Orange County Rideshare Accident Attorneys
Uber, Lyft, and other “transportation network companies” are widespread across most parts of the country. Every day, people use these apps to get home safely, commute to work, or travel to any location when driving their own car isn’t an option. Rideshare can be a convenient way to get to your destination. But what people don’t often think about is the danger that comes with stepping into the backseat of a stranger’s car and placing your safety in their hands.
Car accidents can occur anytime; especially when someone isn’t paying attention to traffic, road conditions, or the status of their car. When we use rideshare services, this doesn’t change. Before you open one of these apps, it’s important to know what will happen if you get into a serious car accident when using a rideshare service.
Rideshare services have been growing in popularity as a convenient replacement for taxi cabs since 2010, when Uber was launched in San Francisco. The foundation of the service is a mobile app. Users just open up the app, press a few buttons, and are able to hail a ride from any number of available drivers in the area.
Lyft is another ridesharing service that is being used by millions of riders throughout North America. While their main features are very similar to Uber, Lyft offers different levels of service and different vehicle requirements. For the passenger, however, the experience is largely the same. You still open the door to a stranger’s car and trust that he will drive you to your destination in a safe manner.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Getting into a car accident while using rideshare can be terrifying, confusing, and frustrating beyond the physical injuries that you can receive. From broken bones to traumatic brain injuries, rideshare accidents can have debilitating and long-term consequences.
When two non-rideshare vehicles crash, it will be a matter for both drivers and their insurance companies, and whoever acted negligently to cause the accident will be held liable. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple when it comes to rideshare accidents.
Rideshare drivers are required by law to have a certain amount of liability insurance, and the coverage varies depending on whether there is a passenger in the vehicle. All policies are divided up between different “periods” of activity. These include:
- Period 0: At this stage, the driver has the rideshare app turned off and is not actively looking for rides. This means that the driver’s personal liability insurance is active and must at least cover California’s minimum requirements.
- Period 1: When a driver has turned on his rideshare app but has not yet been paired with a ride request, he is at period 1. At this level, drivers are expected to have at least $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person injured, $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $30,000 of property damage coverage per accident. When the app is active but the driver has yet to accept a ride request, the insurance may be covered depending on the individual rideshare company. For example, Uber will cover drivers during period 1.
- Period 2: The driver has accepted a ride request and is en route to pick up the customer. Rideshare companies are required by law to provide a $1 million liability policy for drivers at this stage, also covering uninsured and underinsured motorists. Uber, Lyft, and other companies also provide comprehensive and collision coverage.
- Period 3: This stage is when the driver has picked up his passenger and they are traveling to the correct destination. Like period 2, period 3 is when the rideshare company’s liability insurance covers bodily injuries and property damage in the event of an accident.
While it may be tempting to accept the first settlement offered by the rideshare company’s insurer, many people are surprised to find that they have to wade through miles of red tape and complicated rules just to receive the financial compensation they need. By working with a knowledgeable and experienced Orange County car accident lawyer, you can get the necessary legal guidance to understand exactly how to approach your situation and seek the right amount of damages.
At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, we don’t want anyone to experience the fear and frustration that comes with being the victim in a rideshare accident in Costa Mesa or Orange County. If you or a loved one has suffered from serious bodily injury after stepping in the backseat of an Uber, Lyft, Via, or Juno, it’s important that you start getting the help you need right away. Give our Newport Beach office a call at (949) 752-7474 to learn more.
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