San Bernardino Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney
San Bernardino Rideshare Accidents
Important Facts to Know About Uber & Lyft Accidents in San Bernardino Rideshare services are now ubiquitous in San Bernardino, California. Several services are available and widely used by the city’s residents, the most popular being Uber and Lyft. Do you not have a car? Is your car in the shop? Did you have a few too many drinks? All you have to do is download a mobile phone application, and you can be on your way in less time than it takes for a taxi and at a reduced cost.
Ridesharing seems like a dream, but this is not always the case for every rider. Although Uber and Lyft drivers are rigorously vetted, they are not immune from making mistakes and getting into accidents. Because these accidents involve large companies and independent contractors who often work long hours, they can be complex and require the help of a good personal injury lawyer.
In fact, these types of accidents have become so difficult to navigate for the average resident of San Bernardino, that specialists are now available to assist: the Uber accident lawyer and the Lyft accident lawyer. West Coast Trial Lawyers have both available and will work diligently to get you the full compensation you deserve.What Are Uber and Lyft?
Uber and Lyft are the two most popular ridesharing companies in San Bernardino and across the country. Although both taxis and rideshares, legally known as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the two types of services hold several important differences:
- Rideshare drivers may pick and choose whom they accept as riders.
- Uber and Lyft drivers operate private vehicles and are responsible for all costs, including maintenance and fuel.
- The vehicles used in TNCs are not required to have obviously visible signage or displays.
- Uber and Lyft operators may work at any time they desire.
Another important difference between TNCs and taxis is that taxis are required to have commercial insurance policies that remain effective at all times, while rideshare drivers have both private and company auto insurance. Which one is in effect at the time of an accident depends on the specific situation of the driver.Uber and Lyft Auto Insurance
Depending on the status of the particular Uber or Lyft driver at the time of an accident, victims may be covered by either the driver’s personal auto insurance or the TNCs company auto insurance. This important distinction makes cases confusing, and an accident victim is recommended to use a reliable personal injury lawyer in San Bernardino to navigate the system.
In California, Uber and Lyft drivers only need the minimum level of personal auto insurance to pick up and transport passengers. This minimum level is known as 15/30/5 insurance and provides the following coverage:
- $15,000 in damages per person for personal injuries
- $30,000 in total damages for injuries
- $5,000 for damage to other vehicles and property
Uber auto-insurance coverage varies by what have become known as periods. In each period, a different coverage may be in place.
- Period 0 – This period is for downtime when not on the job. When the driver is not on the job, and his or her app is turned off, Uber and Lyft will not provide coverage of any sort. If you are in an accident with a driver at this time, only personal auto insurance is in effect.
- Period 1 – Period 1 occurs when the driver is logged into the Uber or Lyft app but has yet to accept a rider. At this time, coverage is provided by the company at $50,000 per person for injuries, $100,000 in total damages for injuries and $25,000 for property damage (50/100/25), with no deductibles.
- Period 2 – During Period 2, the driver has accepted a ride request and is on the way to the pick-up location. Coverage is provided by Uber or Lyft up to a total liability of $1 million.
- Period 3 – Period 3 is when the driver has one or more passengers in the vehicle and is transporting them to their end destinations. During this period, the driver is also covered by the company up to a total liability of $1 million in damages plus damage to the driver’s vehicle, and it includes uninsured motorist coverage.
You should receive compensation for damages sustained in an Uber or Lyft accident whether you were the passenger in the rideshare vehicle or in another vehicle that was hit by the TNC driver. The only caveat is that the rideshare driver must be totally or partially at fault for the collision. One problem with this is that Uber and Lyft will fight diligently to show that you were at least partially to blame. This is yet another reason why it can be beneficial to hire a personal injury lawyer in San Bernardino.
Liability in California is based on negligence, which determines who caused the harm in the accident and how much harm was sustained. Drivers are negligent when they take careless actions or engage in reckless behavior. If the rideshare driver broke the law, liability may be a simple determination.A few examples of negligent behavior include the following:
- Reckless driving
- Running traffic-control devices, such as stop signs and lights
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Distracted driving
Even after showing that the driver was negligent in the accident, it still must be shown that the negligence was the cause of any injuries or property damage.Possible Damages in Auto Accidents
Uber and Lyft are out to make as much money as possible under U.S. law, so in many cases they will try to give you the bare minimum compensation solely to cover medical expenses; however, you may be able to receive much more compensation if you consult a personal injury lawyer in San Bernardino.
Damages can include much more than medical expenses alone. After all, being injured in a traumatic car accident may affect other areas of your life, including your ability to work. Damages may include:
In some cases, a court may also award punitive damages. This is rare and usually only occurs in cases of recklessness, fraud or deliberately negligent actions. If you are the spouse or child of someone who is killed in an Uber or Lyft accident, damages may include future financial losses, funeral costs and loss of companionship or support.West Coast Trial Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered because of an Uber or Lyft accident in San Bernardino, contact the reliable attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers. We will help you receive the compensation you deserve for any damages sustained in a rideshare crash.
We will also provide you with a free consultation when you call (888) 979-9356, email us at [email protected], or complete the form below.