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Riverside Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney

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Uber and Lyft are staples in the modern transportation industry. These ridesharing companies offer convenient and affordable rides on-demand, hailed at the push of a button. Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft cannot guarantee the safety of their passengers. In fact, both Uber and Lyft have a history of lax business practices and hiring protocols that may increase the risk of a ridesharing accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact our Riverside ridesharing attorney at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP for a free initial consultation. During your consultation, we can listen to your story and let you know if your case has merit. If so, we can represent you during an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against a rideshare company. Call (310) 477-1700 today to request a free case review.

Why Choose Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP

  • Our results showcase our ability to achieve life-changing wins for our clients. We have secured more verdicts and settlements over $10 million than any other law firm in California.
  • We can take on large corporations, including rideshare companies, to hold them accountable for their actions or the mistakes of their drivers. We are not afraid of a fight.
  • We are an award-winning personal injury law firm, ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers as a “Tier 1” law firm for plaintiff’s personal injury litigation.
  • Our Riverside Uber and Lyft accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This means you will only pay our attorney’s fees if we succeed in securing financial compensation for you.

Do You Need to Hire an Uber or Lyft Accident Lawyer in Riverside?

The answer to this question depends on the specific circumstances of your case, as well as your goals in taking legal action. If you wish to obtain maximum financial compensation for your injuries and lawsuits, even if this means going to trial, it is important to hire an attorney to represent you. An attorney will have the experience and resources to take your case where it needs to go for the best possible outcome.

An attorney can handle complicated legal matters for you, such as:

  • Investigating your Uber or Lyft accident.
  • Searching for signs of fault.
  • Identifying the defendant(s).
  • Collecting and preserving evidence.
  • Building a compelling injury claim.
  • Dealing with confusing paperwork.
  • Negotiating with an insurance claims adjuster.
  • Filing a lawsuit in Riverside County, if necessary.

The right personal injury lawyer can represent you during each phase of your claim, answering your questions and addressing your concerns along the way. Your lawyer can make sure that you and your family have everything you need in the difficult aftermath of an Uber or Lyft accident. You can focus on healing with peace of mind with a skilled attorney on your team.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Damages in an Uber or Lyft Accident?

In California, the car insurance system operates on a tort or fault basis. This means that the driver or party at fault for the automobile accident pays for related losses, generally using his or her auto insurance. This is in contrast to a no-fault insurance system, where all injured victims file first-party claims with their own insurance companies, regardless of fault. In an Uber or Lyft accident, multiple parties could be held financially responsible:

  • The rideshare driver. The driver could be liable for an accident caused by driver error, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, driving drowsy, running a red light, speeding or poor vehicle maintenance.
  • A third-party driver. A driver outside of the Uber or Lyft vehicle could be liable if he or she caused the accident through a mistake or lapse in judgment.
  • Uber or Lyft. The rideshare company could be held responsible for the negligence of its employees or the company’s negligence, such as failing to hire competent drivers. Note, however, that rideshare drivers are classified as independent contractors, which protects the company from vicarious liability for driver errors.
  • The vehicle manufacturer. If an investigation shows that the Uber or Lyft accident was caused by a defective auto part, such as bad brakes, tires, steering components or vehicle design, the manufacturer or distributor of the car could be liable. This includes a software company in a self-driving Uber car accident.
  • The government. The state or local government could be responsible for any type of automobile accident caused by a road hazard or defect. This includes a pothole, loose gravel, missing guardrail, broken traffic light and storm debris. Government liability may apply if the agency should have remedied the road hazard prior to the rideshare accident.

Determining liability takes a thorough investigation of the crash. Analyzing the property damage to both vehicles, for instance, can reconstruct how the crash happened and determine the identity of the at-fault party. Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP has the resources to properly investigate your Uber or Lyft accident in Riverside.

Uber and Lyft Insurance Requirements in California

All drivers, including rideshare drivers, must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance in California. State law requires Uber and Lyft drivers to carry at least $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage, as well as $25,000 in property damage coverage. This is in addition to the standard California insurance requirements for all drivers: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, plus $5,000 in property damage coverage.

An Uber or Lyft driver will pay for a car accident out of his or her own insurance coverage if the driver wasn’t logged into the app at the time of the crash, was logged into the app but was waiting to be paired with a passenger, or was transporting a passenger to his or her final destination. The driver will only be responsible for paying if he or she caused the car accident, however. If another driver or a third party caused the crash, that party will pay for damages instead.

In addition, Uber and Lyft both provide up to $1 million in insurance coverage for passengers injured during rides. How much of this coverage applies will depend on the period, or phase, of the ride. In Period 1, when the driver is searching for a passenger, both rideshare companies offer up to $100,000 per accident in injury insurance and $25,000 in property damage insurance. In Periods 2 and 3, when a passenger has been picked up and is traveling to a destination, both companies offer up to $1 million in liability insurance, as well as uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.

Rideshare Accident Statistics

You may believe that Uber and Lyft are safe ways to get around Riverside, but both companies have surprisingly high numbers of car accidents and other incidents involving their drivers, including sexual assault. The numbers are especially high for the amount of time that the ridesharing industry has existed – only since 2009. In addition, researchers believe that Uber and Lyft accident statistics are misleading due to a lack of statistical data on these accidents.

According to Uber’s U.S. Safety Report for 2017-2018, there were 97 fatal accidents and 107 fatalities involved in Uber rides in this period. The majority of these deaths (58 percent) were third parties outside of the vehicles, such as bicyclists and pedestrians. The other 42 percent was split evenly between rideshare drivers and passengers. In addition, Uber reported 19 victims of alleged physical assaults. Yet in a separate report published in 2019, Uber revealed 5,981 reports of sexual assaults in the two years prior.

The accuracy of Uber’s safety report was called into further question when a 2019 study, The Cost of Convenience: Ridehailing and Traffic Fatalities, determined that ridesharing services contributed to a 3 percent increase in annual fatal accidents in the country – equating to about 987 deaths per year. Lyft has yet to disclose its sexual assault incident reports, although it pledged to do so in 2018. It has also not released any type of traffic accident study as of 2021.

What to Do After a Rideshare Car Accident

The last thing you might expect when you hail an Uber or Lyft is to become the victim of a car accident. Unfortunately, ridesharing accidents cause hundreds of injuries and deaths each year. It is important to prepare for the possibility of an Uber or Lyft crash. Knowing what to do can enable you to protect your rights. Save the following list to remind you of the actions you should take if you get into a ridesharing accident:

  1. Check yourself and others for injuries.
  2. Call the police to report the rideshare accident.
  3. Write down the name of your Uber or Lyft driver.
  4. Take a screenshot of your ride information on the rideshare app.
  5. Take photographs and videos while still at the scene.
  6. Report the accident to Uber or Lyft.
  7. Go to a hospital in Riverside right away.
  8. Contact Uber or Lyft’s insurance company to file a claim.
  9. Gather information and evidence about your crash.
  10. Consult with a lawyer before accepting a settlement.

When in doubt, contact an Uber or Lyft accident attorney in Riverside immediately for tailored legal advice. An attorney can go to work on your case without delay. An experienced attorney from Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP can take over your case at any stage of the legal process for optimal results, even if you were unable to fulfill all of these steps.

Damages You Can Recover

During a rideshare accident case, you or your attorney will negotiate for a fair amount of damages, which is the legal term for financial compensation for the losses suffered. If your Uber or Lyft accident case succeeds, damages are paid for by the defendant or defendant’s insurance company. These damages are broken down into three main categories.

Economic Damages

Economic damages reimburse a victim for the financial, specific, tangible and out-of-pocket losses associated with an Uber or Lyft accident. Common examples are medical bills, physical therapy or rehabilitation, disability accommodations, past and future lost wages, property damage repairs, legal fees, and travel costs. Economic damages are calculated using receipts and other documents that show exactly how much the accident cost (and will continue to cost) the victim.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are the general or intangible losses suffered by the victim because of the accident. They describe the nonfinancial side of a car accident case, such as the victim’s physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, psychological trauma, lost quality of life, lost enjoyment of daily activities, and loss of consortium. Noneconomic damages are calculated according to a jury’s discretion. They are often based on the severity of the victim’s injuries and the degree to which the accident impacted the victim’s life.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be available in an Uber or Lyft accident case in Riverside if the defendant committed an act of gross negligence, recklessness, wanton disregard for the safety of others, fraud or malicious intent to harm. Punitive damages punish a defendant for wrongful acts rather than reimbursing a victim for losses. Punitive damages are relatively uncommon in car accident cases in California but may be appropriate if your accident was caused by reckless behaviors, such as driving under the influence.

How Much Is Your Uber/Lyft Accident Claim Worth?

The value of your Uber or Lyft accident case will depend on factors such as your injury severity, medical prognosis, opinions from a medical expert, your degree of pain and suffering, and the amount of insurance coverage available. If an insurance company refuses to offer a settlement that fairly and adequately compensates you, our attorneys can help you bring your case to trial to demand a better outcome.

If you are wondering how much your Uber or Lyft passenger injury case is worth, consult with us for a free case evaluation. We can place an accurate dollar value on your rideshare accident lawsuit, as well as help you understand how to seek maximum financial compensation for your current and future foreseeable losses. Request a free consultation to learn more about the potential value of your claim.

Contact Our Riverside Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney Today

Contact Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP without delay if you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in Riverside, California. We will carefully listen to your story, answer any questions that you may have, and let you know how we can help you and your family with the legal process. Our attorneys can stand by your side through every phase of a rideshare accident lawsuit to advocate for your rights and best interests.

Begin your claim with a free, no-risk consultation at our local law office. Call (310) 477-1700 or contact us online today to schedule a meeting with an Uber or Lyft accident attorney.

How Can We Help You?

If you have a legal matter you would like to discuss with an attorney from our firm, please call us at (310) 477-1700 or complete and submit the e-mail form below, and we will get back to you.

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