A Trusted Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyer in Orange, CA
Rideshare services have become the norm, especially with the rise of the gig economy. As of 2020, there are over 200,000 rideshare drivers per quarter in the state of California alone, making it one of the most populous rideshare states in the country. While these vehicles can save travelers time and money when compared to paying for parking fees or hailing a taxi, they are, unfortunately not without their fair share of risks.
Just like regular passenger vehicles, rideshare accidents in Orange, CA can occur for a variety of reasons. However, their ability to file a personal injury claim and collect compensation will look a little different than a traditional insurance claim.
Santiago Accident Lawyers have been representing Uber and Lyft accident victims since 2014. Uber and Lyft accident claims can be incredibly complex, often requiring the skill and experience of an Orange rideshare accident lawyer. Our firm understands how these companies operate, as well as what their insurance coverage and policy limits allow. We will work with you to protect your rights after an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver in Orange, CA so you can get the compensation you deserve to move forward with your life.
Here is some important information regarding Uber and Lyft accidents and how an experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer is your best defense in maximizing your claim.
About Lyft and Uber
Uber and Lyft are popular ridesharing services. Created roughly a decade ago, these rideshare services have soared in popularity in recent years due to the explosion of the gig economy. Rideshare companies allow contracted employees to log onto their apps and use their own vehicles to transport guests to and from their destinations. Uber has gone so far as to include food delivery services through their company called Uber Eats.
Common Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents
Like all other types of motor vehicle accidents, Lyft and Uber accidents are caused by a number of different factors including drunk driving, speeding, and other reckless behaviors. However, one of the biggest culprits of Lyft and Uber rideshare accidents is driver fatigue.
Many people use rideshares to go to work, get to and from the airport, and during a night out on the town, causing many rideshare drivers to work long hours particularly in the early morning and late evening.
Unfortunately, these long hours put drivers at risk of fatigue, which, just like drinking and driving, can severely reduce a driver’s reaction time. Other common causes of Lyft and Uber accidents include:
- Speeding: Since these rideshare companies are part of the gig economy, many drivers try to squeeze in as many rides as they can to earn some extra cash. This may result in drivers speeding to get to or from their destination so they can pick up their next guest.
- Distracted Driving: Lyft and Uber drivers pick up guests and obtain directions through an app, which could cause them to take their eyes off the road to accept new orders or look at the map.
- Looking for Passengers: While many Uber and Lyft drivers may be familiar with popular areas of pickup, that isn’t always the case. Accidents can occur when rideshare drivers takes their eyes off the road to scan for the guests they’re picking up.
- Abrupt Lane Changes: Like speeding, Uber and Lyft drivers may make sudden lane changes or other shortcuts in an effort to get their passengers to their destination faster. Unfortunately, this can cause an accident if they’re not adhering to local traffic laws or paying attention.
Lax hiring practices is another common cause of Lyft and Uber accidents in Orange, CA. While rideshare drivers are required to pass a background check, the company’s failure to properly look into their driving record could certainly put the company at fault.
Steps to Take After a Lyft or Uber Rideshare Accident
The steps you’ll take after an Uber or Lyft accident won’t be too different from the ones you’d take after a car accident. After a rideshare accident, you should:
- Call 911 to file a police report and receive medical attention. Even if you’re not severely injured, you should still go to the hospital to get checked out as soon as possible, because some injuries may take time to develop.
- Obtain the Uber or Lyft driver’s full name, insurance information, and contact info. This includes the make and model of their rideshare vehicle.
- Document what happened. Just like insurance, big rideshare companies do not want to pay out a large sum of money to accident victims, so it’s best to document everything as best you can. Take photos and/or videos of the accident scene, road hazards and write down your side of the story. If you noticed the Uber or Lyft driver texting, for example, write that down as this will serve as evidence of negligence.
- Report the accident with Uber or Lyft. If you’re injured as a passenger, you can file an accident report directly from the app under the Help section. You can also directly contact 911 through the app, if necessary.
- Schedule a consultation with a lawyer: Rideshare accident claims are usually complex since so much is dependent on whether or not the rideshare driver was logged into the app. While this may not be a huge issue if you were already picked up as a passenger, it can be problematic if you were another driver who was injured by an Uber or Lyft driver who was transporting guests. Your lawyer can weed through all the details to get to the bottom of what happened and put a value on your Uber or Lyft accident claim.
Who Is Liable for a Lyft or Uber Accident in Orange, CA?
California is considered to be an “at-fault” accident state, meaning that anyone involved in a rideshare accident can be held financially liable for damages. It’s worth noting that CA also utilizes a pure comparative negligence system, which means that if you’re injured in a car accident, your compensation award will be reduced by what percentage of fault you held in causing the accident. For example, if the other driver was looking at their cell phone and hit you after you ran a red light, the amount of money you’d get in a car accident claim would be dependent on how much you were determined to be at fault.
In California, the minimum insurance requirements Lyft and Uber drivers have will vary on whether they were logged into the app. If a rideshare driver is involved in an accident while they are logged off, the insurance provided by the driver’s insurance company will be active. However, if the app is on, rideshare drivers must have:
- $15,000 coverage for bodily injury per person
- $30,000 bodily injury coverage per rideshare accident
- $5,000 coverage for property damage per accident
These requirements are if the Lyft or Uber driver is currently logged onto the app, but does not have a passenger. If the driver does have a passenger, they will be required to have:
- $50,000 coverage for bodily injury per person
- $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per rideshare accident
- $25,000 property damage liability coverage per rideshare accident
Furthermore, Uber itself is required by law in California to carry a $1 million liability insurance policy to cover both their drivers and their passengers if they are logged onto the app. Likewise, Lyft offers third-party liability insurance if their drivers are logged onto the app and waiting for a ride request. These minimums include:
- $50,000 bodily injury per person
- $100,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
Once a Lyft driver has accepted a ride request, Lyft will provide $1,000,000 third-party auto liability, as well as underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury. Regardless of what caused your Uber or Lyft accident, these rideshare drivers owe a duty of care to everyone else on the road.
If they break this duty of care by engaging in reckless or dangerous driving habits and cause an accident, either they or their rideshare company will be held financially responsible for the damage. An experienced Orange Lyft and Uber accident attorney will be able to investigate the details of your claim to determine whether or not the driver was logged onto the app at the time of the accident.
Common Uber and Lyft Accident Injuries
When it comes to injuries, there’s nothing special about Lyft and Uber accidents. Like commercial truck accidents or passenger car accidents, the injuries someone can sustain from a Lyft or Uber accident are often severe and require ongoing medical care. In some cases, these injuries could be fatal. These are the most common Uber and Lyft accident injuries victims sustain in Orange, CA:
- Broken bones caused by being thrust forward or being crushed
- Whiplash and other types of back and neck injuries are caused by a sudden jerking movement
- Lacerations, caused by shattering glass or airbag deployment
- Traumatic brain injuries including concussions, and spinal cord injuries caused by blunt force trauma or being thrown from the vehicle
- Herniated discs, which are caused by the extreme force of the crash pushing your vertebrae into your spine
- Loss of limb caused by being thrown out of or crushed by the vehicle
These injuries are significant, requiring the help of an experienced Orange Lyft and Uber attorney who can calculate the value of these damages to make sure you get the money you need during your lengthy recovery or if you are unable to return to work.
How Much Is My Lyft or Uber Accident Claim Worth?
Putting a dollar amount on your Lyft or Uber injury claim can be difficult to do on your own, but not with an experienced lawyer’s help. The value of a rideshare accident claim will vary depending on the details of your case, such as whether or not your injuries will keep you out of work or if you’ll require ongoing medical care or rehabilitation services in the future.
Your lawyer will be able to calculate your lost income, medical bills, and lost earning capacity. In some cases, it may also include emotional pain and suffering, which requires ample evidence your lawyer will need to present to a judge and jury to calculate. This includes anxiety, the development of PTSD, or the physical pain involved with medical treatments needed to treat your ailment.
Oftentimes, after an accident, big companies such as Lyft and Uber will want to settle quickly, but unless you can be 100% positive that your injuries won’t require future medical care, you should avoid accepting it.
Why Choose an Uber Accident Lawyer or a Lyft Accident Lawyer
The biggest benefit to hiring an experienced attorney after a Lyft or Uber accident is that they will be able to communicate with the rideshare companies and negotiate with them when they either try to deny fault or offer a low settlement offer.
Attorneys are familiar with the tactics insurance companies and big rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber use to avoid paying out the money their injured victims need for their ongoing lost wages, medical care, and rehabilitation. Furthermore, your accident attorney won’t be afraid to take your personal injury case to trial to obtain a compensation award that exceeds the driver’s insurance policy if they were logged onto the app but didn’t have an active ride.
Why Santiago Accident Lawyers Is the Right Choice
Even though rideshare accidents are one of the newer areas of the law, our team has years of experience handling them. Many rideshare accidents occur at odd hours, but when they do, you know our team is just a call away. We’re available 24/7, so after you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft crash, make us one of your first calls and avoid being taken for a ride by the insurance company.
Contact Santiago Accident Lawyers in Orange, CA
When you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, you need to turn to a trusted attorney who can effectively represent you in court and fight big insurance companies when they try to pay out less than you deserve.
Santiago Accident Lawyers offers free, 24/7 consultations to injured victims of Orange County rideshare accidents. Our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers hold several legal accolades and have settled 99% of our cases for our clients. Call us today at 714-912-7619 to schedule a free consultation.