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Los Angeles Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney

Taking an Uber or Lyft to one’s destination has replaced taxis for many people, especially in metropolises such as Los Angeles. Downloading an app and hailing a ride almost anywhere, anytime, has rapidly escalated the popularity of ridesharing since the industry’s establishment just a few years ago. Unfortunately, ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft do not obey the same safety standards or regulations as traditional taxi companies – making rides more dangerous.

If an Uber or Lyft driver recently caused your car accident, a qualified Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorney at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP can help. We offer free legal consultations at our local law office so you can learn more about your rights and legal opportunities at no risk. Our firm understands these cases and how to fight for clients’ rights. Uber or Lyft could owe you financial compensation.

Los Angeles Uber & Lyft Accident Resources

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Why Hire Rose, Klein & Marias LLP?
Rideshare Accident Statistics in California
How Can an Uber or Lyft Accident Attorney Help?
Common Rideshare Accident Injuries
Top Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Is the Rideshare Company Liable?
How Are Uber & Lyft Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
What Are the Three Periods of a Rideshare Driver?
How Does Uber Address Rideshare Accidents?
How Does Lyft Address Rideshare Accidents?
Insurance Requirements for California Rideshare Drivers
Statute of Limitations on Uber & Lyft Accidents in California
Compensation for Uber & Lyft Accidents in Los Angeles, CA
What to Do After an Uber/Lyft Accident
Uber/Lyft Accident FAQs
Speak to an Attorney Today

Why Hire Rose, Klein & Marias LLP for Your Uber or Lyft Accident Claim?

  • We have devoted our lives to representing the injured in LA against large corporations such as Uber and Lyft.
  • We have the drive to fight for maximum compensation for your needs, no matter how serious or life-changing your injuries.
  • We offer 10 convenient offices throughout Southern California so you do not have to drive for hours for exemplary representation.
  • We provide legal representation to Uber or Lyft accident victims in Los Angeles for $0 upfront and $0 if we do not win.

Los Angeles Lyft & Uber Accident Attorney

Rideshare Accident Statistics in California

Ridesharing took the transportation industry by storm when it debuted in the early 2000s. Since ridesharing apps came out, introducing a brand-new way to travel, billions of people around the world have gotten rides through rideshare apps. Uber and Lyft are the top ridesharing companies in the industry. As of 2022, Uber was worth approximately $55 billion, while Lyft was worth about $5.35 billion.

While Uber and Lyft may be safer ride alternatives than driving home under the influence or walking, they are not failsafe. Every year, Uber and Lyft release safety and accident reports. These documents show the number of accidents and incidents (such as sexual assaults) involving their drivers. According to third-party research, the total number of fatal automobile accidents since the advent of Uber and Lyft has increased by about 3 percent.

This study concluded that an increasing number of rideshare vehicles on the road has translated into about 1,000 daily automobile accidents. In just one year of car accident reports, Uber cars were involved in 97 deadly collisions – accidents that were responsible for a total of 107 deaths. Rideshare passengers made up 21 percent of these crash victims.

While it is difficult to find rideshare accident statistics for California specifically, Uber and Lyft accident numbers are higher in major cities, as these locations have a higher number of rides. Rideshare accidents tend to occur most often on weekends and at night. According to Uber, the most popular time for ride requests is Saturday evening from 11:00 PM to midnight. This translates into a higher number of rideshare accidents around this time, especially in major cities like Los Angeles.

How Can a Los Angeles Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer Help?

Going up against Uber or Lyft is no small feat as an injured victim. Unfortunately, rideshare companies have a reputation for aggressively disputing liability and fighting injury claims. It may be difficult to convince the company to offer you a settlement for your injuries, even as an innocent passenger.

If you hire an aggressive Los Angeles car accident attorney from our firm, however, you can level the playing field and greatly increase the odds of Uber or Lyft treating your claim fairly. Most corporations will offer higher settlements simply upon learning the claimant has hired an attorney, even before ensuing negotiations. They know a lawyer has the power to take them to court if they refuse to treat the case reasonably and will strive to avoid this outcome with better settlement offers.

Uber Accident Lawyer Los Angeles

Common Rideshare Accident Injuries

The injuries you suffer in a rideshare accident in Los Angeles can stay with you for life. You may suffer a disabling injury, such as brain damage or paralysis. You may also experience psychological trauma from living through a traumatic accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you receive proper medical care, document your injuries and seek the compensation you need to make a full recovery.

Common injuries suffered in rideshare accidents include:

  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Chest injuries and rib fractures
  • Emotional injuries (i.e. post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Injuries to the legs and knees
  • Internal injuries
  • Neck injuries, such as whiplash
  • Scrapes and cuts; more serious lacerations
  • Severe bruising
  • Severed limbs
  • Skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Wrongful death

A serious injury can require thousands of dollars in medical care, including ongoing doctor’s appointments, physical therapy and rehabilitation. Even a minor injury can inflict significant medical costs and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has any type of injury after an Uber or Lyft accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles for assistance with the next steps to take.

Top Causes of Los Angeles Rideshare Accidents

Analyzing the most common causes of rideshare accidents in Los Angeles can spread awareness of this risk. Identifying the top causes of Uber and Lyft crashes can potentially protect others by preventing such accidents in the future. It can also help you better understand your rights as an accident victim; assessing who or what caused your rideshare accident can give you an idea of who is liable for your damages. 

Below are the most frequently identified causes of Uber and Lyft accidents in Los Angeles:

  • Rideshare driver error. Uber and Lyft drivers do not receive any type of special training to transport passengers. They are regular people who can make all the same mistakes as other drivers. This can result in rideshare accidents caused by distracted driving, texting and driving, driving under the influence, speeding, reckless or aggressive driving, red-light running, violating traffic laws, and other preventable driver errors.
  • Third-party driver error. Even if the rideshare driver does not make any mistakes behind the wheel, the vehicle could end up in an accident involving a negligent driver outside of the Uber or Lyft car. If a third-party driver makes a mistake and crashes into a rideshare driver, his or her car insurance company should pay for the damage. If the driver does not have enough insurance, the rideshare company will cover any remaining amount.
  • Vehicle equipment breakdowns. Human error can take other forms besides driver mistakes, such as negligent vehicle maintenance. Unlike taxicab companies, Uber and Lyft do not inspect the vehicles that their drivers operate or take measures to ensure vehicle safety. If the driver has ignored vehicle maintenance, this can result in equipment breakdowns in transit. 
  • Dangerous road conditions. Dangerous road conditions such as potholes, missing guardrails, poorly designed intersections and malfunctioning traffic lights can also cause rideshare accidents in LA. The city and state governments are responsible for ensuring the general maintenance of roads in Los Angeles County. The negligent failure to maintain safe roads could lead to a lawsuit against the government for a related rideshare accident.
  • Rideshare company negligence. Uber and Lyft manage to escape liability for most rideshare accidents by classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees – protecting them from liability for driver behaviors. If the company itself was negligent and this contributed to a crash, however, the company can be held responsible. If the company failed to conduct a proper background check on a driver, for example, it could be liable.

Identifying the cause of your Uber or Lyft accident is one of the first steps toward achieving financial compensation in California. Under the state’s fault-based law, the person or party most at fault for causing an automobile accident is who pays for medical bills and property repairs. If you aren’t sure who or what caused your rideshare crash in Los Angeles, contact our attorneys for a comprehensive investigation.

Is the Rideshare Company Liable?

Both Uber and Lyft have $1 million insurance policies that apply to crashes that occur when the driver is in transit with a passenger in the vehicle. If you are an injured passenger, this insurance policy should cover your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the collision. If the insurance policy does not cover you (as an Uber/Lyft driver or a third party), however, you may have to take other actions to obtain compensation for your damages.

By default, Uber and Lyft will not be responsible for the actions of their drivers. Both companies classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This can make it difficult to hold the rideshare company accountable for negligent, reckless, or dangerous Uber or Lyft drivers. They may, however, be responsible for crashes that stem from the company’s negligence. If the company reasonably should have prevented a dangerous driver from accepting passengers, for example, Uber/Lyft may be liable for a related accident. Determining fault and liability may take assistance from a Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorney.

How Are Uber & Lyft Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

Rideshare companies offer an alternative to traditional taxi and limousine services. How rideshare companies operate is unique compared to standard transportation companies. Although rideshare accidents and typical car accidents are similar in nature, they are very different from a legal perspective. These differences can make it more difficult to understand your rights as an injured passenger.

Some of the ways in which Uber and Lyft accidents differ from car accidents include:

  • The presence of a third party. Rideshare accidents indirectly involve the rideshare company. This can change the legal outcome of your case, as you may have to file an insurance claim with Uber or Lyft rather than the at-fault driver.
  • Rideshare company negligence. A rideshare company could bear liability for an accident if it contributed to the crash through improper driver hiring, training or retention practices, or if it broke safety inspection rules.
  • Self-driving vehicles. If a technology or software malfunction causes a rideshare accident in a self-driving Uber vehicle, the company may bear financial responsibility for the collision and related injuries.

It is important to note that the doctrine of vicarious liability typically does not apply to Uber and Lyft accidents. Vicarious liability states that an employer is liable for the mistakes of its on-duty employees. Rideshare companies, however, classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees.

This distinction protects Uber and Lyft from vicarious liability for drivers who cause accidents. You may still have a legal claim against the rideshare company, however, depending on the circumstances. Rideshare accident cases require more attention than other car accidents. Liability is not as easy to determine. A local Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in Los Angeles can investigate your rideshare accident for you.

What Are the Three Periods of a Rideshare Driver?

During an Uber or Lyft accident claim, you may hear about three periods of a rideshare driver. It is important to understand these periods, as well as to determine the period you were in when your rideshare accident took place. This will determine how much insurance coverage is available from the ridesharing company.

California law categorizes a rideshare driver’s occupational duties into three periods:

  1. Period one. This is when an Uber or Lyft driver is logged into the app and actively searching for riders but has not picked anyone up. Ridesharing companies in California must provide at least $50,000 in bodily injury and death insurance per person and $100,000 per accident during this period, as well as $30,000 for property damage. In addition, companies must provide $200,000 in liability insurance for the driver.
  2. Period two. In this period, a rideshare driver has accepted a ride and is on his or her way to pick up the passenger. According to state law, ridesharing companies must provide at least $1 million in primary commercial insurance coverage during this period. This coverage is only available if an injured victim files a claim with the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance.
  3. Period three. In period three, the passenger is in the Uber or Lyft vehicle and is being driven to the final destination. If an accident occurs in this period, the ridesharing company must offer $1 million in insurance coverage. Uber and Lyft must also offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

A Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident lawyer at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP can investigate your accident to determine the stage of your ride. From there, your attorney can review your legal options based on the insurance available from the individual driver and ridesharing company. Then, your lawyer can help you file an insurance claim with the correct party for fair financial compensation.

Lyft Accident Attorney Los Angeles

How Does Uber Address Rideshare Accidents?

Uber Technologies Inc. addresses the issue of rideshare accidents by making insurance mandatory for all Uber drivers. Liability insurance in an amount equal to or greater than the minimum requirement in California is required for all vehicle operators driving for Uber. This means at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person, $30,000 per accident and $5,000 in property damage liability coverage. 

Uber also offers its own insurance program. This coverage automatically becomes effective when an Uber driver taps “Go” on the app to wait for a ride request. This insurance offers up to $100,000 per accident while the driver waits for a ride and up to $1 million after the driver accepts a ride.

If an accident takes place, Uber tells its passengers to report the crash through the rideshare app or by calling its customer service line. Uber will assign a representative to investigate the accident and the claim being made. If the claimant is eligible for financial compensation, Uber’s insurance company will offer an appropriate settlement.

How Does Lyft Address Rideshare Accidents?

Lyft addresses rideshare accidents in much the same way as Uber. It also requires all drivers to carry the minimum amounts of automobile insurance required by state law. If the driver’s insurance does not fully cover a victim’s losses, Lyft offers insurance coverage to all drivers and riders in the same amounts as Uber (up to $1 million). Like Uber, different insurance amounts are available based on the stage of the ride.

After an accident involving a Lyft vehicle, the company tells those involved to report the crash through the app’s Help Center. You can do this by logging into your Lyft account and pressing the “Help” button. This will bring you to a page where you can contact support through email or phone. Lyft will investigate the accident and determine if you are eligible for compensation. If so, you will receive a settlement offer from Lyft’s insurance company.

Insurance Requirements for Uber & Lyft Drivers in California

In California, rideshare drivers must carry personal auto insurance policies for the vehicles they use to pick up and transport passengers. However, these policies may not cover accidents while the vehicle was being used for commercial purposes. This means the driver’s personal insurance company may deny an injury claim, requiring you to take the claim to the ridesharing company instead.

Rideshare companies offer supplemental liability insurance coverage to their drivers to pay for injuries and property damage after at-fault or uninsured motorist accidents. The amount of coverage offered under a company-sponsored insurance policy is based on the period when the accident took place.

The rideshare company will not offer any coverage when the driver is not logged into the app and is driving for personal purposes. If the driver is logged into the app, however, Uber or Lyft will offer a certain amount of coverage according to the period when the car accident occurred. It is important to get assistance from a Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorney when navigating an Uber or Lyft accident insurance claim.

Statute of Limitations on Uber & Lyft Accidents in California

A statute of limitations is a state law that places a time limit on the right to file an injury claim. In California, the statute of limitations on all auto accident cases, including rideshare accidents, is two years from the date of the crash. If you do not notice your injuries until a few days after the crash, such as a whiplash injury with delayed symptoms, you have two years from the date of injury discovery to file.

Although there are some exceptions to the rule, in general, if you wait too long and file after your deadline passes, the courts in LA County will refuse to hear your case. This means you will give up the chance to obtain financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Speak to a local Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible to avoid missing your time limit.

Compensation for Uber & Lyft Accidents in Los Angeles, CA

The law in California may make you eligible for financial compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles. Seeking maximum compensation is important as an injured victim, as you should not have to pay for your injuries out of pocket if you were not at fault for the collision. You may be entitled to insurance benefits or a judgment award from the at-fault party.

Compensation available for an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles, California may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Disability-related needs
  • Any property damage sustained
  • Lost wages and income-earning opportunities
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering or distress
  • Lost quality or enjoyment of life
  • Legal fees and travel costs
  • Punitive damages, in some cases

Insurance companies are notorious for devaluing client claims. Before you accept a settlement from an insurer for your rideshare accident injuries, consult with a Los Angeles Uber and Lyft accident attorney. You can trust the evaluation of your claim given to you by a lawyer, as he or she will want to maximize your financial outcome. The value of your case will depend on factors such as your injury level and how long you will be in recovery.

How Much Is My Uber/Lyft Accident Case Worth?

Only an attorney can give you an accurate answer to this question, as it requires an in-depth review of your particular case. Case values are determined by the severity of the victim’s injuries, the cost of his or her medical expenses, the probability of future necessary medical care, the victim’s age and overall health, and many other factors that are unique to the case. Some Uber and Lyft accidents are worth $10,000 or less, while others result in settlements in the millions for catastrophic injuries. The only way to determine the value of your case is by consulting with an attorney in Los Angeles.

What to Do After an Uber/Lyft Accident

If you get into a rideshare accident, there are ways to protect your rights and start building your insurance claim from the beginning. Take the following steps after an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles:

  1. Stay calm and remain at the scene.
  2. Do not admit fault.
  3. Call the police.
  4. Write down the names of any eyewitnesses.
  5. Take photographs while still at the scene of the crash.
  6. Go to a hospital right away.
  7. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
  8. Report the crash to Uber or Lyft.
  9. Begin your insurance claim.
  10. Consult with a rideshare accident lawyer.

You can contact a rideshare accident attorney at any stage of your injury claim for professional legal assistance. A lawyer can handle the entire legal process on your behalf.

Los Angeles Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer

Uber/Lyft Accident FAQs

How long do I have to sue Uber or Lyft for an accident in California?

The statute of limitations is two years for most automobile accident claims in California. You may have longer than this to file, however, with delayed injury discovery or an injured minor. You have three years if you’re only filing a claim for property damage. You should always contact an attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing your deadline.

How long does an Uber/Lyft case take to settle?

Cases that do not encounter any issues can typically be resolved within three to six months of the rideshare accident. Complicated cases involving multiple parties, a liability dispute or a trial, however, can take one year or longer.

What if both drivers are at fault for an Uber or Lyft accident?

Both at-fault drivers (as well as the rideshare company) may be required to contribute to paying for victims’ medical bills and losses. Each party will be responsible for paying an amount equivalent to his or her percentage of fault for the accident.

What if I contributed to an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle?

You may still be eligible for financial compensation. Your financial award may be reduced by an amount equivalent to your degree of fault. Since California is a pure comparative negligence state, you can still recover compensation even with 99 percent of the blame.

Free Consultation With an Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

At Rose, Klein & Marias LLP, we have spent decades honing our personal injury law services. We know exactly how to handle these cases for the benefit of our clients. Since the advent of the rideshare industry, we have stayed at the forefront of Uber and Lyft accident laws for our clients. We strive to shape the ridesharing industry and how insurance companies handle these claims through aggressive legal services. If you or a loved one was recently in an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles, our local rideshare accident attorneys can help. Contact us today through our new client intake form or by calling (213) 626-0571 for a free consultation.