Off-duty LAPD officer killed in New Year’s morning crash in Simi Valley

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Who is liable when Uber and Lyft cars are involved in automobile accidents?

It’s hard to imagine that 5 years ago, taxis and private cars were the only means of on-demand transportation. The advent of app-based ride sharing has revolutionized the on-demand transportation industry by providing lower-cost rides to people whenever and wherever they need it. The app-based ride-sharing model has posed some problems though, when it comes to liability for personal injuries. If you’ve been involved in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you probably know what we mean.

The issue recently popped up this past New Year’s Day when an off-duty LAPD officer was killed in an automobile accident involving an Uber vehicle in Simi Valley. This is not the first ride-sharing accident in recent history, nor will it be the last.

Officer Heather Monroe, of the LAPD, was killed early in the morning on New Year’s Day when the vehicle she was a passenger in collided with an Uber car. The other individuals involved in the accident were treated for minor injuries, but Monroe was pronounced dead on the scene. It is believed that one of the vehicles failed to stop at a stoplight, but at this point, law enforcement has been unable to determine which vehicle it was.

Who is Liable When Ride Share Vehicles Crash?

Most people believe that when they drive or ride in a ride-share vehicle, their regular car insurance will cover their injuries if they’re involved in an accident, or the company insurance will cover them. Unfortunately, the situation is a bit more complicated than that, particularly for the drivers.
If you are a ride-share driver involved in an accident while acting as a driver “on-the-clock” then your car insurance company will likely not cover you because you engaged in a commercial endeavor and not acting as a private vehicle driver. This includes coverage for any injuries as well as damage to your vehicle and damage to any other vehicle involved. Because of this, if you decide to be a ride-share driver, you had better read the company’s insurance policy and your own insurance policy before giving that first ride. If you do not, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable and expensive gap in coverage.
For passengers, it is a bit simpler, if the ride-share vehicle is involved in an accident and the passenger is injured, the ride-share company’s insurance will cover their injuries. Determining liability in auto accidents, especially when more than two vehicles are involved can be complicated, so it makes sense to have an experienced ride share accident attorney on your side.

Have You Been Injured in an Accident?

If you or someone you love has been injured by the acts of another person, it is helpful to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The law firm of J&Y represents personal injury victims in Los Angeles, San Diego, and throughout the State of California. Contact us today for a free consultation at 888.806.6722.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.