Over the last few years, Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services have made getting where you want to go essentially effortless. Gone are the days of hailing a taxi or phoning in an order to a traditional ride service. With an app on your smartphone, you can simply enter an address, and soon you’ll be on your way, in the care of a professional driver.

Even a great driver can’t guarantee a safe ride, though. Any time you’re on the road, as a passenger or a driver, the possibility of an accident and injury is always present. Even though ridesharing accidents are fairly rare, a 2018 study noted a two to three percent increase in traffic fatalities in areas where rideshare services had been recently introduced.

As with any car crash, there are many potential causes of rideshare accidents. Driver error, insufficient car repairs or maintenance, and difficult driving conditions are only a few possible factors. And there are several ways to be involved in a rideshare accident—as a passenger, driver, pedestrian, or cyclist.

Whatever your role, if you’ve been hurt in a rideshare accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. In Santa Ana, contact the personal injury lawyers at OnderLaw. Your initial consultation is free, and we’re eager to talk with you about your potential claim.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

California rideshare accident claims can be complex. They can involve the rideshare company’s insurance carrier as well as the driver’s, and determining liability in a rideshare accident can be complicated by factors specific to these kinds of accidents. An experienced, qualified attorney knows how to establish who was at fault and may be able to negotiate a fair settlement early in the process. If a settlement isn’t possible and the case winds up in court, having an established relationship with a good lawyer is always preferable to hiring one late in the proceedings.

A personal injury attorney knowledgeable about rideshare accident claims will hit the ground running, efficiently crafting a strategy to achieve the most favorable resolution possible. Your lawyer from OnderLaw will investigate the accident, talk with witnesses, collect evidence, and deal with insurance carriers. Be sure to hire a lawyer before speaking with any opposing insurance representatives to ensure you don’t accidentally accept responsibility for the crash. Your OnderLaw attorney will conduct all dialogue with the other insurers so that you don’t end up accidentally forfeiting your legal advantages and rights.

Besides conducting settlement negotiations and, if necessary, representing you in court, our attorneys will guide you through the full course of your claim, shouldering as much of the burden for you as possible. Your job is recovering your health and resuming your normal life. When you hire OnderLaw, you’ll be getting more than just a lawyer. You will have a skillful, formidable, compassionate advocate in your corner, fighting for all the compensation to which you are entitled.

Types of Rideshare Accidents

Rideshares are subject to the same types of mishaps as any other car on the road. If you were hurt in a ridesharing accident caused by someone else, whether you were a rideshare passenger, a pedestrian, or the occupant of another vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Bystanders or pedestrians may be hit directly by a vehicle or hurt indirectly by a nearby crash. Cyclists, scooter riders, occupants of stationary vehicles—anyone injured in a rideshare accident that wasn’t their fault may qualify for compensation.

Common Injuries Suffered in Rideshare Accidents

Various injuries can result from rideshare accidents. The following is a list of possible rideshare injuries.

  • Whiplash
  • Other neck injuries (ligament damage, ruptured discs)
  • Back and spine injuries (fractured vertebrae, spinal cord damage, ligament or disc damage, strained muscles)
  • Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs (concussions, brain swelling or hemorrhaging, brain damage)
  • Skull fractures
  • Abrasions, cuts, lacerations, and bruising
  • Burns
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Paralysis
  • Emotional trauma (depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or PTSD)

Be aware that symptoms sometimes won’t appear until well after the accident. Whiplash symptoms often take several days to arise. They can include headaches, tenderness in the shoulders and upper body, and neck stiffness.

While whiplash is regarded as a type of traumatic brain injury, symptoms of more serious TBIs can take time to appear as well. Delayed thought processes, difficulty concentrating, problems with speech, headaches, loss of coordination, numbness in the extremities, sensitivity to sounds or light, mood swings, dilated pupils, or continuous exhaustion may be signs of a critical brain injury.

If you develop any of these or any other potential accident symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible. You should seek prompt medical attention for the sake of your health, and in doing so, you are also creating documentation of your medical expenses that may later be critical to your claim.

Death may also result from a rideshare accident. If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else, contact an attorney to discuss a possible wrongful death claim.

What Compensation Is Available?

Ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber and carry liability insurance, but they also require their drivers to carry insurance of their own. When a driver causes an accident, that driver’s insurance company holds the primary responsibility for damages. When damages are greater than the driver’s coverage limit, the rideshare company’s insurance carrier assumes responsibility for the rest of the payment within their coverage limit.

The dollar limits on a rideshare company’s insurance coverage may vary depending on the driver’s activity “period” at the time of the accident.

During the first period, when the driver is not logged into the app, the driver’s insurance carrier is responsible for damages. At this point, the ridesharing company bears no liability at all.

During the second period, the driver is logged into the app and waiting for a ride request. Payout amounts and damage limits are defined by the type and extent of the damages. The maximum payout may vary depending on the company, but it usually is capped at $125,000, as with Lyft.

During the third period, the driver is logged into the app and has accepted a ride request, either going to pick up a fare or driving them to the requested destination. Since at least one passenger is now present, the ridesharing companies carry a greater amount of coverage for accidents that occur in this period. They may carry as much as $1,000,000 liability and a like amount for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the event that the driver’s insurance does not pay for all of the damages.

If you were injured, you can claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, car repairs, and pain and suffering. But realize that the payment limits specified by the driver’s or company’s insurance are no guarantee of any particular dollar amount in compensation.

The compensation claim process can involve settlement negotiations and possibly a court trial. With an experienced legal team like OnderLaw on your side, your chances for a successful outcome increase, and you will be able to focus your energies on your recovery instead of the details of your claim or court case.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

After you’ve been in a rideshare accident, there are some critical steps you’ll need to take.

  1. Collect the other driver’s insurance and contact information.
  2. Collect contact information from your supporting witnesses.
  3. Notify your insurance carrier.
  4. Write down a detailed record of your experience. Take videos and photos of the scene if possible.
  5. Keep and organize all receipts, copies of your medical records, and any other documents related to the accident.
  6. Contact an experienced car accident attorney.
  7. Stay off social media, as the other side may misconstrue something you post and use it to minimize or deny your claim.
  8. Keep a journal of how your injuries affect your daily activities.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

At OnderLaw, we put people first. We appreciate how stressful an accident can be, particularly when you’ve been injured. We aim to make the claims process as effortless as possible for you as we work to secure all the compensation you’re entitled to. Our track record of over $3 billion in settlements and awards for our clients speaks for itself, and we’ll provide you with all of the experience, expertise, and tenacity upon which we’ve built our reputation.

Providing you with sound legal advice is just the beginning. Step by step, we’ll lead you through your journey to the best possible result. And OnderLaw will not charge you for any services unless we get compensation for you.

Call OnderLaw Today

For nearly two decades, we’ve been representing personal injury victims in Santa Ana and elsewhere, consistently achieving the best possible outcomes. Our dedicated attorneys will always put your needs first. We don’t think of our clients just as customers. We respect and recognize each one as an individual.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a rideshare accident in the Santa Ana area, call us now for a free initial consultation to discuss the merits of your case. We’re ready to fight for you and all the compensation you’re entitled to.