San Bernardino Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
What Is the Difference Between Uber and Lyft?
Rideshare services are now ubiquitous in San Bernardino. 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 to your destination 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.
At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Bernardino Uber and Lyft accident attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of winning more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we have been acknowledged as one of the top personal injury law firms in San Bernardino.
To schedule a free consultation at our San Bernardino personal injury law firm, please contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (888) 979-9356 or emailing [email protected].
Uber and Lyft
Uber and Lyft are the two most popular ridesharing companies in San Bernardino. 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.
An 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
- Period 0 – A driver’s app is off. Any accident that takes place during this time will have to be covered by the driver’s personal auto insurance.
- Period 1– A driver is online and waiting for a request. If an accident occurs during this period, Uber and Lyft will provide $50,000 in bodily injury per person/$100,000 in bodily injury per accident/$25,000 in property damage per accident if your personal insurance does not apply.
- Period 2 – A driver is either picking up or dropping off a passenger. If an accident occurs during this period, then Uber and Lyft will provide $1,000,000 for third party liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of the vehicle ($2,500 deductible).
Liability in an Uber or Lyft Accident
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
- Ignoring traffic lights and signs
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving, such as texting and driving
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 rideshare 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. To defend yourself from a situation like this, it would be ideal to contact an experienced San Bernardino Uber and Lyft accident attorney. They will negotiate with insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
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 accident may affect other areas of your life, including your ability to work. Economic and non-economic damages may be granted to a victim of an Uber and Lyft accident. Recoverable compensation may include the following:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Property Damage
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Emotional Distress
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.
If you or a loved one has suffered because of an Uber or Lyft accident, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced San Bernardino personal injury attorneys who will get you the compensation and justice you deserve.
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