Ridesharing services have never been more popular in Los Angeles. Whether you’re trying to avoid the aggravation of navigating traffic or catching a ride because you’ve had a few drinks, services like Uber and Lyft can be incredibly convenient. However, catching an Uber does not necessarily mean that you will not be involved in a traffic accident. Traffic accidents, as a whole, are on the rise in Los Angeles. The growing popularity of ridesharing services simply adds to the traffic and congestion on the city’s roads. If you are involved in an Uber accident you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Glotzer & Leib, LLP to find out how we can help you fight for the money you deserve.
Causes of Los Angeles Uber and Lyft Accidents
As services like Uber and Lyft continue to gain popularity in Los Angeles, the number of injury-causing car accidents has also risen. Frequently-cited causes of Los Angeles ridesharing accidents include:
- Distracted and inattentive drivers
- Improper turns
- Illegal parking or standing
- Drunk driving
- Driving while high
- Unsafe lane changes
- Dangerous road conditions
- Defective vehicles, and
- Limited visibility due to weather.
Who is Responsible for My Ridesharing Accident Injuries?
If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident you may sustain serious or life-threatening injuries. Under California law, any party who contributes to the cause of an accident can be held financially responsible for injuries that result. Determining what caused your accident will be essential in determining who is at fault.
The following parties could potentially be responsible for compensating you for your ridesharing accident injuries:
The Ridesharing Service
California law requires companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar to carry specific insurance to cover drivers, passengers, and third parties in the event of an accident. California Vehicle Code 5430 VC requires these companies to carry a minimum of $1 Million in premiums to cover personal injury, death, and property damage caused when an accident occurs while a rideshare driver is on the clock. Drivers are considered to be on the clock the moment they accept a ride request until the moment the driver ends the ride on the rideshare service app. This means that if you are injured in an accident with an on-duty rideshare driver, you can seek compensation from the rideshare company itself.
Ridesharing service companies may try to avoid paying any damages by arguing that the accident was caused because of their driver’s misconduct. In these situations, you may be required to file a personal injury claim against the rideshare driver. However, new requirements under California law mandate that a rideshare company’s insurance policy be the first line of defense in the event of an accident. Consult with an attorney after your accident to make sure that your claim is filed against the appropriate party.
The Rideshare Service Driver
Uber and Lyft drivers can be held financially responsible for injuries caused by their misconduct or negligence. These drivers have an obligation to make sure that their passengers are transported safely and that no one else on the road is put in harm’s way. When a driver fails to uphold these responsibilities they will be considered negligent and can be liable for your injuries. You may be able to recover benefits from the driver’s own insurance policy and/or hold the driver personally responsible through a lawsuit.
Uber and Lyft drivers do not operate in a vacuum. They are out on the road among other drivers, sharing the road with bicyclists, and traveling alongside pedestrians. These third parties have an obligation to be safe and prevent foreseeable harm when they are on the road. Motorcyclists who lane-split dangerously, bicyclists who do not obey traffic signals, and pedestrians who jump out into traffic can cause accidents. When a third party is negligent and causes a collision with your Uber or Lyft, that other person can be held responsible for your injuries.
Determining fault and liability for a Los Angeles rideshare accident can be difficult. Contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney immediately after your accident to make sure that your claim is handled properly. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate your accident and pursue compensation from any party that contributed to your accident.
When Can I File a Rideshare Accident Injury Claim?
As an accident victim, you have the right to pursue monetary damages from the person (or people) responsible for your injuries. In California, you must make sure that your claim is filed in the time period allowed by law. Most personal injury claims resulting from a rideshare accident will have to be filed within two years. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations runs, you will be prevented from recovering anything, at all.
There may be certain times when you do not realize that you have been injured right away. If there is a reasonable delay in the discovery of your injury, the statute of limitations can be tolled. Tolling allows you essentially extend the time period you have to file a claim without penalty. Once you have discovered your injury you will have one year to file a claim for damages.
Why Should I Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney?
You’ve decided to file a claim for damages because you want to hold a negligent party responsible for their actions. If you want to maximize the amount of money you receive, you should hire an attorney.
- You don’t have the time.
The time following an unexpected accident can be incredibly hectic and stressful. If you decide to handle your legal case yourself you will be taking valuable time and attention away from your recovery. Hiring an attorney to handle your case will significantly reduce the stress you are under at this time. Your attorney will be an experienced professional who has an extensive understanding of relevant law, regulations, and procedures. We have the tools necessary to get the money you deserve while you focus on your physical and emotional recoveries.
- Determining liability can be difficult.
Figuring out who should be held financially responsible for your injuries can be difficult. Ridesharing companies will fight to shield themselves from liability and direct claims to their drivers. Drivers will argue that the company’s insurance policy should be the primary source of damages. Third party drivers who may have contributed to the accident may need to be identified. You can make sure that your claim is fully investigated and all liable parties are named by hiring an attorney.
- You may not know what your claim is worth.
How much compensation should you be awarded for your accident-related injuries? Which costs can you demand to recover from an at-fault party? If you do not hire an attorney you may have to rely on an insurance company’s valuation. These companies will do everything to minimize the amounts they pay to you, so these valuations may not be accurate. You can make sure that your claim is valued appropriately by hiring an attorney to handle your case. A thorough investigation into your accident and the extent of your physical and emotional injuries will be necessary to properly value your damages.
- Prevent the insurance company from having an advantage.
The insurance companies you deal with after an accident will be represented by skilled legal professionals. They will know how to take advantage of a difficult situation and get the result that is in their best interest. These insurance companies will do anything they can to limit the amount of money you walk away with. They may even play hardball and deny your claims outright. Hiring an attorney to represent you will take away any advantage the other side had.
Experienced Los Angeles Rideshare Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a Los Angeles rideshare accident? Whether your Uber driver or a third party was responsible, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Los Angeles rideshare accident attorney Joshua W. Glotzer today to find out how he can help you get the money you deserve. Damages you recover from a personal injury lawsuit can be extremely helpful as you deal with a painful injury and unexpected financial stress. Mr. Glotzer has more than 20 years of experience handling complex personal injury cases and will fight to make sure that the negligent party is held responsible for their actions. We only get paid if we win, so call Glotzer & Leib, LLP today to request a free consultation.