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Irvine Rideshare Accident Attorney

Many Americans use ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft as alternatives to taxis and public transportation. Some even become Uber and Lyft drivers as a convenient way to make extra money on their own schedules. Despite the convenience that these apps provide, however, there are some legal issues that people who suffer injuries while riding with Lyft or Uber drivers face.

Our Lyft and Uber accident attorneys have seen the consequences that these accidents have on victims and their families and are dedicated to seeking maximum compensation for those whose well-being has been unfairly compromised by these events. If you or someone you love has been involved in a rideshare accident, contact the legal team at Bentley & More to learn how you may be able to seek financial recovery with the help.

Why Choose An Irvine Rideshare Accident Lawyer From Bentley & More?

At Bentley & More, LLP, our Irvine rideshare accident lawyers take the time to get to know every client’s situation in complete detail, so we can provide comprehensive representation and explore every avenue of compensation. As a result, we are proud to have achieved multi-million dollar settlements for clients in a variety of personal injury cases. While our past results do not guarantee a particular outcome for your case, we can offer you the same dedication and skill that has made those resolutions possible for others.

Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you’ll never pay any up-front costs, and your attorney will not collect payment unless we achieve successful results for you in the form of a settlement or verdict.

Our Uber/Lyft accident attorneys understand the legal issues surrounding new trends and technologies, and we proudly put our experience and talents to work for our clients in the Orange County area. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Rideshare Accidents in Irvine, California

Irvine rideshare accident lawyer

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have transformed the way we travel, providing a convenient alternative to traditional taxis and public transportation. As companies native to the California area, these apps were quick to garner attention and usability in cities like Irvine. However, with the growing popularity of these services, the number of rideshare-related accidents has also increased significantly.

A recent safety report released by Uber highlighted that from 2017 to 2018, there were nearly 107 fatal crashes involving Uber rides in the United States. Of these, 65% involved a collision with another motor vehicle, and 31% involved pedestrian or bicycle accidents. While the total number of reported Uber and Lyft accidents is relatively small (both services state that 0.0002% of rides result in accidents), there remains some speculation about how many accidents are not reported. Unreported accidents may include situations in which a driver gets into an accident while logged into the app but not actively conducting a passenger.

Additionally, a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that the introduction of rideshare services has led to an increase in traffic fatalities. With these alarming statistics in mind, it’s essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable Lyft and Uber accident lawyer on your side if you or a loved one has been involved in a rideshare accident.

Lyft and Uber Accidents: What to Know About Their Policies

These two companies operate under fairly similar policies that attempt to account for the safety risks present when traveling in an Uber or Lyft vehicle. However, there are some key differences that may affect your experience as a passenger. Moreover, these policies directly affect accident victims.

Background Checks

Both Uber and Lyft conduct background checks on their drivers, including checking their criminal history and driving records. These checks follow California state regulations, which disqualify drivers with certain criminal convictions or poor driving history. However, the specific criteria used for driver screening may differ slightly between the two companies.

Safety Features

Both Uber and Lyft have features aimed at improving safety, but the specific features offered may differ between the two apps. For example, Uber has a feature called “RideCheck” that uses GPS and other sensors to detect potential accidents or safety incidents during a trip. Lyft has a feature called “Smart Trip Check-in” that prompts the driver to confirm they’re okay if their trip seems to be taking longer than expected.

Insurance Coverage

Uber and Lyft both provide insurance coverage for drivers who use their platforms. The coverage varies depending on the phase of the rideshare process the driver is in.

  • When offline: When a driver is not logged into the Uber or Lyft app, their personal auto insurance coverage applies. Neither Uber nor Lyft provides coverage during this time.
  • When waiting for a ride request: When a driver is logged into the app and waiting for a ride request, both Uber and Lyft provide limited liability coverage. In the event of an Uber or Lyft accident, this coverage includes $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident. This coverage is only applicable if the driver’s personal auto insurance policy does not cover these situations or has coverage limits below these amounts.
  • When en route to pick up a passenger: Once a driver accepts a ride request and is en route to pick up the passenger, both Uber and Lyft provide higher levels of coverage. For both companies, this includes $1 million of third-party liability and underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. Uber additionally provides contingent comprehensive and collision coverage (up to the actual cash value of the car, with a $1,000 deductible), while Lyft’s policy includes a $2,500 deductible. 
  • With a passenger in the vehicle: When a rideshare driver is transporting a passenger, both Uber and Lyft maintain the same coverage levels as when en route. 

Additionally, drivers are required to have personal auto insurance that meets their state’s minimum requirements. The coverage provided by Uber and Lyft is supplementary to the driver’s personal insurance policy and only applies during specific periods when the driver is using the rideshare platform. Furthermore, contingent comprehensive and collision coverage requires the driver to have personal comprehensive and collision coverage on their own policy.

Our Lyft and Uber accident lawyers are well-versed in both these applicable rideshare company policies and state laws and legislation that affects how a motor vehicle accident claim is processed. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to help you understand what factors your claim is impacted by and strategize toward maximum recovery.

Liability in Accidents with an Uber or Lyft Driver

Ride-sharing companies carry liability insurance to cover passengers’ damages when their drivers cause accidents, but this doesn’t always come into play. Unlike drivers for common carrier services such as tax companies, Lyft and Uber drivers use their own personal vehicles to complete fares. Although Lyft and Uber carry sizeable liability coverage policies, that coverage is almost always secondary to a driver’s personal auto insurance coverage. In California, Uber and Lyft must carry policies that meet the state’s required auto insurance coverage minimum of $15,000.

If Uber or Lyft drivers cause accidents while on duty but not while carrying passengers, the question of liability becomes even more complicated. Ride-sharing companies frequently deny liability for such accidents, and victims may have trouble securing compensation for their damages. Victims who suffer injury and property damage as part of their Uber/Lyft accident claim may be able to file a lawsuit against negligent drivers for their losses.

Filing a Lawsuit for an Uber or Lyft Injury in Orange County

An injured victim will need to prove negligence to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit against an Uber or Lyft driver. Many of these accidents happen due to drivers falling asleep behind the wheel, driving unsafely, or driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. In these cases, you will need an experienced Lyft/Uber accident attorney to build strong cases against the ride-sharing company or the at-fault off-duty driver. Plaintiffs can take a few steps immediately after an accident to improve their chances of succeeding in a lawsuit.

After any car accident, an injured driver should seek medical attention as soon as possible for two reasons:

  • Some injuries may not seem serious at first, but can quickly develop into life-threatening conditions. Others do not manifest symptoms immediately. Waiting too long to seek medical care can be extremely dangerous.
  • If a jury notices a plaintiff took longer than expected to seek medical care, they may assume that his or her injuries are not as serious as claimed. This can hurt a plaintiff’s chances of winning his or her case.

Medical concerns should be every potential plaintiff’s first priority. Once an injured person has obtained his or her medical report, the next step should be to speak with a reliable Irvine personal injury attorney who can handle complex litigation and insurance concerns.

Recovering Compensation After an Uber or Lyft Accident

As with any personal injury claim, your compensation depends on the extent and severity of your damages. Recoverable losses after a rideshare vehicle accident may include:

  • Medical treatment, including future medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages and loss of earning ability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship (in the event of wrongful death)

Our attorneys understand that Uber and Lyft accident claims can be a complex affair. We are committed to empowering injury victims with the tools and resources to reach a positive outcome after a ridesharing accident causes them harm. An Uber/Lyft accident lawyer at Bentley & More LLC can help evaluate your losses accurately and recover compensation that reflects their true scope.

Contact an Irvine Rideshare Accident Attorney Today

At Bentley & More, LLP, we take the time to get to know every one of our clients on a personal level so that we can provide the best legal representation possible. We’ve secured millions of dollars in damages for clients in the Orange County area.

If you’ve been injured by a negligent Lyft or Uber driver, contact our Irvine rideshare accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation about your claim today.