Barstow Rideshare Accident Lawyer
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California is an “at-fault” state when it comes to auto accidents. For example, if you are hit by a driver who runs a red light, that driver–and their insurance company–is liable for your damages. This is why state law requires all licensed drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage for bodily injury to others.
But what happens when you are injured in an accident while using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft? Is the driver liable? Is the rideshare company? These questions often raise complex legal questions. An experienced Barstow Uber/Lyft/Rideshare accident lawyer can help you in answering them. At the Heidari Law Group, we represent accident victims who have been injured through the negligence of others. We can assist you in seeking damages against all parties that may be legally accountable, including rideshare providers and insurance companies.
Sorting Out Liability for a Rideshare Accident in California
California classifies Uber and Lyft as “transportation network companies” (TNCs). Such companies must provide commercial liability coverage for drivers who operate under their services. This coverage must be at least $1 million.
The complicating factor is that there are different levels of insurance coverage based on a TNC driver’s status at the time of the accident. Generally speaking, Uber and Lyft have three different degrees of liability:
- If a driver is picking up or has a passenger in their vehicle, the $1 million policy limit applies.
- If a driver is logged on to the rideshare application and waiting to accept a passenger, a much smaller limit of $50,000 per individual, $100,000 per accident, and $30,000 in property damage applies.
- If a driver is not logged on to the rideshare application and is not looking for or carrying a passenger, then the driver’s personal auto insurance applies, which in California means a minimum of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 in property damage.
So to give a simple example, if you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and your driver’s negligence causes an accident, you are protected by the full $1 million in commercial liability coverage. But if you are a pedestrian hit by a driver who is only logged in and waiting to be assigned a passenger, then the TNC insurer’s coverage is limited to $50,000 for your injuries.
Of course, if your accident is caused by someone other than the rideshare driver, you can sue that third party or their insurer for your damages. But if the other driver only carries the minimum amount of insurance required by law, that may not be enough to fully compensate you for your losses. If you are covered by the TNC company’s $1 million liability policy, however, that typically includes uninsured motorist coverage, meaning that Uber or Lyft may still have to pay you compensation.
Another thing to consider is that TNCs like Uber and Lyft may also be liable for an accident if they were negligent in screening drivers. For instance, if Uber or Lyft approved a driver with a suspended license or a history of drunk driving arrests, that negligent failure to hire can form the basis for a lawsuit if you are injured in an accident involving that driver.
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Our Barstow Rideshare Accident Lawyers Will Fight for Your Right to Compensation
As with any auto accident, if you are seriously injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft, you have the right to seek financial compensation from the responsible parties and insurance companies. Such damages typically include medical bills, lost wages, and additional compensation for your pain and suffering. An experienced Barstow Uber/Lyft/rideshare accident lawyer can review your case and offer you more specific advice in this area. So if you need to speak with an attorney right away, contact the Heidari Law Group, P.C. today to schedule a consultation in English or Spanish.