Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyer — Fullerton, CA
How Commonwealth Accident Attorneys Can Help
Fullerton is home to several colleges, local schools, booming businesses, and exciting nightlife entertainment. As we experience a continual residential boom, traffic has become a major cause for concern. Driving in Southern California traffic can be frustrating and stressful. This reason, along with many other factors, has increased the need for more rideshare services. Utilizing the transportation services from Uber and Lyft are convenient and simple to use. Although these rideshares do offer many benefits, Uber drivers are not impervious to car accidents. If you or a loved one were involved in an Uber accident or Lyft accident, you should be compensated for the car accident. Commonwealth Accident Attorneys can help passengers of rideshares or other individuals who were hit by a rideshare driver seek justice. Our rideshare accident lawyer in Fullerton is knowledgeable of the laws regarding Uber and Lyft services and is prepared to make sure all liable parties are held accountable. Our legal team will work to get your fair and full compensation.
About the Ridesharing Industry
Rideshare services are offered by a variety of companies. However, the two most prominent companies are both California-based industries, Uber and Lyft. Uber began as a small startup in 2009 and the concept has taken off since. Lyft began shortly after as a San Francisco-based startup. The idea of ridesharing was to alleviate the cost of driving and to make transportation easier.
Ridesharing is an arrangement between contracted drivers and their employers to drive paying customers from one location to another in their personal (and not company-owned) vehicles. This service differs from other chauffeuring services because it can be accessed only in a mobile application. Depending on the current location of the driver and customer, the application will automatically pair the two. Once the ride is completed, the rideshare company will split a percentage of ride revenue with their drivers.
How Uber and Lyft Differs From Taxis
The primary difference to remember when using a rideshare service verse a taxi or public transportation service is that rideshare vehicles are owned by a single owner, not a company. Therefore, the vehicles are not considered commercial vehicles.
This is a notable difference because the laws and regulations that commercial passenger carrier vehicles must adhere to are not the same for rideshare companies and their drivers.
Another major difference is that the primary way a customer gains access to a taxi is by hailing for a ride or by calling the cab company and requesting a pick-up. In comparison, rideshare services apply the ever-growing digital advancements to utilize phone applications to order a ride.
Another distinguishable difference is rideshare drivers go through minimal training and are not required to obtain any specific certifications to work for the company. This is a unique aspect of any auto-related profession, as the majority of passenger carrier businesses require a special license to operate.
Benefits of Hiring Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyers
Rideshare services are great on so many levels. For instance, a customer does not need to live in a large city or community to order an Uber or a Lyft rideshare service, unlike taxis. This allows people who do not have access to public transportation nor have the means to obtain their personal mode of transportation a reliable way to travel. However, as with all things, rideshares have their downfalls.
If an Uber and Lyft driver is involved in an accident, determining who to file a claim against can be complicated. Because Uber drivers are contracted and not “employees” of the company, Lyft and Uber are not always legally liable if their drivers get into collisions. While there are set rules and “periods” of time when rideshares can share fault, proving this is a complicated process.
Furthermore, knowing which insurance company to contact and what kind of insurance coverage is available can be complicated. You may need immediate medical treatment, and not knowing which insurance company you may need to contact can be stressful. Should the liable party not have insurance coverage, determining whether you are eligible for underinsured motorist coverage can also be stressful.
Hiring our team of attorneys to help you or your loved one in the event of an accident, ensures that you have the support needed to bring justice to your case. We will fight to hold the responsible Uber driver accountable. Consulting with our attorney in Fullerton can help you feel empowered enough to utilize legal representation and obtain the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is My Rideshare Accident Claim Worth?
Understanding how much a potential rideshare claim against Uber and Lyft is worth can be tricky. Claims against rideshare services can vary depending on the severity of the bodily injury or if the accident resulted in wrongful death. Regardless, our team of personal injury lawyers can help you determine if you have a case, as well as how much it may be valued.
Another complicated component is that in the past rideshare companies considered those who drove for them to be independent contractors. This meant that the company did not provide individual insurance for their drivers. Instead, it was required that the driver use their own insurance.
The CA laws surrounding liability and the difference between employee and contractor continue to be debated. However, in order to file a successful claim against a rideshare service, proof has to be given that the driver or the service has intentionally or carelessly caused you injury or harm.
Commonwealth Accident Attorneys can help prove this and create a strong case, so we can maximize your settlement.
Common Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents
When people take on the responsibility of driving passengers to their requested destination, they are also accepting the consequences if their passengers are harmed while in their vehicle. Some accidents are unavoidable and occur because of another reckless driver. Other common causes of rideshare accidents are:
- Speeding: The faster you get your passenger to a destination, the faster you can pick up another. This is the logic of some Uber and Lyft drivers. This often causes drivers to go above the posted speed limits, which in turn causes accidents.
- Underestimating Road Conditions: At times rideshare drivers will risk driving in harsh weather and road conditions to transport their clients. If the weather is very bad and has created sleek and wet roads, accidents become more likely.
- Inexperience: At times rideshare drivers become involved with the rideshare business in order to finance their personal mode of transportation. However, if a driver does not have adequate driving experience or is not used to driving around with other passengers, accidents are more likely to occur.
- Drowsy Driving: Rideshare drivers are often tasked with picking up passengers late into the evening or early in the mornings when people are typically still sleeping. Driving while fatigued is equivalent to drinking and driving. It’s just as dangerous and not recommended.
- Failure to Follow Traffic Laws: Rideshare drivers can be influenced by their passengers or the idea of arriving at a destination quickly. Running stop lights, turning illegally, and failure to yield are just a few of the ways rideshare drivers neglect correct safety procedures. This endangers the passengers, other drivers, and themselves.
Determining Liability in a Rideshare Accident
In order to determine liability in an Uber and Lyft accident, there are a few factors that need to be addressed.
- Determine whether the rideshare drivers’ carelessness or negligence caused the accident.
- Determine if the driver was using his/her device to connect to the Uber or Lyft app and is logged on. This is important because if the driver is not actively logged in and is considered to be working per the companies’ standards, then that releases the company from liability.
- Determine if a third party was the cause of the accident.
As with any auto accident, injuries from Uber or Lyft accidents vary in severity and complexity. Common injuries seen in rideshare accidents include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal injuries
- Limb loss
- Road rash
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
Being in an accident for any reason can be traumatic and stressful. In the event that you are the passenger of a rideshare service and become involved in an accident, take the following measures to protect yourself and your case:
- If you are able to do so, call the police. Do not wait for someone else to call if you are physically capable. This should be done whether you suspect injuries or not. Police need to be on the scene, assess the situation, and create a police report.
- Seek medical attention. It is likely that you will be assessed by emergency medical services in the event of an accident. However, within 48 hours seek out medical care from your primary doctor or if necessary, emergency services. They can document any injuries, develop a treatment plan, and ease the recovery process.
- Take photos of the rideshare vehicle and any other vehicles involved. Gathering an adequate amount of evidence and documentation can greatly impact your case.
- You will need to get pertinent information from the scene, like the name of your rideshare driver, the insurance information from the driver’s company and the rideshare companies insurance information, obtain insurance information from any other parties involved, gather contact information from any witnesses, and the license plate number.
- File an accident report with Uber or Lyft. This is important. When you utilize a rideshare service for transportation, that company is required by law to have insurance that can cover personal injuries you may receive.
- Contact a Fullerton law firm to help you navigate your rideshare claim. Working with a team of car accident lawyers who have experience in filing rideshare claims can help alleviate the burdens associated with being involved in a rideshare accident. Our team at Commonwealth Accident Attorneys is fully capable of helping you with your rideshare accident claim.
Contact Our Law Firm
Do not allow a convenient way to travel to become a nightmare after being involved in an accident. At Commonwealth Accident Attorneys we work to ensure that you receive your due compensation after suffering personal injury from a rideshare accident. We will leave no stone unturned and fight to bring all responsible parties to justice. We will also take care of all communication with the insurance companies so that you do not have to. It is our honor to serve our Fullerton community. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Commonwealth Accident Attorneys will help you win your traffic accident case with expert knowledge. Contact our experienced auto accident attorney to discuss your legal options at no cost if you suffered injuries in a severe car accident in Fullerton, California.