare company should be involved. Despite the popularity of Uber and Lyft in the Riverside area, many accident victims struggle to claim their fair compensation.
If you were injured as a Lyft or Uber passenger, or if a rideshare car hit you, it’s crucial to have a lawyer assist you through the legal maze. In the Inland Empire, get the help of Gavel Law Firm. We are a personal injury firm with a unique background in the insurance industry. Having previously worked “for the other side,” we now use our insight to maximize compensation for our injured clients.
Consult for free with Gavel Law Firm and see how we can help you with your Uber, Lyft, or rideshare injury claim. Call (951) 289-0202 today.
Why Riverside Residents Trust Gavel Law Firm
- Advantageous experience. We’re not only well-versed in personal injury law, we also have experience working in insurance. We know insurer tactics and can effectively strategize for injury compensation.
- Ideal outcomes. Clients have given high ratings to our firm due to the favorable results we’ve obtained for them. We make this happen through our in-depth experience, fearless representation, and tireless work.
- You pay nothing until you win. We don’t charge lawyer fees until we obtain compensation for you. Your initial consultation is also free. You get high-quality legal service without risking your hard-earned money.
Gavel Law Firm is eager to assist you whether you were injured as a rideshare passenger, occupant of another car, or pedestrian struck by a rideshare vehicle. Call us at any time to get your free consultation.
Who Pays for an Uber or Lyft Accident in California?
California follows a fault-based system, which means the party who caused the accident is liable to pay you for your injuries and other losses. These are the common responsible parties in rideshare accidents:
- The Uber or Lyft driver – if they were negligent on the road, such as by speeding, distracted driving, or disobeying traffic laws
- A third-party driver – a non-rideshare motorist can also cause collisions with rideshare vehicles
- The rideshare company – if they negligently allowed unqualified or reckless drivers to operate. Note, however, that Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies may distance themselves from liability by saying their drivers are contractors, not employees.
- A defective car part manufacturer – examples are companies that produce malfunctioning brakes, defective tires, or faulty airbags
- A government entity – if they failed their responsibility to design or maintain roads for public safety.
It takes thorough investigation and legal know-how to establish who is at fault in your Lyft or Uber accident. Let Gavel Law Firm help. We are experienced in collecting evidence and finding signs of fault to support our clients’ injury claims.
How Does Lyft or Uber Insurance Work in Accidents?
In a regular car collision, an at-fault driver would typically pay you through their auto insurance. But if a Lyft or Uber driver caused your accident, it’s possible that the rideshare company’s liability insurance will apply, too.
Uber and Lyft each have liability coverage for when their drivers cause an accident. However, this coverage will only kick in if the driver was active on the app at the time of the crash, and if the driver has exhausted their personal auto insurance. Further, coverage varies depending on the “period” of the driver’s car operation:
- Period 0: Driver is offline or logged out of the app – no coverage from either Uber or Lyft
- Period 1: Driver is on the app and waiting for ride request – $100,000 per-accident injury coverage from Uber or Lyft
- Period 2: Driver is en route to pick up a passenger or already has a passenger – $1,000,000 injury coverage from Uber or Lyft.
This has important implications for injury claims. For example, if you got injured by an Uber or Lyft driver who was logged out of the app, the rideshare company’s insurance will not cover you. You can only claim from the driver’s personal auto insurance. If your injuries and expenses exceed that personal coverage limit, you’ll have to look for other means to get fully compensated.
Further, some personal auto policies are voided when the driver uses their vehicle for commercial purposes. In this case, both the rideshare company’s insurance and the driver’s insurance might deny your compensation claim.
Regardless of the circumstances around your accident, it’s best to consult a rideshare injury lawyer for guidance. Our Uber/Lyft accident attorney at Gavel Law Firm provides a free consultation where we can assess your case and guide you on your legal options.
Can You Sue Uber or Lyft If Their Driver Injured You in California?
Normally, you would be able to file a lawsuit against an employer whose employee injured you during work hours. However, in California, rideshare drivers are not considered employees but contractors. This means you may have very limited grounds to sue Uber or Lyft if their driver injured you.
As of March 2023, a California state appeals court essentially determined that rideshare drivers are independent contractors. Rideshare companies can then deny responsibility if any of their drivers cause an accident.
The law on this subject is hotly debated and can still shift. As an injured individual, you need competent legal guidance on how you may claim full compensation. Gavel Law Firm is adept at rideshare laws and ready to find the best legal strategy for you.
Riverside Uber/Lyft Accidents: Other FAQs
How common are Uber/Lyft accidents in California?
Statistics show that each year, thousands of accidents in California involve rideshare vehicles. Take a look at the 2021 data collected by the California Public Utilities Commission:
- Uber – 5,294 accidents and incidents in 2021
- Lyft – 4,943 accidents and incidents in 2021
Throughout the US, ridesharing has been linked to a 3 percent increase in motor vehicle fatalities, according to a nationwide analysis. According to the researchers, that amounts to 987 additional lives lost per year.
How do I claim my Uber or Lyft settlement?
You may report your accident to Uber or Lyft through their hotline or in-app reporting platform. From there, the company or their insurance carrier will investigate the accident to determine whether they have to pay you damages.
It’s best that you have an injury attorney on your side throughout this process. Your lawyer can directly negotiate with the insurance company on our behalf, aiming to get you optimum compensation. Having your lawyer handle the claim can also cut the delays and inefficiencies that you may experience if you deal with the rideshare company by yourself.
What happens in an Uber or Lyft investigation?
Uber or Lyft will respond to your crash report by having their investigators follow up with you. They may ask for additional documentation such as photos of the accident scene, police reports, and contact information. You can also expect to get calls from the rideshare company’s insurance carrier.
How long does it take Uber or Lyft to investigate an accident?
Rideshare companies’ accident investigation may take anywhere from three days to several weeks, sometimes extending to 40 days or more.
Note that delaying injury claims is a common tactic used by insurance companies. They may offer you an early settlement that’s much lower than you deserve, then delay the rest of the process in hopes that you’ll settle for the lowball amount. This is just one of the several ways they could try to minimize your settlement.
When trying to get compensated by Uber or Lyft, it’s important for you to get an attorney who is thoroughly experienced in these claims. Gavel Law Firm knows rideshare claims from the inside out. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us about your potential compensation claim from an Uber or Lyft accident.
Contact a Riverside Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney from Gavel Law Firm
Since we opened our office in 2016, more Riverside residents have come to trust Gavel Law Firm for their injury claims. We are competent and up-to-date with California rideshare laws, and we combine this with our experience in the insurance industry to get maximum outcomes for our clients.
Talk to us in a free consultation. Call us at (951) 289-0202 today.