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With the advent of ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft comes the considerable legal question: In the event of an accident, who is liable for any resulting injuries or legal claims? The answer to these questions isn’t always clear, and if you’ve been involved in an accident with a ridesharing vehicle in California, you may wish to call a Los Angeles accident lawyer who can help you navigate this complex situation. Your attorney will help you understand whether the rideshare company provides insurance, when your claim may not be covered, and what to do to move forward and ensure you’re covered for your economic and non-economic losses.
Lyft drivers represent a publicly-traded corporation but use their own vehicles to carry out its services. When an accident occurs, it’s extremely important to understand your rights and responsibilities to any passengers involved. If you’ve been involved in a Lyft accident in Los Angeles or elsewhere, recovering for your losses can become a complex process. Whether you’re the passenger, Lyft driver or pedestrian injured in the accident, it’s important to work with a Los Angeles Lyft accident lawyer that uniquely understands the specific issues that may arise.
As the state of origin for some of the largest ridesharing companies working today, California was the first state to legalize ridesharing, otherwise known as transportation network companies. Having officially entered the mainstream as one of the most useful modes of public transportation in otherwise congested cities, ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have completely revolutionized how people get around. A rideshare occurs when a passenger travels in a private driver’s personal vehicle for a one-time ride they purchased through the ridesharing app. The driver charges the rider through the app, and the rideshare company keeps a percentage of the profits.
In order to operate as a rideshare driver, TNCs will generally require a background check and proof that your driver’s license is up to date. Drivers are not, however, required to have a taxi driver’s license.
Taxis are usually owned, inspected and maintained by a taxi company and leased by a driver. The driver pays the company a certain amount per month to operate the vehicle, in exchange for keeping the profits from his service. A city or county usually has strict regulations on taxis and drivers, and a taxi driver is required to have a specific type of driver’s license.
The way you might hail a taxi is also quite different from a rideshare app, as taxis generally roam the street making themselves available to passengers who may need a ride. There are certain locations, like airports, hotels, and train stations, where taxi drivers are queuing and awaiting new passengers. Cash used to be the accepted mode of payment with taxis, but recently most have installed credit card machines in an effort to better serve their customers.
Rideshares work quite differently. When someone needs a ride, they would open their app and mark their current location, which allows the app’s algorithm to locate a driver nearby. You would additionally enter other specifics, such as how many people are in your party, and where you are planning to go. Before your ride begins, the app advises how much you can expect to pay for the ride, and advises if the roads are particularly busy and causing prices to ‘surge.’ Your credit card is also kept on file within the app, so you are billed directly each time you complete a ride. After the ride, the app will prompt both you and the driver to leave a review about the experience.
Whether you’re riding in a taxi, a rideshare or your own vehicle, there are certainly the same types of risks involved on the road. While rideshare and taxi drivers are certainly held to higher standards, accidents can still occur. If you’ve been involved in a car accident while taking a rideshare, a Los Angeles Lyft accident lawyer can illuminate your next steps.
While it’s certainly possible to make extra cash while driving for Lyft, there are a variety of risks involved with the gig. While most Lyft drivers report positive experiences, many complex legal issues can arise when an accident occurs. It’s important to understand your role and responsibility in the accident, and take all the appropriate steps to minimize your risk of liability.
Similarly, if you are a passenger using Lyft when a collision occurs, it’s important to understand who is responsible for the accident and take appropriate measures to ensure your compensation if you’ve been injured. Accidents are stressful, traumatizing events, and it’s crucial to seek out medical help for your physical and emotional injuries. If an accident occurs, be sure to reach out to medical and legal professionals who can get you the help you need.
After a Lyft accident, law enforcement will investigate the accident and assign fault based on their investigation. The fault lies clearly with one party, or is shared among several parties. If you’re a Lyft driver that’s been involved in an accident, take swift action to document what happened. Contact law enforcement and file a police report immediately on the scene, and take pictures of your vehicle’s damage.
If you’re a passenger involved in a Lyft accident, make sure you treat your injuries immediately and do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney who can guide you through the recovery process for any costs incurred.
If you are a passenger involved in a rideshare accident, then your actionable steps should mirror those you would take after a normal car accident. After calling emergency services and ensuring your health is intact, call law enforcement immediately so they can begin gathering evidence around the facts of the accident. The rideshare company will have a record of your driver’s pertinent information and the location where the accident occurred. You will also need to ensure that you’ve gathered the driver’s insurance information, because that will be the first option for the driver when attempting to settle any claims. Also make sure you obtain their full name, license number, and license plate number for your records.
It’s important to understand that many insurance companies require timely notice of an accident in order to pay out any claims. It is important that you speak with a qualified accident attorney prior to speaking with any insurance company, especially the adverse insurance company. Once you retain an attorney the insurance company is not permitted to contact you and all communications will go through your attorney.
An experienced Lyft accident lawyer will present your case to the adverse insurance company in a manner to maximize your recovery. You will be required to make a statement to your own insurance company. An experienced accident attorney will guide you as to how you should present your claim and speak to the adjuster to ensure you will not be held responsible or make an incorrect statement.
After an accident, you may experience physical and emotional pain and incur costly expenses to repair your injuries and your vehicle. Lyft drivers may be entitled to receive compensation for vehicle repair expenses and injuries, and additionally recover lost wages since the vehicle is a primary or secondary source of income. Injured Lyft passengers, in turn, may seek compensation for their injuries, resulting in lost wages or emotional trauma. Whether you’re a Lyft driver or passenger, contact an attorney immediately if you’ve been involved in an accident. Your attorney can guide you through the process of recovering for your losses, and ensure you receive adequate compensation after the ordeal.
Our law firm routinely handles lawsuits for Lyft drivers and passengers after an accident. We work hand-in-hand with you to file the appropriate paperwork, deal with law enforcement and insurance companies, and navigate your rights under the law. Contact our experienced Lyft accident attorneys immediately after a wreck to ensure you have guidance, assistance, and advice throughout the recovery process.
Don’t wait to get the help you need. Reach out today and schedule your FREE consultation by calling (888) LAW-9991.