ORANGE COUNTY RIDESHARE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
One of the digital revolution’s greatest benefits is summarizing a ride on your smartphone from anywhere. Before Uber and Lyft, you may have had to wait hours for a taxi, and the driver may never have shown up. With ridesharing, your driver arrives in minutes.
In the industry’s early days, the legal liability for Uber or Lyft drivers was unclear. So if they injured someone, were they responsible? Was the company? What if there was another motorist involved? Thankfully, the insurance situation has become much clearer. Suppose you have been injured due to the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver. In that case, you will have a claim against the rideshare company, the driver, another motorist, or a combination of the three, resulting in an insurance claim payout.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Rideshare Accidents like Uber/Lyft?
Anyone sustaining serious injuries due to another’s negligence needs a personal injury attorney. Collecting damages usually means negotiating with an insurance company and facing their litigation team in court. These organizations invest in mitigating their claims losses by tasking their legal departments with searching for ways to deny claims or reduce their payouts. Without a lawyer, you are likely to receive a low settlement or nothing. The first step in the litigation is gathering the facts and building a case. Our rideshare accident lawyer at Orange County assembles evidence by analyzing witness accounts, physical evidence, and official reports. These sources establish the liable parties and the case against them.
Personal injury lawyers then prepare a complaint detailing the allegations and the laws and precedents on which it is based. This usually opens the negotiations, where insurers attempt to minimize their customer’s share of the blame and the plaintiff’s damages. Defense attorneys attempt to justify low settlements based on California’s pure comparative negligence law. Under this framework, judges instruct juries to assign each party to the accident a percentage of liability based on the evidence.
They may find that plaintiffs have 0% liability, in which case they receive 100% of their damages. On the other hand, a jury could find the plaintiff contributed to their injuries and assign them a percentage of liability. That percentage then reduces the plaintiff’s damages. For instance, a jury may find an Uber driver 80% at fault in an accident that injured another motorist and the other driver (plaintiff) 20% at fault. For instance, the Uber driver may have turned into oncoming traffic with insufficient space; however, a jury may decide the other motorist contributed to the accident by speeding. If the plaintiff’s damages stood at $100,000, they would receive just $80,000.
Defense lawyers fight tooth and nail to transfer the blame onto plaintiffs based on the thinnest justifications. Nordean Law Rideshare Accident Lawyer at Orange County knows what a jury is likely to award in your case and presses forward with litigation until the defense offers at least the equivalent. If they refuse, we take the case to trial. However, most cases settle out of court because the defense realizes taking the case farther only costs them more money.
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Common Kinds of Uber and Lyft Accidents
Uber and Lyft are liable when they cause accidents to passengers, pedestrians, and motorists. When off-duty, rideshare drivers are personally liable.
Uber and Lyft’s Liability To Passengers
Uber and Lyft carry liability policies with limits of $1 million. However, these limits are sufficient to compensate most accident victims. Policies are effective whenever the driver works for the rideshare company, so passengers receive damages from these insurance plans.
It is unlikely that a passenger contributed to an accident. However, if a third party was involved, a legal claim may split liability between the rideshare company and the other motorist.
Uber and Lyft Liability Toward Pedestrians
Pedestrians or bicycle riders struck by Uber or Lyft vehicles have eligibility for compensation under the rideshare company’s insurance. For example, if an Uber driver hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk while on duty, the rideshare company and its insurer bear liability.
Comparative negligence may reduce the award in these cases. For example, if a jury finds a bicyclist and Uber driver each partly at fault, the injured bicyclist receives a lower award.
Off-Duty Uber and Lyft Drivers
Uber’s and Lyft’s liability coverage does not extend to all uses of the driver’s vehicle. For the insurance to be in effect, the app must be running. If the driver has the app, they are either transporting a passenger, driving to pick up a fare, or awaiting a ping. In either case, the driver is working, so the rideshare insurance is in effect.
When the driver shuts off the app while driving home, taking a break, or handling personal affairs, the rideshare insurance goes out of effect. At that point, the driver’s insurance becomes liable.
What To Do After Rideshare Accident In Orange County?
Seeking medical attention is key, even if you believe the injury is minor. Some seemingly slight injuries progress over time into major injuries. Receiving a prompt medical exam and treatment establishes that the accident caused the injury and that you mitigated the damages.
If possible, take photos and video of the scene and vehicles, collect witness contact information and write down your recollection of the event while your memory is fresh.
Compensation For Uber or Lyft Accidents in Orange County
Personal injury victims have entitlement to economic and general damages. Economic damages consist of the victims’ direct costs due to the incident. General damages are intangible costs, such as pain and suffering.
Economic damages include the following:
- Medical bills
- Ambulance charges
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Assistive devices
- Lost wages
- Lost self-employment income
- Lost business income
- Lost benefits
Victims receive no bills for general damages, but they can far exceed economic damages. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
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Contact a Top-Rated Orange County Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today
At Nordean Law, our experienced attorneys are highly skilled in handling Uber and Lyft accident cases. Over several years, we’ve helped countless clients get the fair compensation they deserve for involvement in an Uber or Lyft accident.
Contact our Orange County personal injury attorney at (888) 254-3222 today.
RIDESHARE ACCIDENT LAWYER NEAR ORANGE COUNTY, CA
Hiring the right Rideshare Accident Attorney will make a huge positive difference in this unfortunate and difficult part of your life. You can spend countless hours at the Orange County Courthouse trying to piece together what you need to do next on your own. By not hiring an attorney, you are throwing countless hours out the window, you will also get on average 40% less when the settlement finally comes around, which will happen much faster with professional help.
It’s free to talk with us, please reach out if you have any questions or would like an estimate of what you could be owed. In California, you have up to two years to file a claim and sue for compensation. If you wish to take this court journey alone, Orange County Courthouse is located at 700 W Civic Center Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
If you want to take professional help, our Rideshare Accident Lawyer in Orange County will be more than happy to help you.
Get directions to Orange County Courthouse.
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ORANGE COUNTY RIDESHARE ACCIDENT FAQS
Being involved in a rideshare accident is a stressful event. It is easy to become overwhelmed and confused about the next steps. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about rideshare accidents.
Who is the Responsible Party in an Uber or Lyft accident?
When an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident while on duty, the rideshare company bears responsibility, and its insurer pays the damages. If a rideshare driver hits someone off duty, they are liable, and the victim collects from the driver’s insurance. Sometimes, a third party is liable, such as when another motorist injures a rideshare passenger. Liability may also be split between the rideshare company, a third party, or the driver and another motorist.
What If I was the Driver of a Car That Was Hit by an Uber or Lyft Vehicle?
You are entitled to damages. If the driver was on duty, the rideshare company is responsible, and its insurer pays the claim. However, when the drivers are off duty, they have personal liability, and claims are paid by their insurer.
Who Can I Sue For Lyft or Uber Accidents in California?
When drivers are on duty, the rideshare companies are responsible. When drivers are off duty, they are responsible.
Is There a Limit on the Compensation I Can Receive in California?
Theoretically, damages can be any amount. Generally, victims receive economic damages equivalent to their medical costs and lost income. Then, a jury can award general damages as a multiple of 1.5 to 5 times the economic damages. If the defendant acted egregiously, juries might award punitive damages.
What Should I Do if an Insurance Company Calls Me?
Always refer these calls to your attorney.
Is There a Time Limit to File My Case?
California law requires plaintiffs to file personal injury cases within two years of the incident.
How Long Will It Take To Resolve My Case?
Most cases settle out of court in 1-2 years. Complex- and trial cases can take several years longer.
How Much Does Orange County Rideshare Attorney Cost?
Nordean rideshare accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. Under this arrangement, clients pay nothing until they collect a settlement or award and bear no out-of-pocket expenses.