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 Lyft 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 Lyft 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.
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.
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 Lyft 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.
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.
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