Uber & Lyft Accidents

Glendale Uber / Lyft Accident Attorneys

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are becoming more and more ubiquitous.  Californians are increasingly relying on these rideshare drivers to commute to and from work, for rides home after a night out, for rides to and from the airport or train station, etc.  Yet, many of these drivers have no additional commercial driver training, and drivers often work for the rideshare company part-time while pursuing other interests.  That means that there are a lot of rideshare drivers on the road who do not have the professional driving experience of a taxi or limo driver but may still suffer from the long, boring, and tiresome hours of commercial driving.  Rideshare drivers are prone to the same mistakes as any other driver — distraction from texts or emails, driving while intoxicated, driving drowsy, etc. — with the added effects of driving long hours, often late into the night.  Combined, these factors lead to a high propensity for accidents.

If you are injured by a negligent Uber or Lyft driver, either as a passenger or while driving your own car on the road, you are entitled to compensation.  The dedicated and experienced rideshare accident lawyers at McReynolds Vardanyan LLP have years of experience pursuing claims for damages on behalf of car accident victims.  We know how to navigate California’s complicated insurance rules and complex scenarios that come into play when rideshare drivers are involved in a crash.

Who is liable after an Uber or Lyft accident?

If you are injured during an Uber or Lyft ride, the responsible party depends on who was at fault for the accident.  If an Uber or Lyft driver caused an accident and you were either a passenger or in another car on the road caught in the crash, then you can bring a claim against Uber or Lyft’s insurance.  Depending on the circumstances, you may also be able to bring a claim against the driver directly.  If another driver on the road was at fault while you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you could sue the other driver.  If that other driver does not have insurance, typically Uber or Lyft will cover your damages.

Uber and Lyft have excellent insurance policies for accidents involving their drivers while they are on the clock.  Uber, for example, covers drivers for $1 million in personal injury liability for passengers and other drivers.  If you are a passenger injured during a trip or another driver injured by a rideshare driver mid-trip, this means that you may have a much easier time securing complete recovery for your injuries than you might against the typical driver whose insurance policy may not cover your total damages.

The rideshare companies’ policies, however, require that a driver was on the clock when the accident occurred.  If the driver was logged off of the app and off duty at the time of the accident, you must pursue your claims against the driver personally as you would any other driver.  If the crash happened at any time between when the driver accepted a fare and when they drop off a passenger, then Uber or Lyft will cover the accident.

There is a third, gray area scenario:  If a driver has logged onto the app and is on duty, but has not yet accepted a fare, then accident coverage is much more limited.  For drivers who crash during that gray area period, Uber and Lyft keep a “contingent” policy that generally covers up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in injury claims.  This policy limit may be insufficient to cover your damages depending on the extent of your injuries, and you may have to go after the driver directly.  Moreover, the policy only kicks in if the driver has their own insurance in accordance with California law.  If the driver was uninsured at the time, then you must proceed as you would against any other uninsured or underinsured driver.

Rideshare drivers face stricter DUI laws

If your Uber or Lyft driver was driving under the influence of alcohol when they crashed, then you may be able to collect punitive damages against the driver or the rideshare company.  In California, as of July 2018, Uber and Lyft drivers are subject to the more stringent DUI laws applicable to other commercial drivers:  Rideshare drivers can get a DUI if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.04%.

If you are suing after an Uber or Lyft accident and can prove that the driver was under the influence of alcohol, even if under the standard 0.08% for most drivers to trigger a DUI, you may be able to claim that the driver was so reckless as to merit punitive damages.  California holds commercial drivers to a higher standard because they spend much more time on the road, and thus pose a greater threat to everyone else if they are reckless.  If a drunk rideshare driver injured you, you might be entitled to significant damages.

Call Our Glendale Uber & Lyft Accident Attorneys Today for Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Los Angeles or Southern California, the rideshare accident attorneys at McReynolds Vardanyan want to hear from you.  Call our Glendale office at 818-855-2115 for a free consultation to evaluate your case and help you get the compensation you need.

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