Posts tagged ride share accident

My Lyft Driver Crashed. Can I Sue?

November 29, 2018 Auto Accidents

Ride-sharing services like Lyft have simplified transportation questions for people in California and across the nation. However, when a Lyft

car accident sceneRide-sharing services like Lyft have simplified transportation questions for people in California and across the nation. However, when a Lyft driver is involved in a crash, the logistics of a personal injury suit can be less than simple. Here are some factors that can affect the process.

Ride-sharing liability in California

California follows a traditional negligence model when it comes to liability for auto accidents. Unlike in no-fault states, an at-fault party in CA can be held legally responsible for the monetary losses caused by his or her careless acts. However, another party, like a ride-sharing company, may be legally responsible for the at-fault driver’s actions in certain situations.

If a Lyft driver crashes and the accident is due to his or her negligence, state laws and Lyft policies hold that Lyft’s insurance will provide coverage but the amount available depends on what mode the driver was in.

Driver Status Minimum Insurance Liability Limits
Not logged into app or looking for or carrying a passenger Basic state minimum coverage – $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident/$5,000 property damage
Logged into app and waiting for a passenger $50,000 per person/$100 per accident/$30,000 property damage
Picking up or transporting a ride-sharing customer $1 million commercial liability; $1 million uninsured/underinsured coverage

 

Who to sue after a Lyft accident in Southern California

Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors. Even though the company insurance policy may insure your ride while the driver has the app turned on, the general understanding, from a legal standpoint, is that an injured rider’s lawsuit would be filed against the individual driver rather than the ride-share company.

In some cases, there may be reason to sue Lyft directly. For example, the company may have negligently hired a driver who it should have realized, with necessary research, was not an eligible driver. However, the company will most likely allege that claims against it cannot be filed in court, but instead must be brought in an arbitration under Lyft’s terms of service.

Understandably, there are many variables in ride-share accident cases so it is important to speak with a Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles who can help guide your case.

Speak with a Lyft accident lawyer in LA

With as popular as Lyft, Uber, and other ride-sharing apps have become, it is easy to forget that it is still a relatively new business model. This means the legal questions are undergoing evolution as lawmakers and judges adapt traditional laws to new technology. If you are involved in a ride-sharing accident in CA, speak with a Lyft accident attorney in Los Angeles about your claim.

The Salamati Law Firm understands the complex questions that arise in ride-sharing accidents. We are dedicated to helping victims of Lyft and Uber accidents in Southern California understand and protect their rights, and fight for full and fair compensation.

Call today to schedule a free case review. We never charge a fee unless we win money on your behalf.

Additional Lyft accident resources:

  1. Inc.com, Ride Sharing Is Convenient. But What Happens If There’s an Accident?, https://www.inc.com/john-white/ride-sharing-is-convenient-but-what-happens-if-there-is-an-accident.html
  2. Lyft, Terms of Service, https://www.lyft.com/terms
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5 Things To Do If You Are Involved in a Lyft or Uber Accident in Los Angeles

May 9, 2018 Auto Accidents

As ride-sharing services continue to be a popular choice for transportation across Southern California, the likelihood of being involved in

woman waiting for lyft or uber rideshare

As ride-sharing services continue to be a popular choice for transportation across Southern California, the likelihood of being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles keeps increasing. In some ways, Uber and Lyft crashes are like other auto accidents, but they can be extra complicated for a passenger who chooses to file a personal injury claim. If you are involved in a ride-sharing crash, here are some tips for what to do in the aftermath.

#1: Put safety first

Like any other type of auto accident, the first step is to check to see if everyone is safe. Be sure to check yourself carefully and do not be tempted to downplay your own injuries – pain often intensifies for the first 48 hours after a crash.

#2: Report the accident to the authorities

Call the police and, if there is any sign of an injury, the paramedics. Do not be tempted to skip making a police report, even if the Uber or Lyft driver wants to skip this step. You will be much better off if there is an official record of the accident.

#3: Gather information

Like any other crash, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the others involved in the accident. Also try to obtain:

  • Names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Notes on the vehicles involved, including license plate numbers, make, model, and color
  • Pictures of the vehicles, accident site, and even shots including people at the scene

#4: Seek medical attention

If you are immediately injured, head to the ER. But even if you think you are not injured, make a visit to your doctor as soon as possible. Many injuries caused by car crashes are not immediately known, but the earlier you address it, the better your outlook will be. Also, spotting an injury quickly makes it easier to prove that it was caused by the accident rather than something else.

#5: Speak with a lawyer

Your driver should report the accident to the ride-sharing company, but if they do not, someone needs to do that on your behalf. Let your lawyer do that; once you have a lawyer representing you, the Uber or Lyft insurance company will need to communicate with your lawyer instead of hassling you directly.

Your lawyer will also take care of things like sending letters informing the ride-share company and other potential parties that they must preserve all evidence for potential litigation. He or she can also help you determine whether you need to make insurance claims to anyone other than the ride sharing company’s insurer.

Protect your rights after a ride-sharing accident

Unfortunately, Lyft and Uber accidents are the wave of the future. The popularity of the services is growing, and so is the number of accidents involving ride-sharing vehicles. But the Salamati Law Firm understands the issues involved, helping those injured in Lyft and Uber accidents in Los Angeles obtain full recovery.  Lyft and Uber accidents in Los Angeles

Read More on Uber and Lyft accidents:

  1. What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?
  2. Uber Accidents and Ride Sharing Liability in California.

Additional resources for Lyft and Uber accidents in L.A.:

  1. Inc.com, Ride Sharing Is Convenient. But What Happens If There’s an Accident?, https://www.inc.com/john-white/ride-sharing-is-convenient-but-what-happens-if-there-is-an-accident.html
  2. Nerdwallet, Should You Worry About an Accident With an Uber or Lyft Driver?, https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/should-you-worry-about-an-accident-with-an-uber-or-lyft-driver/
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Self-Driving Uber Car Accidents: Who Is to Blame?

March 29, 2018 Auto Accidents

Proponents of self-driving cars have championed the technology with the promise that eliminating human driver error would make the roads

Proponents of self-driving cars have championed the technology with the promise that eliminating human driver error would make the roads safer. On March 18, the flaw in that assumption was made crystal clear when a pedestrian was killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle.

As investigators work to pin down all of the factors in the unfortunate crash, there are already some liability issues coming under scrutiny.

Pedestrian killed by self-driving Uber car

The theory behind the push for self-driving cars is that high-tech sensors would have more accurate perception than a human eye and that an automated vehicle response would be faster than a human’s could possibly be. This did not prove true in the evening of March 18th in Tempe, Arizona, when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by an Uber SUV.

According to reports, the SUV had a human backup driver who was behind the wheel and had the ability to take control if necessary. However, in-vehicle camera footage shows the backup driver, 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez, looking down toward a cell phone until just a second or two before Herzberg became visible to the exterior camera.

Footage shows a look of horror on Vasquez’s face just before the SUV struck Herzberg and the bicycle she was walking across the street. Officials reported that she died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Liability issues raised in the self-driving car accident

Reports indicate that there are a number of factors that could impact liability.

  • Could the backup driver have avoided the accident if paying attention? Vasquez was clearly not watching the road while Herzberg was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk in the dark. Some have questioned whether the accident would have been avoidable.
  • The Uber was outfitted with both laser and radar sensors intended to detect and respond to obstacles in the road. The manufacturer of the laser alleges that Uber disabled some of the safety sensors before the crash and that, if fully functioning, the vehicle would have been able to automatically slow down to avoid the accident.
  • Newspaper reports indicate that Vasquez had a criminal history that involved more than three years served for armed robbery and this should have prevented hiring by Uber, under its own policies. Last year, Uber was fined $8.9 million in Colorado for hiring more than 60 felons, who are ineligible under Colorado law to provide ride-sharing services.

The more parties involved and potential flaws in question, the more technical a personal injury case can become. New technology like autonomous cars will further complicate the fact-finding and legal argument processes.

Uber accident lawyer in California

For the moment, Uber has suspended its testing of autonomous cars around the country. But Uber may resume testing, and there are many other companies currently working on self-driving cars.

As the technology continues to add complexity to legal liability issues, it is crucial for those injured in autonomous car accidents to speak with an expert in the area.

Sean Salamati, an Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles, is committed to helping victims of preventable accidents recover maximum compensation for their losses. We offer free consultations and we never take a fee unless and until we secure an award on your behalf. Call 855-463-7309 today to schedule a free case review.

Additional resources on fatal self-driving Uber crash:

  1. Chicago Tribune, Experts: Uber self-driving system should have spotted woman, http://www.hurwitassociates.com/tax-exemption/irs-form-1023-ez-frequently-asked-questions#9
  2. Fox News, Uber disabled safety component in self-driving car before fatal crash, company alleges, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/27/uber-disabled-safety-component-in-self-driving-car-before-fatal-crash-company-alleges.html
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3 Reasons to Use Uber and Lyft at LAX

February 5, 2018 Auto Accidents

Air travel can be exceedingly frustrating, especially when you’re flying in and out of Los Angeles. Serving more than 72

LAX Los Angeles International Airport Sign at NightAir travel can be exceedingly frustrating, especially when you’re flying in and out of Los Angeles. Serving more than 72 million passengers each year, LAX is the world’s 5th busiest airport and the second most trafficked in the U.S. While long check-in and security lines can be a nightmare, getting to and from LAX has gotten much easier, thanks to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. In recent years, taxicab drivers in L.A. — like those in countless other cities — have struggled keep up with this new competition and lower fares.

Last August, LAX eased regulations on ride-sharing companies to help reduce the traffic that so often congests the terminal loop, giving Uber and Lyft users shorter waiting times in the process.

Ride-hailing services continue to gain traction, becoming the most popular mode of transportation at the SFO and Oakland airports introducing the potential for Lyft accidents and Uber. Here are three reasons why ride-hailing is the smarter choice at LAX.

Save big bucks

It comes as no surprise that lower prices will win over customers. When you consider that the base taxi fare between LAX and downtown is a flat $46.50, plus a $4 surcharge and tip, it pays to shop around. Taking an Uber or Lyft instead of a taxicab from LAX has the potential to net you $15-$35 in savings, depending on your final destination. You will still pay a $4 pick-up or drop-off surcharge, but a tip is not mandatory or expected with Uber drivers, keeping things simple if you have little cash on hand. Your fare is automatically charged to your debit or credit card.

For steeper cost savings, UberPOOL lets you share a ride with someone going in the same direction, essentially cutting your fare in half. UberPOOL allows one companion per ride and is a convenient and cheap way to get to or from LAX.

Shorter wait times

During holidays and other peak travel times, the wait lines for LAX taxicabs can be ridiculously long. If you’re eager to get home quickly, hailing an Uber just got faster. Lyft and Uber drivers who have just completed an airport drop-off are instantly notified of arriving passengers who request a ride. Not only does this minimize wait times, airport authorities believe that by reducing the number of airport trips ride-sharing drivers make each day will help ease traffic in the terminal loop. In many cases, Uber and Lyft passengers are picked up curbside in under 5 minutes.

Better customer experience

Ridesharing drivers are very eager to please in exchange for a top-notch rating. If you have never taken an Uber, you may not be aware that upon reaching your destination, you can rate your driver, giving them from one to five stars. This rating affects the driver’s overall score and helps determine their future success and ability to get passengers. Beyond this, Lyft and Uber drivers are generally known for their friendliness and engaging conversations, with some keeping drinks and snacks on hand for passengers. Ratings are also based on the cleanliness of the vehicle, which is often questionable in taxis.

If you were hurt in a ridesharing accident in California, legal compensation may be available. Learn more about your options for legal recourse by calling Uber accident lawyer, Sean Salamati. For more than two decades, The Salamati Law Firm has been advocating for auto accident injury victims throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Arrange a complimentary case review by calling today.

Read More on Uber and Lyft accidents:

  1. 5 Things To Do If You Are Involved in a Lyft or Uber Accident in Los Angeles 
  2. What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?

Read More on Ridesharing Services at LAX:

  1. LA Mag, LAX Just Made It Easier to Catch a Lyft/Uber from the Airport http://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/lax-lyft-uber-from-airport/
  2. Daily Breeze, LAX changes the way Uber and Lyft do business at the airport https://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/08/28/lax-changes-the-way-uber-and-lyft-do-business-at-the-airport/
  3. Uber, Ride with Uber Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) https://www.uber.com/en-CR/airports/lax/
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What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?

January 25, 2018 Auto Accidents

Uber and Lyft are gaining momentum as America’s largest and most popular ride-hailing companies, serving hundreds of cities throughout the

Uber and Lyft are gaining momentum as America’s largest and most popular ride-hailing companies, serving hundreds of cities throughout the country. Thousands of happy customers will attest that taking an Uber is an easier, cheaper method of transport compared to traditional cabs. For the uninitiated, summoning a ride is as simple as a few quick taps on your smart phone— no more flagging down cabs on busy roads. The quality of the drivers for ride hailing companies is definitely improving, and the rates are much more affordable, but what happens if you’re in a crash while riding passenger?

The odds of getting into a Lyft or Uber accident aren’t so low when you consider that drivers often work long, tiring hours shuttling customers to unfamiliar neighborhoods and towns. In fact, traffic accidents involving Uber and other ridesharing drivers are becoming more commonplace, as increasing people use this service.

Steps to take after an Uber crash

Even in crash scenarios where the passenger escapes serious or life-threatening injury, medical bills can still add up, compounded by loss of income and out-of-pocket expenses. In any type of Uber or ridesharing accident in which you are the passenger, it’s essential to take some basic steps to protect your legal rights.

Even minor incidents that seem to produce no evidence of physical injury should be reason enough to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. Soft tissue injuries like whiplash – often sustained upon rear-impact—may not have any symptoms for hours or even days. Headaches, neck tension, pain and other symptoms often manifest much later.

If you live in California, safeguard your rights by taking the following steps after a crash:

  • Call 911
  • Using your smartphone, take photos or video of the accident scene including damage to all vehicles
  • Get the full name of the Lyft or Uber driver
  • Take down the names, email and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
  • Print screenshots of your ridesharing receipt that shows the date and route taken
  • Check yourself for injuries and seek medical attention
  • Speak with a qualified attorney about your rights

Insurance & liability issues

If the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault for the crash, passengers are covered by a $1 million liability policy. Note that this insurance coverage does not apply to UberSUV, UberTaxi ride or UberBLACK, which has a separate coverage of $300,000 per accident or $100,000 per person. In cases where another party is to blame for the crash, that driver’s own insurance policy would be tapped. If their policy isn’t adequate to cover all hospital and medical costs incurred, Lyft and Uber have policies that cover underinsured motorists.

Without the guidance of an experienced attorney, Uber passengers will likely face an uphill battle when it comes to obtaining just compensation. If you were involved in a ridesharing crash as a passenger, Los Angeles accident lawyer Sean Salamati will ensure you obtain the settlement monies you deserve. Call today for a free, no-obligation consult.

Additional Resources on Uber Crashes & Legal Liability:

  1. Time, My Uber Got Into a Wreck. Can I Sue? http://time.com/money/4851877/my-uber-got-into-a-wreck-can-i-sue/
  2. Fortune, Here’s what happens when you get in an Uber crash http://fortune.com/2015/10/13/uber-crash-insurance/
  3. WIRED, CALIFORNIA FORCES UBER AND ITS RIVALS TO BOLSTER INSURANCE https://www.wired.com/2015/07/california-forces-uber-rivals-bolster-insurance/
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Uber Accidents and Ride Sharing Liability in California

October 9, 2017 Auto Accidents

There is no doubt Uber has revolutionized transportation, but many drivers and riders are unaware of the liability issues ride-sharing

passenger waiting for Uber car

There is no doubt Uber has revolutionized transportation, but many drivers and riders are unaware of the liability issues ride-sharing accidents raise. Unfortunately, it is often not until someone experiences a ride-sharing accident that they realize what is and is not covered by insurance. If you drive for or ride with Uber, Lyft, or another ride-sharing company, it pays to find out before an accident occurs. If you have already been in a ride sharing accident, speak with a Los Angeles car accident attorney.

Ride sharing liability issues in California

Uber and Lyft, termed “Transportation Network Companies” in California, fall somewhere in between commercial taxi companies and personal vehicle use, leading to unique rules affecting liability.

  • Independent contractor v. employee: Since ride sharing relies on personal vehicles of non-commercial drivers, the drivers maintain their own vehicles, set their own schedules, and do not display signage of the company for which they drive. In the event of an accident, Uber consistently maintains that drivers are independent contractors, so the company is not responsible for their actions. In California, Uber drivers are viewed as independent contractors for employment issues, but there has been a push to view them as employees in the case of accidents. If drivers were considered employees, the company would be liable if the driver is negligent.
  • Insurance coverage: Many people falsely assume that the driver’s personal insurance policy will provide coverage in case of an accident, but personal auto policies typically exclude driving for hire. Uber and Lyft both provide insurance coverage but it is important to know what it covers and when it applies. Uber drivers may also wish to protect themselves by purchasing add-on ride-sharing coverage through an auto insurance company.

What does Uber insurance cover in California?

Uber provides some insurance coverage to its drivers, and in California the coverage is different than in most other states. The amount and terms of coverage depend on what is referred to as service periods:

Period 1 App is on; Driver is available and waiting for rider In California, $50,000 liability per person/$100,000 per accident; $30,000 property damage; $200,000 excess liability
Period 2 Driver en route to rider $1 million liability; $1 million uninsured/underinsured injury; Collision and Comprehensive if it is also offered on driver’s personal policy
Period 3 Rider on board; trip in progress

In plain English, Uber insurance often covers someone else’s loss if the driver is at fault. If you are the driver and are injured or experience property damage, you may need to sue the other driver because it is not covered unless you were en route or in process of a ride and you have comp and collision coverage on your own policy.

Consult a California car accident lawyer

Uber is a convenient service when needed, but it adds a layer of complexity when it comes to sorting out liability. If you have been injured in an Uber accident, speak with an LA car accident lawyer to find out whether the ride-sharing company may be liable; experienced attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm are ready to speak with you. The initial case review is free and we never charge a fee unless we win you money.

Additional “Uber Accident Liability” Resources:

  1. Uber, Insurance: How you’re covered, https://www.uber.com/drive/insurance
  2. Uber, Insurance Update for California Driver-Partners, https://www.uber.com/blog/california/insurance-update-for-california-driver-partners/
  3. Nerdwallet, Rideshare Insurance for Drivers: Where to Buy, What it Covers, https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/best-ridesharing-insurance/
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