We at Mike Agruss Law proudly serve citizens of San Jose in personal injury cases, including when you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, and our Uber/Lyft accident attorneys are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you receive full financial compensation for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services. Contact our Lyft and Uber accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
Uber and Lyft Accidents
Uber and Lyft are “rideshare companies” which provide the services of a taxi by employing rideshare drivers as independent contractors. These rideshare services operate throughout the United States and in other countries around the world, and they may be more common than you think: from 2017 to 2018, Uber was used for more than 4 billion trips in the United States alone.
Car accidents often involve the negligence of a driver on the road, and common forms of driver negligence include distracted, intoxicated, or reckless driving. While fault is usually clear in car accident cases, those which involve a rideshare driver may raise questions for those who aren’t familiar with how these companies operate. If you’ve been involved in a car accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, speak with an experienced attorney today to find out if you have a case.
Most car accident claims, including for rideshare accidents, result from a driver’s negligence on the road, and these drivers must be held legally accountable for the victim’s injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Here are the most common forms of driver negligence:
Disregard for other vehicles
Many car accidents result from a driver’s failure to check his/her blind spot or identify vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians who have the right-of-way in a given situation; these situations are particularly common at night and in poor weather conditions.
Distractions to drivers have always existed, but not to the extent that smartphones and similar devices have taken it today. Distraction by electronic devices while driving now results in serious and even fatal car accidents on a daily basis and is a contributing factor in more auto accidents than ever before, and we strongly encourage all drivers to put their phones and other devices away when behind the wheel.
Intoxicated driving remains a problem, and drunk driving now results in as much as one-third of all auto-related deaths. These are very serious and preventable accidents and intoxicated drivers must be held accountable for the damages that result from their negligence.
Speeding and reckless driving correlate strongly to serious injuries sustained in car accidents, and it remains a common factor in accidents overall. It’s important for drivers to understand that speeding is ultimately ineffective for getting them to their destinations quicker, as violating speed-limits may only result in one or two minutes saved at most and is not worth the increased risk of an accident.
Uber or Lyft Accidents as a Passenger
If you are involved in an accident as a passenger of an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you may assume that the rideshare company would be the defendant in a personal injury claim. However, because Lyft and Uber drivers are commonly employed as “independent contractors” rather than official employees, this protects the companies, to certain extents, from liability for auto accidents involving their drivers and can result in complex vehicle accident claims. Uber and Lyft may also force drivers and riders to use arbitration for legal disputes, which may further complicate the process.
As such, similar rules for other auto accidents may or may not apply to accidents involving Uber or Lyft: if you’re involved in a car accident with an Uber or Lyft driver who was responsible for the accident, that driver – not the company – will be legally liable. If you’re an Uber or Lyft passenger and you’re involved in an accident, either your Uber or Lyft driver or the other driver may be held legally liable, depending on the circumstances of the accident. No matter the circumstances, contact a San Jose rideshare accident lawyer today for a free consultation to find out if you can pursue the negligent party for compensation.
Uber/Lyft Drivers’ Insurance
Here is how insurance coverage works for rideshare accident claims involving Uber and Lyft drivers:
when the app is off
When an Uber/Lyft driver’s app is not activated, only the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage applies.
App is on, waiting for ride request
When an Uber/Lyft driver’s app is on and the driver is waiting for a ride request, both Uber and Lyft provide third party liability coverage if the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage does not apply:
$50,000/person for bodily injury
$100,000/accident for bodily injury
$25,000/accident for property damage
transporting or picking up passengers
When an Uber/Lyft driver is actively transporting or picking up a passenger, both Uber and Lyft provide the following auto insurance for covered accidents:
$1,000,000 3rd-party auto liability
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
Contingent comprehensive & collision up to the actual cash value of the car ($2,500 deductible)
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
Contact the Police
Rideshare accident victims should simply relay the facts of the case and follow any instructions when an officer arrives on the accident scene. Before leaving, be sure to request a copy of the police report or instructions for how to obtain it once it is filed.
Receive medical attention
Seek a full medical evaluation as soon as possible, even if you do not believe you’ve been seriously injured. Some car crash injuries, even severe injuries like TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), do not produce symptoms until hours or even days later, so it’s important that any potential injuries are identified and evaluated immediately.
Exchange information with the other driver
Exchange full legal names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance carriers, license plate numbers, and other necessary contact information with the drivers involved.
Take necessary notes and photographs
Write down any important details or circumstances pertaining to the accident, at-fault driver, or surrounding scene, as they will be valuable later in determining liability. Car accident injury victims should also, if possible, take pictures of the damaged vehicles, the accident scene, any visible injuries, and anything else relevant to the accident.
Obtain witness statements
If anyone directly witnessed the accident, use a notepad or even a smartphone or similar recording device to obtain statements if they are willing to provide them; these statements will help to prove negligence later.
Report the accident to Uber or Lyft
If you’ve been involved in a car accident involving an Uber rideshare vehicle, complete a “Third Party Incident Notice” on Uber’s Safety page. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a Lyft vehicle, report it on Lyft’s Help page to be contacted by Lyft’s “Accident Reporting Teams.”
Remember, with Uber and Lyft accident claims, just like with an insurance adjuster, be careful of what you say and only provide the basic facts: where and when the accident occurred, the type of accident, the vehicles involved, and any witnesses, if applicable. Do not provide detailed descriptions of your injuries or your interpretation of the accident; save these for your attorney when the attorney client relationship applies to you and your rideshare accident claim. Your attorney can also handle communications with the negligent driver’s personal insurance company.
Contact an experienced Uber accident lawyer
Speak with our Uber accident lawyers to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Call our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation regarding your Uber/Lyft accident claim.
If your auto accident resulted from another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation under California law for your injuries and losses in a personal injury case, including:
This includes all medical care incurred directly due to the accident (including ongoing/long-term care) such as ambulance trips, assistive medical devices, emergency room treatment, medications, nursing care, and rehabilitative/surgical expenses. Be sure to keep copies of all medical records.
Includes income you would have earned if you had not missed work to recover from the accident, and may also include future lost wages if you cannot return to the same job you held before the accident due to serious injury.
Pain and suffering
You may be entitled to compensation for physical and/or psychological pain and suffering which resulted directly from the accident.
Contact us Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident due to another’s negligence, you need an experienced rideshare accident attorney. Contact Mike Agruss Law today for a free case evaluation. We are a Chicago-based personal injury law firm, and helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will file your car accident claim and take care of the insurance company, medical bills, property damage, and lost income. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, our personal injury lawyers are not paid attorney fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.