Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular in southern California, providing many San Diego residents with an affordable and accessible alternative to public transportation and taxi services. However, while it’s very easy for virtually anyone to take advantage of rideshare services today, every rideshare customer must know their rights when it comes to accidents.
Representing San Diego Rideshare Accident Victims
If you or a loved one recently experienced any rideshare accident, you probably have many questions regarding blame and how to recover your damages. Depending on how your accident occurred, more than one party may be responsible, and you may have more than one option for securing compensation for your damages.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates is a full-service personal injury firm providing comprehensive and compassionate legal representation to our clients throughout the San Diego, CA, area. Attorney Sigelman is one of the few personal injury attorneys in California who holds a law degree and a medical degree, and has years of experience as a physician. When you choose our firm to represent you as your San Diego rideshare accident lawyer, you will have an unmatched level of professional attention dedicated to your claim.
Is it Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident?
If you experience a motor vehicle accident in the San Diego area, you may wonder whether you need to hire legal representation to secure compensation for your losses. While it’s true that many car accident claims can be resolved quite easily between those involved, and it may only take an insurance claim to recover your losses from a minor car accident, any accident that results in an injury requires the attention of an attorney.
Do not make the mistake of accepting an insurance settlement or private agreement with the driver responsible for your recent accident until you consult an attorney. If your accident involved a rideshare driver, your situation could entail extremely complex insurance matters that demand the attention of a San Diego Uber accident attorney. Whether you were hit by another driver who was working for Uber or Lyft, or you were a passenger in a rideshare when your driver caused an accident, it is essential to know your legal options after experiencing any rideshare accident.
While it is technically possible to secure compensation for your losses from a rideshare accident on your own, doing so will be incredibly difficult if you are struggling with painful injuries, lost income from the inability to return to work, and the other effects of your accident. Hiring an attorney not only allows you to have some peace of mind as you recover but also increases the chance of maximizing your recovery.
What Happens If Your Uber Driver Gets Into an Accident?
If you are riding in an Uber or Lyft and your driver causes an accident, both of these rideshare companies have insurance coverage that should apply to your damages. However, navigating any auto insurance claim can be incredibly challenging, and it’s best to have an experienced attorney help you with the claim process. In addition, you may need to take further legal action depending on the severity of your injuries and the amount of insurance coverage you obtain from the rideshare company.
In the event your rideshare driver did not cause the accident, the rideshare company’s insurance policy should still cover your losses. However, California upholds a fault rule when it comes to insurance claims following vehicle accidents. This means the at-fault driver is liable for any damages resulting from the accident. Uber or Lyft insurance would cover your losses if your rideshare driver did not cause the accident, but this coverage would likely only come into play if the at-fault driver did not have auto insurance or adequate insurance.
After a rideshare accident in San Diego, the insurance issues you are likely to encounter can be incredibly complicated, and dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy, even with straightforward claims. Instead of risking a lowball settlement or otherwise jeopardizing your claim, it is best to work with an experienced San Diego rideshare accident lawyer to help you obtain the compensation you deserve after an Uber or Lyft accident.
Rideshare Insurance Coverage
Both Uber and Lyft offer insurance coverage with seemingly generous compensation limits, but these companies tier their insurance coverage based on the timing of an accident. These policies revolve around whether a driver was logged into the rideshare driver app and waiting for a ride request, on their way to pick up a passenger, or transporting a passenger to their destination. As a result, Uber and Lyft have relatively equivalent insurance policies:
When a rideshare driver is not logged into their rideshare driver app, their own personal auto insurance policy applies if they have an accident. This situation would follow the typical framework of any other car accident in California, and the at-fault driver would absorb liability for the other driver’s damages.
Suppose a rideshare driver is logged into the app and awaits a ride request from a passenger. In that case, both Uber and Lyft offer third-party liability coverage when their driver’s insurance does not apply. This level of coverage includes up to $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, up to $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a total accident, and up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Once a rideshare driver has accepted a ride request and is on their way to pick up a rider, Uber and Lyft provide their most expansive insurance protection. This level of insurance protection provides up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage, bodily injury coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the vehicle’s actual cash value with a $2,500 deductible.
The insurance coverage offered by Uber and Lyft can apply to a rideshare driver, their passenger, and it may also apply to any third parties such as bicyclists or pedestrians injured in the accident. However, it is never safe to assume that a rideshare company’s insurance coverage will completely cover your losses after an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver.
What Happens If Insurance Isn’t Enough to Cover My Damages?
While Uber and Lyft can provide up to $1 million to cover damages from an accident involving one of their drivers, there is no guarantee that your portion of their insurance coverage will completely cover all your losses, especially if you suffered catastrophic injuries that will require expensive medical treatment and likely result in permanent disability. In addition, most car accident victims can assess their immediate damages, such as hospital bills, vehicle repair costs, and lost wages due to time spent in recovery, but they may not know how to calculate the full scope of their long-term damages resulting from a rideshare accident.
This is yet another reason to hire a skilled San Diego rideshare accident lawyer after experiencing an Uber or Lyft accident. Not only will you likely need assistance in navigating your insurance claim process, but you may also need to take further legal action against the party responsible for your accident in the form of a personal injury claim. Again, your attorney will be instrumental in helping you identify those responsible for the incident and proving their liability for your damages.
Proving Fault for a Rideshare Accident in San Diego
Negligence is the core legal concept of every personal injury claim filed in California. To prove negligence, you and your San Diego rideshare accident lawyer must identify the party or parties responsible for causing your damages, prove they breached their duty of care for the given situation, and provide a complete and accurate list of all your resulting damages. Finally, you and your attorney must prove that your damages directly result from their negligence and not some other cause.
There are many ways your San Diego rideshare accident lawyer can potentially help you prove the defendant’s fault for your damages. Depending on when and where the accident happened, eyewitnesses may be able to provide their testimony to help you establish fault for the incident. Your attorney could also secure vehicle computer data, drivers’ cell phone records, and even traffic camera footage to prove how the accident occurred.
Compensation Available in a Successful Personal Injury Claim
California’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff to recover compensation for all damages caused by a defendant’s negligence. Therefore, when a plaintiff files a personal injury claim after a rideshare accident, their insurance claim settlement will likely only form a portion of their overall recovery. However, their personal injury claim can help them recover complete compensation for their remaining damages, which may include:
Medical expenses, including both immediate and future expenses. A motor vehicle accident can cause injuries that require extensive medical treatment, and some injuries may require long-term care, such as physical therapy and other ongoing rehabilitative treatments. A plaintiff has the right to claim compensation for all their medical expenses resulting from a rideshare accident, and the Uber or Lyft insurance may not cover everything.
Lost income and lost earning capacity. Your injuries may prevent you from working for a long time, and you may be unable to resume working at all if you develop a permanent disability or medical condition from your accident. Your San Diego Lyft rideshare crash attorney can help you calculate your lost future earnings based on the time you would have reasonably expected to continue working in the future if your accident had not occurred.
Property damage. If any of your personal belongings were damaged or destroyed in the rideshare accident, you have the right to claim compensation for your repair or replacement costs under California law.
Pain and suffering. Your non-economic damages from a rideshare accident are likely to form the bulk of your compensation. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover financial compensation for physical pain and psychological suffering resulting from a defendant’s negligence. The amount you receive will depend on whether your injuries resulted in any permanent damage and the severity of those injuries. For example, a plaintiff who sustained a broken arm that will heal completely within a few months will likely receive much less pain and suffering compensation than a plaintiff who sustained a spinal cord injury resulting in permanent paralysis.
Your rideshare accident claim could be worth much more than you initially expected when you hire an knowledgeable San Diego rideshare accident attorney to represent your claim. The firm of Kenneth M Sigelman & Associates is committed to providing robust personal injury representation. We have the skills and resources to navigate the complex insurance questions that typically follow these incidents, and our goal is to maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under California law.
What to Expect From Your San Diego Rideshare Accident Attorney
When you are struggling with the aftermath of a rideshare accident in San Diego, it’s natural to have many questions about your rights and options for legal recourse. However, no matter how your accident happened, you must secure legal counsel from an experienced attorney as soon as possible to determine your best path to recovery.
If you were riding in an Uber or Lyft and your driver caused the accident, you should be able to secure compensation through the rideshare company’s insurance coverage, and their insurance should also apply if you were driving your own vehicle and a rideshare driver hit you. However, navigating the insurance issues after rideshare accidents is incredibly difficult in most cases, and a reliable attorney can be an invaluable asset as you determine your best path to recovery.
Attorney Kenneth M. Sigelman and his team can provide the meticulous and compassionate legal counsel you need after experiencing an Uber or Lyft accident in the San Diego area. We’ll guide you through the insurance claim process and manage correspondence with the rideshare company’s insurance representatives on your behalf. Once we help you obtain your insurance settlement, we will determine if further legal action is necessary for your recovery. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with a skilled San Diego rideshare accident lawyer, contact us today to schedule your consultation with our team.
Kenneth M. Sigelman and Associates possesses an exceptional and thorough knowledge of California law, decades of legal experience and a commitment to achieve justice and obtain fair compensation for victims. Click below to learn more about our team of San Diego, CA attorneys.
KEN SIGELMAN J.D., M.D.
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