Uber Accident Lawyer in Orange County
Ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies (TNCs) have become increasingly popular in recent years. While many choose TNCs as a convenient transportation option, accidents can happen while using these services. In 2021, Uber reported 5,295 accidents to the California Public Utilities Commission.
After an accident involving a ride-sharing service, an Uber accident lawyer can help you secure compensation for your injuries and damages. Passengers harmed by a rideshare driver’s negligence are entitled to recover. Pedestrians or cyclists hit by rideshare drivers have similar rights to injured passengers. Nonetheless, proving that a TNC is at fault is a complex legal process.
At Atticus Injury Law, Atticus Wegman works to hold Uber drivers responsible for their mistakes. Atticus is familiar with California TNCs’ legal processes and insurance coverage. After hearing your story, Atticus can help you identify the responsible party and secure fair compensation. If you have experienced a ride-sharing accident contact Atticus, Orange County Uber accident lawyer, at Atticus Injury law to begin your case.
Is the Rideshare Company Liable?
California uses a “fault” or “at-fault” system to determine liability and compensation for auto accident damages and injuries. The party at fault for the accident must pay for the resulting damages. To seek compensation, the injured party may file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or sue them. For a successful claim, you must prove two things:
- First, you must prove that the driver was at fault (negligent), and
- Second, you must prove that their insurance covers the incident.
Even if the driver is at fault in a ride-sharing accident, proving the liability of a rideshare company remains complex. In most cases, both the driver and the ride-sharing company carry insurance to cover accidents. However, whether the TNC is ultimately liable depends on whether it is responsible for the driver’s actions.
Are Uber Drivers Employees?
California law requires employers to cover their employees’ negligence under a legal doctrine called “respondeat superior.” If rideshare drivers are employees, the companies could be liable for accidents that occur while a driver is on the job.
However, most rideshare drivers are independent contractors and not covered by the respondeat superior doctrine. Thus, the ride-sharing company may not be held liable for the driver’s actions under this rule.
Nevertheless, in 2014, the California State Legislature amended the law dictating when TNCs must have insurance coverage.
A ride-sharing accident lawyer can help you understand the laws and assist you in determining the liability of the rideshare company.
The Three Periods of a Rideshare Driver: The Driver’s Insurance or the TNC’s Insurance?
California law requires every driver to have personal insurance coverage. Under Section 5433 of the Public Utilities Code, a rideshare driver must have insurance coverage when the driver is logged into the rideshare app. How much coverage is required and whose insurance is responsible depends on the driver’s stage or “period” when the accident occurred. The stages of a rideshare driver include:
- Period 1: online but not on a trip,
- Period 2: accepted a match and on the way to pick up the passenger, and
- Period 3: passenger in the vehicle until the passenger exits.
When the driver is offline, they are not logged into the ride-sharing app or available for ride requests. During this period, the driver uses their vehicle for personal use, and their auto insurance applies. During the other periods, the TNC’s coverage may cover the incident.
Period 1: Online, Waiting for a Match
Periods 2 and 3: Actively Picking Up and Transporting a Passenger
During Periods 2 and 3, the driver has accepted a ride request or is transporting a passenger. Liability coverage must include $1 million per accident, including third-party bodily injury and property damage. Additionally, the TNC must provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage (with a deductible) for the driver’s vehicle.
How Can a Lyft Car Accident Attorney Help?
An Orange County Uber and Lyft accident lawyer can help in several ways if you or a loved one was involved in an accident while using a ride-sharing service.
- Determining liability. An attorney can investigate the accident to determine who is at fault and who is liable. They can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and review the police report to build a case against the liable party.
- Understanding the coverage and policy limits. An Uber accident lawyer can help you understand the coverage and policy limits provided by the ride-sharing company.
- Navigating the legal process: A lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, including filing a lawsuit, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing you in court. They can also help you understand the laws specific to ride-sharing accidents in California and how they may apply to your case.
- Representing your best interests: An attorney will work to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for any injuries or damages. They will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case, whether through a settlement or a court award.
- Handling negotiations and settlements. In addition to handling all the negotiations and communications with the insurance companies, an attorney can work with Uber and Lyft to settle your claim.
It’s vital to choose an attorney who has experience handling ride-sharing accident cases and is familiar with the laws specific to California. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action and help you navigate the legal process to ensure that you receive fair compensation for any injuries or damages sustained.
At Atticus Injury Law, you can expect ambitious representation from a passionate and caring Lyft accident attorney in Orange County. Atticus has over 10 years of experience managing complex injury cases with stubborn insurance companies. When you are injured, you deserve zealous representation and the personal attention of your attorney. Atticus aspires to be like his namesake, Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird—consistent, honest, and passionate about justice. With Atticus by your side, you can tell your story and work to secure fair compensation and recovery.