Rideshare Accident Attorney Los Angeles County
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies continue to grow across the Los Angeles area. In 2018, there were 600,000 rideshare vehicles on the road in California, logging 4.3 billion miles across the state. Uber and Lyft often provide more affordable transportation options that are easily accessed by smartphone and are quickly becoming the preferred mode of shared transportation for Los Angeles residents.
However, more rideshare vehicles on the road means more accidents. Rideshare drivers are paid based on the number of fares they take – creating pressure to complete fares quickly to have time for more. They may be operating in areas that are unfamiliar to them and relying on smartphone maps and directions that take their attention away from the road.
Accidents involving rideshare vehicles can result in devastating injuries, and confusion as to who is at fault for the accident and the injuries and damage that result. The Los Angeles rideshare accident attorneys at MAJK Law represent people injured in accidents involving Uber, Lyft and other rideshare vehicles. Our skilled accident attorneys will work hard to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Causes of Uber and Lyft Collisions in LA County
Causes of rideshare collisions happen for many of the same reasons as other vehicle accidents, and yet Uber and Lyft drivers may face additional pressure or distractions as well.
The most common causes of Uber and Lyft accidents in Los Angeles include:
- Driving in Unfamiliar Areas. Uber and Lyft drivers are often relying on smartphones for directions, as they may be operating their vehicles in unfamiliar areas.
- Passenger Distractions. While any driver can be temporarily distracted by passengers, Uber and Lyft drivers face the additional pressure of providing rides to unknown and sometimes unpredictable passengers.
- Rideshare drivers may often work multiple jobs, with long and overnight hours. Fatigued driving can lead to decreased awareness and slowed decision-making, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Other Distractions. Rideshare drivers are as likely as any other drivers to be distracted by texts or phone calls while driving, as well as by watching their phones for the next fare.
- Driving While Intoxicated. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be less alert or have delayed reaction time, increasing their risks of accidents.
- Inclement Weather. Even if a driver is aware of the need to stop or slow their vehicle, weather events can create slippery conditions or poor visibility that impact the ability to control the vehicle.
- Mechanical Problems. The Uber or Lyft vehicle is privately owned, with maintenance the responsibility of the driver. There may be incidents where the driver is aware of the need to slow or stop their vehicle, but a mechanical defect prevents them from doing so in time.
Following an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, it is critical to seek the advice of an experienced Los Angeles rideshare accident attorney. Notably, in California, even if you are partly to blame for the accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Do not assume that fault for the accident is clear based on the scene – contact a lawyer to review your case details.
What Makes a Rideshare Accident Different
While rideshare drivers are operating their own personal vehicles, California law considers them independent contractors of the rideshare company. This employment relationship can make the issue of liability more complex when accidents occur. Several key differences also exist between rideshare companies and taxi services, including:
- Rideshare drivers operate their own personal vehicles, and are entirely responsible for maintenance costs.
- Rideshare drivers typically set their own schedules, and can choose to accept or not accept passengers.
- While insurance may be carried through the rideshare company, it may only apply to certain circumstances – such as only when passengers are in the car, or only when the driver is logged into the rideshare app.
These unique circumstances can make it difficult – and highly dependent on the specific facts of your case – to determine who is liable if you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident.
Who Is at Fault for an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Uber and Lyft drivers typically carry a $1 million insurance policy, and yet just because you’ve been involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, it may not be clear whether the policy applies. If the vehicle is being driven in a personal capacity – the driver is not logged into the app and not carrying passengers – the driver’s personal insurance policy, and not the company policy, may apply.
If you are involved in an accident as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, or with an on-duty vehicle, it is particularly critical to consult with a rideshare accident attorney. Without legal representation, the company insurance carrier may refuse to compensate you, or refuse to cover the true extent of your injuries and loss. The Uber and Lyft accident attorneys at MAJK Law will examine the facts of your case and pursue the maximum compensation for you.
Statute of Limitations for a Ridesharing Accident in California
California’s statute of limitations for personal injury limits the time you have to file a claim to two years from the date of the accident. In some cases, if the injury was not immediately apparent, the two-year period may have a later start date. Once this time runs out, you generally lose the right to sue for your injuries.
Depending on the specifics of your accident, gathering the necessary records and investigating the facts of your case can be a lengthy process. In addition, it is not always easy to determine when the statute of limitations will run out on your claim. Do not waste valuable time that could be spent advocating for your rights – if you’ve been injured, it is in your best interest to seek the counsel of a rideshare attorney and begin the process of filing a claim immediately. In addition to meeting legal deadlines, a timely filing helps to preserve memories of witnesses and victims, ensure the availability of evidence and reports, and emphasize the severity of your injuries to the court.
Common Injuries from a Rideshare Accident
There are a wide range of potential injuries resulting from Uber or Lyft accidents. In some cases, what appear to be minor bumps and bruises can result in lifelong medical issues that greatly affect your quality of life. Head and neck injuries that result in Traumatic Brain Injuries may have no immediate symptoms but become debilitating over time. It is critical to seek a comprehensive medical evaluation as soon as possible after your accident.
Common injuries resulting from rideshare accidents include:
The severity and type of injury that results in any vehicle accident can depend on many factors, including the age and health of the victim, their position in the car, whether they were using appropriate restraints, and the type of collision. Because California limits the time you have to file a claim, it is critical to identify and begin to address all potential injuries as soon as possible, to maximize your chances of recovering compensation that covers the full impact of your damages.
Potential Damages You Can Recover
The amount and type of damages you can recover if you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident depend on many factors, including the specific details of the crash, the severity of your injuries, the determination of who is at fault, and the quality of your legal counsel. Common types of compensation recovered after Uber or Lyft accidents in Los Angeles include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Costs of rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Disability and necessary accommodations
- Alternate transportation costs, i.e. rental vehicles
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Some damages are straightforward to demonstrate, such as presenting medical bills as evidence of your expenses. Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate and to prove – and yet may make up the most significant portion of your overall compensation. MAJK Law Uber & Lyft accident attorneys work hard to understand your situation so that they can advocate for compensation that truly covers the impact of your accident on your overall physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
Do You Need an Attorney for an Uber or Lyft Accident?
You may be tempted to accept an insurance settlement. Insurance companies want to settle quickly, and at the lowest cost possible – and may contact you early in the process, when you may be feeling vulnerable, or before you’ve had a chance to hire an attorney. Do not miss out on additional compensation by accepting an insurance payout without first consulting a Los Angeles rideshare accident lawyer.
As with any personal injury claim, the amount of recoverable damages depends on the specific facts of your case. Seeking the counsel of an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can help ensure that you receive the maximum possible compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact a Rideshare Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident in Los Angeles or the surrounding areas, the skilled legal team at MAJK Law can help. Let us navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve, so that you can focus on recovering and getting back to your life. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.