The rideshare industry continues to surge not just in popularity, but also accessibility, as it provides affordable transportation services. In a city like Los Angeles where traffic can be a nightmare, ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft utilize smartphone technology to provide riders with an easy and relatively cheap means of transportation.
While rideshare vehicles can be summoned with a couple of quick taps on your smartphone, they are still exposed to the same risks out on the roadway as an average passenger vehicle.
Accidents involving rideshare vehicles have the potential to result in serious, life-changing injuries. The Los Angeles rideshare accident lawyers at the Vaziri Law Group fight to protect the rights of individuals who have been injured in these types of accidents.
We work diligently to help victims and families that have lost loved ones in rideshare accidents secure maximum compensation for their losses.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Rideshare Accident in Los Angeles?
If you have been injured in a Los Angeles rideshare accident, determining who or what caused your accident could be critical when it comes to determining fault and liability.
Here are some of the parties who could potentially be held liable for a rideshare accident:
The rideshare company:
Under California law, rideshare companies are required to carry liability insurance to cover their drivers as well as passengers and other parties such as pedestrians or other motorists, in the event of an accident. Companies such as Uber and Lyft are required under California law to carry a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance to cover injuries and losses in an accident where the rideshare drivers are on the clock. This period is when drivers accept a ride on the app until the driver ends the ride on the app. This essentially means that if you are injured in a rideshare accident when the driver is on duty, you can directly seek compensation from the rideshare company. If a rideshare company tries to pass the buck in such situations, it is important that you contact an experienced rideshare accident lawyer who can help protect your rights.
The rideshare driver:
Drivers of rideshare vehicles can be held liable for accidents and injuries caused by their recklessness or negligence. Drivers do have a duty of care not just to passengers, but others on the roadway as well. When a driver operates under the influence, while distracted or fails to obey the rules of the road, he or she can be held liable for the accident and resulting injuries.
When another motorist causes an accident, that third party can be held liable for the injuries and damages sustained by victims.
In addition to preparing and filing relevant paperwork in court, your lawyer will also engage in the discovery process, which is the formal process where the parties involved exchange information about evidence and witnesses they plan to present during the trial.
If the case ends up in the courtroom, your personal injury lawyer will represent you in court and present your case to the judge and jury.
It can be complicated to determine fault and liability in a Los Angeles rideshare accident. It is important to get an experienced Los Angeles rideshare lawyer early on your side so he or she can thoroughly investigated accident and help you secure just compensation for your losses.
Types of Claims in a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident
There are a number of parties who can potentially file a claim after a rideshare accident including but not limited to:
- Claims filed by rideshare passengers
- Claims filed by drivers of Uber, Lyft and other rideshare vehicles
- Claims brought by pedestrians or bicyclists injured by rideshare vehicles
- Claims against the rideshare companies
- Claims against other motorists who cause accidents
- Claims against governmental agencies
- Claims brought by families of deceased victims (wrongful death lawsuits)
What Makes Rideshare Accidents Different?
While rideshare accidents are more or less similar to other types of traffic accidents, they also present a unique set of circumstances. Rideshare vehicles are not commercial vehicles such as buses or trains. They are typically passenger cars that are used to transport people.
Rideshare drivers working for companies such as Uber or Lyft often use their own personal vehicles to transport riders who book them using smartphone apps.
It is important to note that to be a rideshare driver, you don't require any special type of license like commercial drivers do. Rideshare companies provide insurance coverage, but only when the rideshare is on the clock. These cases can get quite complex very quickly because they tend to devolve into a blame game where rideshare companies may try to place the blame squarely on the drivers and try to deny responsibility.
This is why you need an experienced Los Angeles rideshare lawyer on your side who understands these complexities and will fight to protect your rights.
Compensation for a Rideshare Accident
Depending on the circumstances of your case and the extent of your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Cost of rehabilitative treatment and therapy
- Permanent injuries, disfigurement
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of life's enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Often, the worth of a personal injury case will also depend on the degree of negligence on the part of the defendant. In some cases, in addition to compensatory damages, plaintiffs are also awarded punitive damages, which are awarded to punish the defendant for an egregious level of negligence. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you properly assess the value of your case.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare drivers are likely to engage in similar behaviors as regular drivers. Some of the common causes of rideshare accidents in Los Angeles include impaired driving, operating a vehicle while distracted and failing to follow the rules of the road such as running a red light or stop sign, speeding, making an unsafe turn or lane change, etc. Rideshare drivers also work under unique circumstances.
Some of them may work two or more jobs and may be prone to drowsy driving. Distracted driving may also be a significant issue with rideshare drivers because they may be monitoring their phone and the app while driving, which could take their attention away from the road.
These factors could potentially increase the risk of a serious crash.
Contacting an Experienced Los Angeles Rideshare Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident, it is important that you seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Vaziri Law Group. We have experience handling rideshare accidents involving Uber, Lyft and other companies. We have the knowledge and resources it takes to help you recover maximum compensation for your losses.
At the Vaziri Law Group, we are committed to help accident victims and families. We provide compassionate representation to injured victims and families that have lost loved ones. We understand the challenges individuals and families face in the aftermath of such traumatic events. Call us at (310) 777-7540 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.