With an exponential increase in ride sharing transportation like Uber and Lyft, there has been an ever-growing problem with car accidents arising from these services in Woodland Hills. Unlike other similar forms of transportation, such as taxi or public transportation, Uber and Lyft are not as regulated. In part because they are still new and in part because of the uniqueness of the ride sharing transportation itself. While the insurance companies and proper governmental entities are figuring out the adequate policies for ridesharing companies, it is essential to hire an attorney who can properly handle Uber and Lyft claims. Here at Bojat Law Group, we take pride in successfully handing accidents involving Uber and Lyft cases. Insurance companies covering Uber and Lyft are aware of the aggressive approach of Bojat Law Group and our ability to obtain the highest settlements for our clients.
The issues arising from this new form of transportation give rise to several important questions when and Uber or Lyft accidents occur.
What are the differences between Uber and Lyft Accidents compared to other motor vehicle accidents? What Are Common Causes for Uber and Lyft Accidents? Who is Liable for Uber and Lyft Accident? Who Will Pay for Damages in Uber or Lyft Accident? Do I need an Uber or Lyft Accident Lawyer?
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UBER AND LYFT ACCIDENTS FROM OTHER MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Uber and Lyft drivers are covered under a $1 million liability policy through James River Insurance if an accident occurs during the course and scope their employment, meaning during an actual trip or during the drive to pick up a passenger.
In Woodland Hills, California and throughout the entire state of California, most motor vehicle drivers do not have such high liability insurance policies. In California, all drivers are required by law to have at least a 15/30 liability coverage, meaning the other party may recover $15,000 per person and up to $30,000 per accident.
This means if “driver A” causes the accident and injures “driver B,” then driver B can recover up to $15,000 from “driver A’s” insurance company. However, if “driver B” has a passenger in their car, “passenger C,” then “passenger C” may also recover up to another $15,000 for their damages from “driver A’s” insurance company. Moreover, if “driver B” has another passenger, “passenger D” then all three of them (driver B, passenger C, and passenger D) may only recover up to $30,000 for their damages from driver A’s insurance company. Hence the $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident insurance policy. However, that is not to say that “driver A” may not be sued personally for the damages caused in the accident.
The difference in coverage between Uber and Lyft driver’s and most drivers in the state of California is important especially when an accident causes serious bodily injuries, like Brain Injuries or other Catastrophic Injuries. Such serious bodily injuries require extensive medical care and result in often permanent pain and suffering, and thus require higher insurance coverages for the injured party to be made whole.
WHAT ARE COMMON CAUSES FOR UBER AND LYFT ACCIDENTS?
Unlike other transportation services, such as trucking business, in which a driver is only permitted to drive a certain number of hours per shift, such regulation does not exist for Uber or Lyft drivers. That fact, coupled with the fact that Uber and Lyft drivers only earn money if they transport drivers, will make many Uber and Lyft drivers take longer shifts in an effort to make extra money. This in turn allows for Uber and Lyft drivers to drive well over 12 hours per day 7 days per week. After such long days at work, Uber and Lyft drivers are often fatigued, making them less alert and more prone to making mistakes on the road and subsequently causing an Uber or Lyft motor vehicle accident.
Clear majority of Uber or Lyft drivers do not have any professional transportation training, which would be required if they were professional truck drivers, bus drivers, or worked for other various professional transportation businesses.
Becoming an Uber or Lyft driver is a fairly simple process. There are 3 simple steps: Complete an Application Online, Get Your Car Inspected, and Pass the Background Check. For most applicants that have become Uber or Lyft drivers this process took less than one week after which they received a “welcome manual” with an Uber or Lyft sticker to place in the required area of their car.
Before becoming an Uber or Lyft driver, the applicant is not subjected to any professional training pertaining to driving long hours, transporting passengers, or giving a professional customer service. Therefore, it is evident that such laxed requirements, although not always, certainly in many instances contribute to many Uber and Lyft accidents.
Nature of Work
Uber and Lyft Driver’s only get paid if they transport passengers. The amount of money they get paid is based on the number of passengers they transport, the distance they transport the passengers, and the time it takes them to transport the passengers. In other words, if an Uber or Lyft driver is not transporting passengers they are not getting paid. This incentifies Uber and Lyft driver’s to take on as many passengers as they can, for the longest distances and longest time, since that is the only way they will make money. Such nature of work is likely to make Uber and Lyft drivers focus more on increasing the number of passengers during a working day than safety. This is not always the case, but is certainly a contributing factor.
Number of Uber and Lyft Drivers
According to Woodland Hills Times there are “between 20,000 and 30,000 Uber drivers ply the streets of Woodland Hills, compared to 3,600 essentially full-time taxi drivers sharing 2,600 cabs.” This number of drivers is inevitable to increase the number of accidents of the streets of Woodland Hills and entire state of California.
Who is Liable for the Uber and Lyft Accident?
Liability for Uber and Lyft accidents is similar if not the same as any other motor vehicle accident. In other words, who ever causes the accident will be held liable. The difference in Uber and Lyft Accidents is that Uber and Lyft insurance companies will pay for damages if the Uber or Lyft driver caused the accident during the course and scope of their work. If the accident was not caused during the course and scope of work, then Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance will step in and cover the damages, in which case this becomes an ordinary motor vehicle accident claim.
Who Will Pay for Damages in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Damages in Uber and Lyft Accidents are paid for by the party who caused the accident, or more specifically, their insurance company. James River Insurance Company insures Uber and Lyft drivers while operating within the course and scope of their business. Thus, if an Uber or Lyft Accident is caused by an Uber or Lyft driver while transporting passengers or driving to the location to pick up passengers – course and scope of business, then James River Insurance Company will be compensating the injured parties for their damages.
Do I need an Uber or Lyft Accident Lawyer?
If you were involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident, it is best to contact an attorney who is trained to deal with these matters. Here at Bojat Law Group, APC we provide aggressive and thorough representation which is essential in obtaining a satisfactory settlement or verdict for your case. Whether you are a passenger or a driver in an Uber or Lyft, or a passenger or a driver struck by an Uber or Lyft driver, we are here to help you get compensated for your damages. Our reputation speaks for itself. We understand the policies and laws involving ride sharing transportation and know how to get you compensated for your damages while giving you the representation you deserve.