Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, are convenient, inexpensive, and have become the go-to transportation source for many people. If you’re having a night out with friends, ridesharing eliminates the risk of drinking and driving.

Unfortunately, the people driving these vehicles can make a careless mistake that causes an accident and injuries. When that happens, OnderLaw may be able to help you pursue financial compensation. We’ve been representing clients in injury cases since 2002. We have been able to recover over $3.5 billion for accident victims so they can pay for their medical treatment and other costs.

When a negligent driver is responsible for your injuries, you have a right to hold them liable through an insurance claim or lawsuit. Our Newport Beach personal injury lawyers know state laws and the legal process we must go through to secure the compensation you need from the at-fault party. For a free consultation or to find out more about our legal services, call OnderLaw.

Insurance Coverage for Rideshare Drivers

California uses a fault system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. That means the at-fault party is financially responsible for the victim’s injury and losses. Typically, you can pursue compensation from their insurance company instead of going after the driver directly.

When you’re involved in an accident with Uber or Lyft, the insurance that you’ll turn to in the event of an accident will vary, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.

  • Driver not logged into Uber/Lyft app: When the rideshare driver is not logged into the app, they are considered off the clock. In an accident, you would need to turn to that driver’s own auto insurance policy for compensation if they were at fault. Anyone who drives for a rideshare company must carry auto insurance with liability coverage. California state-required minimums are $15,000 per person injured, $30,000 per accident for all bodily injuries, and $5,000 for property damage.
  • Driver logged into Uber/Lyft app but has not accepted a ride: Assuming the accident is the fault of the driver, Uber/Lyft will provide liability coverage up to $50,000 per person injured, $100,000 per accident for all bodily injuries, and $25,000 for property damage.
  • Driver has accepted a trip and/or driver has a passenger in the car: In this scenario, the liability coverage offered by Uber/Lyft goes up to $1 million. If a rider is in the car, Uber also offers up to $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage, in the event that the Uber/Lyft driver is involved in an accident with a driver who is at fault and has no insurance or insufficient insurance.

Insurance companies are difficult to deal with after a car crash. It is crucial that you hire an experienced Newport Beach rideshare accident lawyer. Although there might be sufficient insurance coverage available, they will use every tactic at their disposal to prevent you from receiving the settlement you’re due.

Many insurance companies will provide a lowball offer to quickly close out the claim and move on to the next one. If possible, they could deny the claim, so you’re unable to recover any amount of compensation.

At OnderLaw, we don’t allow insurance companies to intimidate us. We never shy away from a fight and will aggressively pursue a fair settlement amount that compensates for your medical treatment, lost wages, and the trauma you experienced. We have the experience and resources to file a lawsuit and battle it out in court if that’s what it takes to help you recover from your injuries.

Follow These Steps After a Rideshare Accident

If you get hurt in an accident while using Uber or Lyft, you should start preparing your case at the scene. Evidence is crucial in any car insurance claim and could improve your chance of winning the compensation you deserve.

Step 1 – Call 911 or local law enforcement to report the accident. State laws require any driver involved in a car crash to file a report with the California Highway Patrol. An officer will investigate the accident and file an accident report. You can request a copy of that report when it becomes available. It will contain useful information about the accident, such as a description of what happened, who was at fault, and any issued traffic citations.

Step 2 – Ask your driver for their auto insurance information so you can file a claim. You should also get the name, contact information, and auto insurance details of other drivers involved, just in case more than one person is liable for the crash.

Step 3 – Companies like Lyft and Uber have a mobile app that shows trip information, such as the driver’s name, vehicle description, and the route they plan to take. Save that information or take a screenshot of it with your phone.

Step 4 – Take photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage.

Step 5 – Seek medical treatment. You might not feel badly hurt, but some injuries don’t cause pain or symptoms until days or weeks later. You should undergo a thorough evaluation and listen to your doctor’s orders if they refer you for additional treatment.

Step 6 – Keep a copy of your medical records, prescriptions, and other documents associated with the case.

Step 7 – Hire a Newport Beach rideshare accident lawyer to build a case for compensation on your behalf.

Compensation You Could Seek After a Rideshare Accident

OnderLaw will aggressively pursue the compensation you need to cover your past and future damages. Damages refer to the expenses and losses suffered after an accident. They may include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Out of pocket costs
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

You can seek any of the damages above through a liability insurance claim or lawsuit. However, if your rideshare driver does not have insurance despite their requirement to carry it, you might be entitled to compensation from your auto insurance company.

Insurers must provide uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to their policyholders. It is used if the at-fault driver doesn’t carry liability coverage. You can opt-out in writing if you don’t want UM on your policy. If you chose to keep it, you could file a claim for the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Out of pocket costs
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity

Optional coverage, known as Med Pay (medical payments), provides upfront payment of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment. If you purchased this on your policy, you could file a claim for the insurance company to pay your medical bills up to the coverage amount you chose.

Filing a Lawsuit in California

You might decide you want to file a lawsuit against your Uber or Lyft driver. If the insurance company minimizes or denies your claim or you believe the driver’s actions were extraordinarily reckless, you could sue them for various damages.

Besides compensating you for your losses, you could seek punitive damages that punish the defendant for their misconduct. Juries rarely award punitive damages in an auto accident case unless the plaintiff can provide clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with intent to oppress, fraud, or malice.

California has a two-year statute of limitations for rideshare accident lawsuits. That means you have two years from the crash date to sue, or you could lose your right to compensation from a lawsuit. Courts strictly enforce this deadline. However, some exceptions could pause the clock on the statute:

  • You were a minor at the time of the accident. The clock would start once you turn 18 years old.
  • The defendant left the state temporarily. The clock would begin once they return. Their absence also would not count towards the two-year deadline.
  • You were deemed mentally incompetent when the crash occurred. The clock would not start again unless you gain mental competency.

Rideshare Accident FAQs

When clients come to us after a rideshare accident, they usually have questions about whether they can seek compensation from the driver. They also want to know their legal options and how to handle a case like this. We have answered some of the questions we frequently receive below.

Can I sue my Uber or Lyft driver if I get hurt in an accident?

It depends on the circumstances. If they were at fault for the crash, you could file a lawsuit. You must ensure that the statute of limitations has not passed and gather sufficient evidence that proves their actions directly caused your injury.

What happens if someone else causes an accident while I’m using a rideshare service?

If you’re using a rideshare service and another driver causes an accident, you could file a claim with their auto insurance company. If they don’t have liability coverage, you may be able to turn to the ridesharing service’s uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage. You may also be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

What is the value of my case?

When we’re reviewing the elements of your case, we will take into account your damages and other factors to calculate a monetary value for your case. Those factors might include:

  • Type and severity of the injury
  • Impact of the accident on your daily life
  • Whether sufficient evidence exists to prove who was at fault
  • Length of the recovery period
  • Lost wages from the inability to work
  • Mental or emotional issues suffered after the crash
  • Amount of insurance coverage
  • Permanent impairment, disability, or long-term problems resulting from the injury

Contact OnderLaw Today

At OnderLaw, we care about our clients. When you hire us, we will treat you as a part of our family. We will provide personalized attention from start to finish and maintain open communication with you. You can depend on our Newport Beach rideshare accident lawyers to guide you through the legal process and offer emotional support whenever you need it.

If you were injured in a rideshare accident in Newport Beach and need legal representation from a team you can trust, call OnderLaw right now.