Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have soared in popularity in California over the past few years. They offer convenience through low fares, short wait times, and the ability to pay through the app. Unfortunately, as these businesses have flourished, so have traffic accidents in which they are involved. At Pathway Law Firm, we understand the laws, rules, and regulations that govern rideshare services and provide our clients with the comprehensive representation they can rely on to obtain the compensation they deserve.

How Are Ride-Sharing Accidents Different?

In many ways, ride-sharing accidents are similar to other types of car accidents. However, there are also some important distinctions. For example, because ride-sharing drivers are independent contractors, they’re not covered by the same insurance policies as traditional taxi or bus drivers. This can make it difficult to recover damages if you’re injured in a ride-sharing accident. Additionally, ridesharing companies typically have strict limits on the amount of money they’re willing to pay for damages. This may not be enough to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

Here’s a breakdown of how Uber’s and Lyft’s insurance policies work:

If a driver has the app turned on but hasn’t accepted a ride request:

  • Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability coverage of up to $50,000 per person for bodily injuries and $25,000 for property damage.
  • The driver’s personal insurance policy may also provide coverage.

If a driver has accepted a ride request:

  • Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability coverage of up to $1 million per incident.
  • The driver’s personal insurance policy may also provide coverage.

If a driver is en route to pick up a passenger:

  • Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability coverage of up to $1 million per incident.
  • The driver’s personal insurance policy may also provide coverage.

If a driver has a passenger in the car:

  • Uber and Lyft provide first-party liability coverage of up to $1 million per incident.
  • The driver’s personal insurance policy generally does not provide coverage.

Lyft’s and Uber’s insurance policies are complex. If you’ve been injured in a ride-sharing accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced Ride Sharing Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield who can help you navigate the claims process and recover the compensation you deserve.

Liability in Ridesharing Accidents

Ride Sharing Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield, CA

As with any car accident in Bakersfield California liability for accidents involving rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft is determined based on fault. Generally speaking, the party that is at fault is responsible for compensating the other parties in the accident. All California drivers are required to carry insurance for situations such as this. In order to recover from an injury sustained in a ridesharing accident, the injured party must show the following:

  • The at-fault party owed them a duty of care
  • The at-fault party breached the duty of care
  • The at-fault party’s breach caused the accident that resulted in the injured party’s injuries and caused the injured party to experience actual damages, such as medical expenses

It is important to note that rideshare services maintain their drivers are contract employees and do not provide vehicles for their drivers. Because of this, it is not uncommon for Uber and Lyft to claim that they are not responsible for the actions of their drivers. Even so, both of these companies have insurance coverage in the amount of $1 million dollars for accidents caused by their drivers when their drivers are on duty. 

Who Can Be Sued After a Ride-Sharing Accident?

There are a number of parties who may be held liable for damages after a ride-sharing accident. The first step in any personal injury claim is determining who was at fault. Once the fault has been established, the injured party can file a claim against the responsible party or parties. In some cases, more than one party may be held liable.

The following are some of the parties who may be held liable for damages after a ride-sharing accident:

  • The rideshare driver: If the rideshare driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a claim against them. 
  • The rideshare company: If the driver was working for the rideshare company at the time of the accident, you may be able to file a claim against the company. In some cases, the company may be held liable for the driver’s actions.
  • The other driver: If another driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a claim against them.
  • The other driver’s insurance company: If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance company.
  • Your own insurance company: If you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company.
  • Your health insurance company: If you have health insurance, you may be able to file a claim with your insurer to help cover the cost of your medical bills.

After a ride-sharing accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced Ride Sharing Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield.

What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Ride-Sharing Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a ride-sharing accident, you may be entitled to recover a number of different types of damages. The specific damages available will depend on the facts of your case. In general, the following damages may be available:

  • Medical expenses: You may be able to recover the cost of your medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitative care.
  • Lost wages: If you’ve missed time from work because of your injuries, you may be able to recover your lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering: You may be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
  • Property damage: If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you might be able to recover the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be available. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter future misconduct.

What if the Ride-Sharing Driver Was Uninsured or Underinsured?

If the ride-sharing driver was uninsured or underinsured, you might still be able to recover damages. In some cases, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. You may also be able to file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance policy.

It’s important to speak with a Ride Sharing Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield, CA, to understand your rights and options after an accident.

What to Expect From a Ride-Sharing Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield, CA

Our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers will investigate what happened and help you understand your rights. We will also deal with the insurance companies on your behalf so that you can focus on your recovery.

When you contact us, we will:

  • Review the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options
  • Collect evidence to support your claim, including medical records, police reports, and eyewitness testimony
  • Gather expert testimony to support your claim
  • Handle all communications with the insurance companies involved in your case
  • Negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to try to reach a fair settlement
  • Prepare your case for trial if a settlement cannot be reached.

Even if you are unsure if you have a case, we will be happy to review the facts of your case and advise you on your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our ride-sharing accident attorneys in Bakersfield, CA.

What to Do After a Ridesharing Accident in Bakersfield

After a ridesharing accident, there are steps you should take to preserve evidence so it can be used to help secure the compensation you are owed. These steps include:

  • Screenshot The App: Screenshot the information provided to you by the rideshare company through the app, including the driver’s name, route traveled, arrival and departure times, and receipt. 
  • Take Photographs: If possible, to safely do so, take photographs of the scene of the accident, including the vehicles, weather conditions, and injuries sustained.
  • Avoid Speaking With A Rideshare Representative: It is likely a representative from Uber or Lyft will contact you for a statement. If they do, refer any questions to your attorney. Do the same if an insurance representative contacts you.

Contact Our Bakersfield Car Accident Attorneys For a Free Consultation

If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you need an attorney who understands the rules and regulations that govern this area of the law. Contact the car accident attorneys at Pathway Law Firm. Our law firm has the experience, knowledge, and resources you need to recover the damages you deserve after a ridesharing accident. Our legal team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and we don’t collect any money from you until your case successfully concludes in either a settlement or verdict through the courts.