Bakersfield Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
Uber and Lyft services provide convenience for people in Bakersfield by allowing them to travel by requesting a rideshare driver through their respective mobile apps. Although its demand is high, reports of rideshare accidents have continued to increase in the area. Victims who have been affected by this are eligible to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our Bakersfield rideshare accident lawyers are readily available to offer legal assistance. Our team has over 100 years of collective experience handling personal injury cases and has won more than $1.5 billion on behalf of our clients. With our ongoing success, we are confident that we will get the compensation you deserve.
We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you owe us nothing until your case has been settled. To schedule a free consultation, you may contact us by calling (213) 927-3700 or completing our quick online contact form.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident in Bakersfield
If you were involved in a Lyft or Uber accident in Bakersfield, you should take immediate action against the at-fault driver at the scene to ensure you have the evidence needed to incorporate into your personal injury claim. We encourage rideshare accident victims to do the steps listed below to better your chances of submitting a strong claim.
Contact Local Authorities
You should contact the police if you notice any injuries or damages. They will arrive at the accident scene and conduct a report, which you can request a copy of to use as proof in your personal injury lawsuit.
Be sure to collect as much evidence as you can, such as:
- Photographs or video footage of your injury, damages, and the accident scene.
- Contact and insurance information of all parties involved, and witness details, as well.
- Copy of the police report.
- Ride details, like the name of the Uber or Lyft driver, their vehicle model, and where you were traveling to.
- Medical records associated with the rideshare accident to use as proof that you endured an injury from the impact.
Report the Accident to Uber or Lyft
Each rideshare company has its own way of having people report an accident. If you were involved in one while using Lyft, you will need to let them know what happened on their app or contact their Claims Customer Care team. However, if your injury was caused by something other than an accident, you will need to reach out to Lyft Safety.
With Uber, you will have to complete a form that requires you to share general information and accident details.
Document Your Experience
Jot down what you experienced in a journal or diary. Do not forget to include the date and time of when the rideshare accident occurred.
Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
It is important that you get medical attention immediately after the Uber or Lyft accident. The physician will run one or more procedures to determine if you sustained an injury that may require short- or long-term treatment. Your doctor visits, procedures, and prescriptions will be saved on file. You may request a copy of your medical records to use as proof that your injury was caused by the rideshare accident.
Hire a Rideshare Accident Lawyer
It is important to act quickly and find a qualified Uber and Lyft accident attorney to assist you through each stage of the legal process. They will make sure you make no mistakes that could be detrimental to the outcome of your settlement.
Who Is Liable in a Rideshare Accident in Bakersfield?
Liability in a rideshare accident in Bakersfield will be determined based on who exhibited negligent behavior and the percentage of it. The at-fault individual could be the rideshare driver and/or the other motorist.
Since those who work for Uber or Lyft are classified as independent contractors, it will be difficult to sue either of the two rideshare companies. It is suggested that you present your situation to a Bakersfield Uber and Lyft accident lawyer for assessment. Based on the evidence provided, they will tell you who should hold accountability for your injuries.
Once you start the filing process, you will need to gather evidence that will help you prove the three elements of negligence:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care,
- The defendant breached their duty of care, and
- The defendant’s reckless behavior caused you to endure injuries and/or damages.
You can request a copy of the expenses you endured, such as medical bills or therapy costs, as a result of the rideshare accident.
Bakersfield Rideshare Insurance for Uber and Lyft Drivers
In Bakersfield, Uber and Lyft are required to provide insurance coverage to its rideshare drivers. This will only become effective once the driver is actively online. If the accident happens during their own personal time, they will have to rely on their own auto insurance and/or other additional coverage.
The sections below will go more into detail about the insurance policy rideshare drivers are granted and when it can be used.
Period 0 is when a rideshare driver is offline, meaning that they are fulfilling tasks that are not associated with Uber or Lyft. If they get into an accident during this time, they will not be protected by rideshare coverage. Instead, they will need to use their own insurance.
In California, all drivers are required to have the following:
- $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person wounded in an accident,
- $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and
- $5,000 of property damage per accident.
Period 1 will begin once the rideshare driver is online and waiting for a request, meaning that they are on standby. If an accident occurs while the driver has yet to be paired with a passenger, they will be given:
- $50,000 of bodily injury per person,
- $100,000 of bodily injury per accident, and
- $25,000 of property damage per accident.
Period 2 is when a rideshare driver is on their way to pick up a passenger, but gets into a crash while doing so. In such a case, they will be receiving the following coverage:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability,
- First party coverages, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, Medpay, personal injury protection coverage, and/or Occupational Accident coverage.
- Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of the vehicle with a $2,500 deductible.
In period 3, a rideshare driver has picked up the passenger and is headed to the requested destination, but is struck by another motorist. Under this circumstance, they will also be given the same coverage as period 2.
What Happens If You Get in an Accident While Driving for Uber or Lyft in Bakersfield?
If you get into an accident while driving for Uber or Lyft in Bakersfield, you may be entitled to sue the at-fault driver and claim damages. You will need to prove that the other driver was exhibiting negligent behavior. Actions that fall under such misconduct include:
- Distracted driving,
- Impaired driving,
- Aggressive driving,
- Tailgating, or
- Disobeying traffic laws.
It is encouraged to seek legal assistance from a Bakersfield rideshare accident lawyer. They will take a look at your case and guide you through your lawsuit to ensure you get maximum compensation.
You should also provide details about the accident to the rideshare company you are working for. They will evaluate your form submission and determine what should be done soon after.
What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Rideshare Accident Claim?
If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, you will be given two years from the date of when the incident occurred or one year from when you discovered your injury to sue the at-fault party. Even though it may seem like a lot of time for you to prepare, you should still get started on the legal process soon after the rideshare accident.
It is important that you collect as much evidence as you can to strengthen your claim and to find an experienced Bakersfield Uber and Lyft accident attorney to represent you. These can take a while to do, so be sure to act fast. Failing to submit your lawsuit on time could make you lose your chances of pursuing legal action against the liable party.
Damages Available in a Bakersfield Uber or Lyft Accident
Damages available in a Bakersfield Uber or Lyft accident will vary depending on the factors involved. Typically, victims may be granted the following:
Punitive damages can be awarded, but it is rare in such cases. This is used to punish the wrongdoer for their misconduct and requires them to provide additional compensation. To qualify, you will need to prove that the defendant exhibited willful misconduct, gross negligence, fraud, or malice.
Which Is Safer: Uber or Lyft?
It can be difficult to determine which rideshare company is more reliable. Uber and Lyft have both released safety reports to the public. However, the information provided focuses on data from 2017 to 2020, meaning that we would have to take a look at outdated facts when comparing the two to one another.
According to Uber’s 2019 to 2020 safety report, the rideshare company has faced some issues in regards to fatal rideshare accidents, physical assault, and sexual assault. The list below will go over the statistics for motor vehicle deaths:
- 91 fatal Uber accidents resulted in the loss of 101 individual deaths.
- 32 percent of fatalities involved a speeding driver and 91 percent of them were third-party drivers.
- 23 percent of deaths were caused by an impaired driver and 100 percent were from third-party drivers.
- 15 percent occurred due to a driver going the wrong way and 100 percent of those who did this were third-party drivers.
- 13 percent of occupant fatalities were unbuckled third-party drivers.
- 15 percent of occupant fatalities were unbuckled drivers who were using Uber’s rideshare services.
- 42 percent of deaths involved non-motorized road users; 64 percent were pedestrians, 29 percent were motorcyclists, and 7 percent were bicyclists or e-scooter riders.
From 2019 to 2020, the rideshare company had a total of 19 physical assault cases reported. Thirty-two fatalities occurred in which 75 percent were riders using the Uber app and 25 percent were rideshare drivers.
For sexual assault reports, the rideshare company had 3,824 cases of sexual assault, which is an 18 percent decrease compared to 5,981 back in 2017 to 2018. Uber claims that this impact could have been due to a combination of reasons, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and their efforts of improving safety and transparency. They conclude their findings by mentioning how 43 percent of riders were accused of committing sexual assault, and that it was similar to the results shared in their first report.
Lyft’s 2017 to 2019 safety report provided the following details:
- A total of 105 motor vehicle fatalities,
- 10 deadly physical assault reports, and
- 4,158 sexual assault cases within the two year time-frame.
Our Bakersfield Rideshare Accident Lawyers Are Always Here to Help
If you were involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Bakersfield, you may be eligible to sue the at-fault party to recover compensation. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our skilled Bakersfield rideshare accident attorneys are available 24/7 to assess your personal injury claim. From there, we will determine whether we should move forward with the lawsuit. If so, we will develop an effective plan to ensure you get a fair settlement.
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