Using Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare providers to get around Los Angeles has become increasingly popular. This service adds to the number of cars on our roadways and is not immune to accidents. In many ways, rideshare collisions are the same as any other auto accident, but determining responsibility for the damage caused can introduce complexities that Miracle Mile Uber/rideshare accident lawyers deal with regularly. Consult with one of our seasoned professionals to understand your options and position yourself to collect fair compensation.
The California Public Utilities Commission regulates all rideshare companies. The Commission calls these services transportation network companies (TCNs), and California Public Utilities Code § 5431 defines various relevant terms such as TNCs, participating drivers, and personal vehicles. Code section 5431(c) describes TCNs as any organization or individual using an online platform to connect drivers (using their personal vehicles) and passengers to schedule a ride for a fee. TCNs are not taxis or limousines, and as such, they have different operating requirements. However, like any other motorist on the road, their drivers can still cause accidents.
Individuals injured in a rideshare wreck may have been in any of the following situations:
Whatever the scenario, a rideshare collision attorney may help injured parties investigate what happened at the scene and use that evidence to justify the amount of compensation sought.
The same factors contributing to other motor vehicle accidents may play a role in TCN wrecks – tired drivers, intoxication, reckless operation (speeding), or inattention to the road. The distraction caused by using a cellphone is a problem for all motorists and prohibited under California Vehicle Code § 23123. Lyft and other such drivers may be more susceptible to this diversion because they frequently use their phones to secure rides and as guidance to pick up locations.
While there are safe ways to utilize these necessary apps, such as pulling over to complete the transaction and program the GPS, many drivers attempt to multitask with devastating outcomes. Working with an attorney who regularly hands rideshare liability cases, injured persons may hold all parties accountable for the careless actions that caused the harm.
The Uber or Lyft driver may be the first one thought of when identifying defendants. However, if the driver was actively engaged in business for the TNC, the company may also be liable. Cal. Pub. Util. Code § 5433 outlines whose auto insurance policy covers collisions and when. Drivers must carry two separate auto policies to protect them as private individuals and businesses. The personal insurance covers their actions when they are not working for the TNC. The moment they log onto the app and are available to accept rides, their business policy and the company’s policy apply.
The coverage levels required by Code Section 5433 vary depending on whether the driver is waiting to accept a ride, traveling to the pick-up spot, or transporting the passenger to a destination. Determining which policy is primary and if the coverage meets statutory requirements can be tricky. Rideshare attorneys in Miracle Mile may help plaintiffs grasp these complicated rules so that they name the right defendants and recover compensation proportionate to the harm suffered.
You may think that your accident with an Uber or Lyft is just like any other crash. In terms of causes and the injuries suffered, it might be. However, resolving your claims may involve more defendants, insurance companies, and complicated laws than you realize. Call our experienced Miracle Mile Uber/rideshare accident lawyers today to review your case and set yourself on the road to a just recovery.
Benji Personal Injury – Accident Attorneys, A.P.C.