Costa Mesa Rideshare Accident Lawyers
Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, are a convenient way to get around in Costa Mesa and Orange County. However, Uber and Lyft drivers are sometimes involved in accidents, the same as any other driver. When a rideshare accident occurs, things can get complicated when it comes to recovering compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash, any of several insurance companies could be responsible for covering your damages.
As rideshare companies become more popular, the more people begin to work for them, and the more accidents they cause. Going up against such large companies can feel intimidating, but with Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie at your side, the task won’t seem as daunting. We have years of experience that we can use to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
California was the first state to regulate ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft. In 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) determined that these ridesharing services are party passenger carriers and subject to CPUC jurisdiction. CPUC created a new category for these companies – Transportation Network Company (TNC) – and established 28 rules and regulations, including requirements for TNCs to:
- Obtain a license from CPUC to operate in California;
- Require all drivers to undergo criminal background checks;
- Implement a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol and drugs;
- Establish a driver training program;
- Conduct a 19-point car inspection; and
- Carry a commercial liability insurance policy with a minimum of $1 million per-incident coverage for accidents involving TNC vehicles and drivers in transit to or during a TNC trip, regardless of whether personal insurance allows for coverage.
Liability for an Uber or Lyft accident will depend on several things, including whether you were a rideshare passenger and what the rideshare driver was doing at the time of the crash. To determine who is financially responsible, it is necessary to divide Uber and Lyft driver activities into three different possible periods:
Period 1: The driver is on their own time. When a rideshare driver is not carrying or actively seeking passengers and is using the vehicle for their own personal use, Uber and Lyft are not responsible. The driver’s personal liability insurance policy is the only coverage that applies if the driver causes an accident.
Period 2: The driver has the app open and is waiting for a ride request. This is sometimes known as driver mode. Both Lyft and Uber have contingent liability insurance policies to cover accidents caused by drivers during this period to the extent that the driver’s personal insurance coverage is inadequate. Caps on these contingent liability insurance policies are $50,000 for injury or death and $25,000 for property damage.
Period 3: This begins when a ride request is accepted, and continues through the end of the ride. This period begins the moment the rideshare driver accepts a ride request and ends once all passengers have been delivered to their destination and the ride has ended in the app. During this period, the rideshare company is responsible for accidents caused by its drivers. Uber and Lyft carry commercial insurance policies with limits of $1,000,000 per person per accident and a maximum of $2,000,000 for all passengers.
If you are injured as a rideshare passenger in a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, your damages should be covered under the rideshare company’s insurance. Both Uber and Lyft’s policies cover accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers.
Rideshare accident cases can be more complicated than other car accident cases, because of the different parties and insurance policies involved. Our Costa Mesa auto accident lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie can investigate your accident to determine fault and liability and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources, to effectively pursue the maximum compensation available. Call us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation with no time limits or restrictions if you have been injured in a rideshare accident.
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