J&Y Law Firm discusses what victims of rideshare accidents should do after an accident.

Quick Guide for Victims of Rideshare Accidents

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Rideshare services continue to increase in popularity. Uber and Lyft drivers can be seen throughout California in small and large cities. The rideshare services are appealing for several reasons, including convenience and price. However, if you are ever involved in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, you might find that handling the accident claim is not at all convenient. Our California auto accident attorney explains some of the issues related to rideshare accidents in this quick guide.

Determining Fault for Rideshare Accidents

As with any traffic accident, one of the first steps in filing an insurance claim is determining fault for the accident. To recover compensation for your damages, you must prove that a driver was negligent and that negligence led to the cause of the car accident. Rideshare drivers are often distracted while they are driving by the GPS directions they use to get to their destinations and the rideshare apps they use for obtaining fares. A driver may be distracted as he declines or accepts upcoming fares. In some cases, a rideshare driver may have multiple cell phones so that he can drive for different rideshare companies simultaneously. 

Rideshare drivers also make some of the other driving errors that other drivers are guilty of making that cause crashes. Rideshare drivers may be distracted by their passengers, exceed safe speed limits, drive while drowsy, fail to obey traffic laws, driving while intoxicated, or drive aggressively. 

However, a rideshare driver may not be at fault for the cause of the accident. Other drivers and factors could lead to the cause of a rideshare accident. Therefore, determining how the crash occurred and who is at fault is the first step in filing a rideshare accident claim.

Who Pays for Damages Related to Rideshare Accidents?

Your injury claim is filed against the driver or the party responsible for causing the crash. If another driver or party caused the car crash, your injury claim is against that party. However, if the rideshare driver was at fault for causing the crash, your injury claim is filed against the rideshare driver. Unfortunately, rideshare accident claims against the rideshare driver can be complicated.

Rideshare drivers are independent contractors who use their personal vehicles to transport fares. Uber and Lyft routinely denied accident claims involving their drivers claiming the drivers were independent contractors; therefore, the company had no legal liability for accidents caused by the driver. When accident victims filed accident claims with the driver’s private insurance provider, the insurance provider denied the claims stating that the driver did not have commercial insurance to cover fares. Accident victims were left to bear the losses and damages caused by the rideshare accident.

After come cities and states passing laws regarding insurance for rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft now provide their drivers with limited insurance that covers accident victims in the event of a rideshare accident. However, filing an insurance claim is not as easy as companies claim. Accident victims often experience difficulty and problems when attempting to file an injury claim and recover compensation from rideshare companies or their insurance providers.

What Should You Do After a Rideshare Accident?

Make sure that law enforcement is notified and wait at the accident scene for a police officer to arrive. Give your statement to the officer and ask for the officer’s name and badge number so you can request a copy of the police report. Obtain medical care as soon as possible to document your damages. Keep detailed notes regarding your medical care, recovery, losses, and conversations with parties regarding the accident.

Contact an attorney as soon as possible who can guide you through filing a claim with the rideshare company and the driver’s private insurance provider. If possible, it is best to let your attorney contact the rideshare company and handle filing a claim. As with any insurance provider, you want to be very careful about making statements, even as a passenger, that could be used against you to hurt your case.

Contact a California Auto Accident Attorney for More Information

A rideshare accident claim can be difficult to pursue. Contact a California auto accident attorney today for a free consultation to discuss how to file a rideshare injury claim and to learn more about your rights regarding a rideshare accident.

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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.