Can I Sue Uber or Lyft for an Accident?

uber lyft accident attorney

When you are a passenger in a Uber or Lyft vehicle and experience an accident, you may want to discuss your mishap with a Uber Lyft accident attorney. As a rideshare passenger, you may file a claim if the driver of the rideshare vehicle caused the accident. If a third party caused the mishap, you may be entitled to file a claim against the other party’s insurer.

The above summation gives you a quick overview of your rights in this respect. To understand the legal process for suing a rideshare driver who works for Uber or Lyft, you have to understand how ridesharing works.

uber lyft accident attorney

What Is Ridesharing?

Technically, ridesharing is another name for carpooling, when two or more people, including the driver, pool together to share a ride to one or more destinations. Therefore, calling a Uber or Lyft driver a rideshare driver is not technically correct. Instead, a better term is “ride-sourcing.” 

Uber and Lyft apps fit the definition of ride-sourcing because they are mainly used for responding to the user’s need for quick transportation, much like a taxi service.

Whether you use the term ridesharing or ride-sourcing, filing a claim against a Uber or Lyft driver is still possible when you’re the passenger. According to the law, passengers are not held liable in car crashes. Therefore, you can talk to a Uber Lyft accident attorney about filing a claim against all the parties at-fault. 

Uber and Lyft apps fit ride-sourcing because they are mainly used for responding to the user’s need for quick transportation, much like a taxi service does.

Again, because of this distinction, you can also sue Uber or Lyft whether the driver was at fault or not. You can file a claim against the “rideshare” company as well as other involved parties and receive compensation for the costs associated with medical care, pain and suffering, and other related expenses.

What You Must Prove to File an Uber Lyft Claim

When you discuss your case with a Uber Lyft accident attorney, you need to prove who was at fault and show the extent of your injuries. 

If the rideshare driver is at fault, you can sue him. However,  collecting damages may prove difficult, if not impossible, if he or she is only covered by a personal auto insurance policy. This type of policy does not protect a driver who operates as a driver commercially or carries passengers to earn fares.

Because of this factor, the President of the Consumer Attorneys organization in California successfully influenced legislators to regulate rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, so they carry sufficient insurance coverage.

How the Law Covers Uber/Lyft Claims

AB2993 was introduced into California law on July 1, 2015. Under the legislation, ridesharing platforms, or transportation network companies, such as Uber or Lyft, must ensure their drivers when they carry a passenger for hire. 

In addition, the companies must maintain a one million dollar limit for uninsured motorist insurance as their primary coverage. This amount covers death, property damage, or death. (Public Util. Code § 5433).

While cases that involve damages of $1 million or less may be resolved through Uber or Lyft’s insurance program, the plan does not extend to claims that seek more money. This sets up a situation of vicarious liability where the Uber Lyft accident attorney must show the amount of control that the transportation network had over the driver’s activities. This control may involve the mechanical condition of the car and other aspects of the driver’s employment.

The coverage amount of the $1 million policy begins when the driver accepts the ride request on the Uber/Lyft app until the ride is completed or when the driver finalizes the transaction on the app, whichever happens last.

Filing a Claim When the Rideshare Driver is Not At-Fault

In cases where the rideshare driver was not at fault, you can sue the third-party drivers who are at fault. If an at-fault driver or third party does not carry enough insurance or is driving without coverage at the time of the accident, you can still bring a claim against the rideshare service.

Damages You Can Recover

By retaining the services of a Uber Lyft accident attorney, you can receive compensation for the following damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical, hospital, and rehab costs and related health care costs
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Loss of future income due to a disability or a diminished capacity to work
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death (brought by family members of the decedent)

You need to speak to a Uber Lyft accident attorney, as the goal of most insurers is to prevent the payment of what a litigant should receive equitably and legally. Therefore, dealing directly with Uber’s insurance company, for instance, does not mean you will get the amount you deserve. 

Contact a Uber Lyft Accident Attorney Now

Contact a Uber Lyft accident attorney – one who is experienced in successfully recovering these types of claims. Call Belal Hamideh Law at (562) 526-1224 for your free consultation today.