News reports and articles often make rideshare employment status the primary focus of ride-hailing in California. As a result, it’s possible victims of Uber or Lyft accidents could be left confused and unaware of how to seek compensation for their losses after an accident that wasn’t their fault.
If you’ve been involved in a crash with Uber or Lyft, the California rideshare accident lawyers from the Rideshare Law Group can help. We have extensive experience representing accident victims, and we can help you get what you need to move forward. Before we get into handling a rideshare accident claim, let’s look at what California’s ride-hailing services have to offer residents and visitors.
Rideshare Services in California
While there are ride-hailing options all over California, the most popular and sought after services are typically found in urban areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other popular service areas include Modesto, Napa, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Santa Monica. People choose ridesharing services for a number of reasons, including cost efficiency and convenience. In California and the rest of the country, the two most popular platforms are Uber and Lyft.
Uber is a platform that connects people with drivers and delivery people. In cities where Uber is available, riders can use the Uber app to request a ride. When a nearby driver accepts the ride, the app displays an estimated time of arrival. Passengers are given the name of their driver, the vehicle they’re driving, as well as their license plate number. Both the driver and rider are encouraged to confirm identities and trip details before departing. Once a ride has been completed, the rider and driver can rate each other.
Lyft works similarly to Uber, but Lyft’s cars are outfitted with their signature pink light. Riders order a pickup and receive their pickup point. A photo of the driver and their vehicle is provided, as well as their estimated time of arrival. Riders can change their pickup location if need be. Once the driver arrives, both parties confirm their identities, and the ride begins. Lyft also lets riders and drivers rate each other.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Crash
The moments following a rideshare accidents can be a lot to handle. In order to navigate the situation as best as possible, take the following tips into consideration:
- Call 911. Immediately after an accident, it’s essential to call 911 to report what has happened. Depending on the situation, police officers, emergency medical responders, or firefighters could be dispatched to your location. When you speak with the police, only provide what you know to be factual. Do not speculate, as that could jeopardize your claim in the future.
- Report the accident to the rideshare company. Regardless of which rideshare company you were utilizing at the time of the crash, you’ll want to report the incident. Both Uber and Lyft have claims teams that can take your accident report. You’ll likely hear from their insurance company at some point. It’s important to remember that whatever you tell the insurance company could impact your eligibility for compensation.
- Document the scene. The aftermath of a rideshare wreck can be overwhelming and confusing. Do what you can to document the scene. Write down what you remember happening and take photographs or videos.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel okay physically after the accident, you need to seek medical attention. It’s possible you could have unknown injuries, and you’ll want to receive a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor after the Uber or Lyft accident also creates an official record of your injuries, which can be used to determine what you’re owed for your suffering.
- Speak to an attorney. Once you’ve had the opportunity to take a moment to breathe after your accident, it’s time to get in touch with a rideshare accident lawyer. You may consider handling your legal claim on your own, but you’ll improve your chances of receiving full and fair compensation if you work with an attorney.
The Benefits of Working With a Rideshare Accident Attorney
Rideshare accidents are complex matters involving a number of parties. Whether you’re the passenger, pedestrian, or another driver, taking legal action for compensation could involve proving negligence on behalf of the rideshare driver or company, as well as any other parties involved.
Accidents in California are subject to state laws, so it’s important to have rideshare accident attorneys by your side who are familiar with those requirements, as well as your rights and obligations as an accident victim.
In addition to the laws that apply to your claim, the rideshare company’s insurance policy will also affect your ability to receive compensation. The stage your ride was in, the driver’s personal coverage, as well as who is deemed at fault all play a role in your ability to settle your case.
In the event reaching a settlement is not possible, you’ll want a lawyer by your side to help you file a lawsuit to hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries and loss—both economic and non-economic.
Contact the Rideshare Law Group
While most legal turmoil in California regarding rideshare companies revolves around employment status, that doesn’t mean accidents aren’t happening. If you’ve been involved in a crash with an Uber driver, whether you were their passenger, you were driving your own vehicle, or you were struck as a pedestrian, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options.
The Rideshare Law Group represents crash victims, and we’re ready to take your case on next. In order to determine if you have grounds for a valid claim, you’ll need to set up and free case evaluation with our California rideshare accident lawyers. At that meeting, we’ll go over what you’ve been through and determine how best to proceed. Contact us today for more information.