You can book an Uber or Lyft and expect a great experience. Yet, an Uber or Lyft accident can occur at any time. If you suffer an injury in a rideshare accident, you can seek damages from anyone responsible for it. 

At Moody Law, we understand the challenges of Uber & Lyft accidents. If you need legal help after a rideshare accident, reach out to us. Our rideshare accident attorney can review your case right away. 

What You Need to Know About Uber, Lyft, and Other Ridesharing Services

Research suggests the global rideshare market is growing. Uber and Lyft are two of the biggest rideshare companies. They offer rideshare services in cities and towns across the United States and make it easy for people to book trips using their mobile devices. 

You can schedule a rideshare to take you virtually anywhere you want to go. When you do, you probably expect the driver to pick you up on time and safely bring you to your final destination. Even though this is the ideal rideshare experience, a driver can cause an accident.

For those who are injured in a rideshare accident, you may be able to seek damages from the driver and rideshare company. To determine the at-fault parties in a rideshare accident, meet with an attorney. You can discuss your case with a rideshare accident lawyer that can help you identify the at-fault parties and pursue damages from them. 

There Are Minimal Requirements to Drive for Uber

One of the best things about Uber is its accessibility. The rideshare service enables anyone with a smartphone or tablet to book a trip 24/7. At the same time, Uber allows nearly anyone with a valid driver’s license to drive for them. 

In addition to having a license to drive, there are several other requirements to become an Uber driver. These include:

  • A driver must have at least one year of licensed driving in the United States. 
  • A driver must operate an eligible four-door vehicle. 
  • A driver must provide a copy of their driver’s license, proof of residency, proof of vehicle insurance, and a profile photo. 

There can be times when an unauthorized driver is working for Uber. If this driver causes an accident and injuries, this individual can be held responsible. In this scenario, anyone injured in the accident can consult with an Uber accident lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and Uber. 

Lyft Has Few Requirements for Its Drivers

Like Uber, Lyft wants to make it simple for people to drive for the company. To become a Lyft rideshare driver, a driver must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Undergo a criminal background check and review of their driving history. 
  • Provide insurance and vehicle registration documents (in some regions, a driver must provide proof of vehicle inspection as well)
  • Own a four-door vehicle or rent one through Lyft’s Express Drive program

It does not take long to become a Lyft driver. Once a person starts driving for Lyft, they can earn as much as they choose. On the other hand, an unauthorized driver may slip through the cracks of Lyft’s requirements, which creates significant risk. 

If you suffer an injury as the result of the actions of an unauthorized Lyft driver, legal help is available. You can partner with a Lyft accident lawyer that knows how to deal with motor vehicle accident lawsuits. The lawyer can examine the facts of your case and help you determine if now is the right time to file a lawsuit. 

Why Uber and Lyft Accidents Take Place in California

When you travel by Uber or Lyft, you put your life in the hands of the driver. It is a rideshare driver’s responsibility to proceed with caution. However, even an experienced rideshare driver can cause an accident.

There are many reasons why Uber and Lyft accidents happen, such as:

Distracted Driving

An Uber or Lyft driver may constantly look down at their phone. Or, the driver may frequently adjust their GPS. In either of these scenarios, the driver is not focused on what is most important: navigating the roads safely. 

The risk of a car accident increases if a driver is distracted. An Uber or Lyft driver that takes their eyes off the road is susceptible to accidents. If a distracted rideshare driver causes an accident, they can be held financially responsible for their negligence. 

Rideshare accident lawyers help people involved in accidents caused by distracted drivers. Initially, an attorney looks at how a rideshare accident happened and who is responsible for it. If the at-fault party is a distracted driver, our Lyft accident lawyers will encourage their client to request the most damages possible from this individual. 

Intoxicated Driving

You may trust an Uber or Lyft driver to avoid operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Regardless, you have no way of knowing if a driver is intoxicated when you book an Uber or Lyft. In the worst-case scenario, you may inadvertently get into an Uber or Lyft driven by an intoxicated motorist and be involved in an accident. 

Following an Uber or Lyft accident, police may arrive on the scene and test the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. California law states it is illegal for a driver over the age of 21 to have a BAC of 0.08% or higher. If an Uber or Lyft driver’s BAC is higher than the legal limit, the consequences can be severe. 

A rideshare accident lawyer can help you pursue damages from an intoxicated driver that caused your accident and injury. The attorney will make sure you gather sufficient evidence to support your request for damages. From here, your lawyer will ensure that you present a compelling argument that positions you to secure 100% of the damages you request. 

Inexperienced Driver

Driving for Uber or Lyft versus driving by yourself are two very different things. A driver may feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel when they travel on their own. Comparatively, an Uber or Lyft driver may struggle to stay focused as they try to accommodate passengers’ requests.

If a rideshare driver feels stressed or anxious behind the wheel, they may be increasingly prone to mistakes. On top of that, a rideshare driver may feel the need to rush, which may lead them to speed and ignore other regulations. Ultimately, inexperienced rideshare drivers are susceptible to these mistakes and many others that can result in accidents. 

Rideshare accident attorneys do not tolerate inexperience as an excuse for an Uber or Lyft accident and injury. If you have an experienced attorney at your side, you are well equipped to present a strong argument that shows a rideshare driver’s lack of experience contributed to your accident and injury. Your attorney may help you get damages you can use to recover from your accident and injury and move past them. 

Driving While Drowsy

Both Uber and Lyft have 12-hour driving limits. A driver must take at least a six-hour break for every 12 hours they are driving. These limits promote safety, but they are not foolproof.  

For example, a driver can work as an independent contractor for Uber and Lyft. This means a driver can spend six hours driving for one rideshare company. Following this shift, they can instantly move on to a six-hour shift with the other rideshare company. 

Rideshare drivers can feel drowsy if they spend long periods of time working. As a rideshare driver becomes exhausted, they can lose focus. This can lead to delayed reaction times and other driver issues that result in accidents.

Lyft and Uber accident lawyers are available to help people involved in accidents that occur for any of the aforementioned reasons or many others. Your attorney will work diligently to help you get damages from any at-fault parties. Plus, your lawyer will help you resolve your case in as little time as possible. 

What to Do If You Are Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident in California

If you are involved in a rideshare accident, try to remain calm, cool, and collected. Here are things you can do to respond to the accident and get the help you need immediately. 

Make Sure Everyone Involved in the Accident Is OK

Ensure your rideshare driver moves their vehicle to the side of the road or another safe spot away from traffic. Call 911 to report the accident as well. When you do, medical personnel and police officers will arrive on the scene. 

Meet with medical personnel to discuss the accident and any pain you are experiencing. Medical professionals can evaluate you and bring you to an emergency room for additional help as needed. They can also take down information about your condition and any injuries you have incurred. 

Along with meeting with medical personnel, discuss your accident with police officers. Give the officers as much information as you can about the accident. The officers can put together an accident report that may be used as evidence if your case goes to trial. 

Get Contact Information from Everyone Involved in Your Accident

Request your Uber driver’s full name, phone number, and other contact information. Also, get the contact information of the other motorist involved in the accident. You can look for witnesses and get their contact information as well. 

Taking a few minutes to collect the contact information from everyone at the accident scene can make a difference in an Uber or Lyft accident case. For example, Uber or Lyft accident attorneys will request accident witnesses testify on a plaintiff’s behalf during a trial. To connect with witnesses, you will need their contact information. 

You may be asked to share your contact information, too. If this happens, you can provide information about yourself. Keep in mind that you may receive a settlement offer in the days after your accident but are under no obligation to accept it. 

Consult with a Rideshare Accident Attorney

Set up a date and time to discuss your accident with an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer. This gives you an opportunity to share details about your accident with an attorney and find out how they can help you. If the lawyer finds you have a valid claim, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf. 

In many rideshare accidents in California, a two-year statute of limitations applies. Per this statute, you have up to two years from the date that a personal injury occurs to seek damages from anyone responsible for it. If you discover your personal injury after two years, you have up to one year from this date to pursue damages.

Lyft and Uber accident attorneys will encourage their clients to ask for an appropriate amount of damages. The amount of damages to pursue in a rideshare accident case varies. Your lawyer can examine the current costs of your accident and any projected expenses to help you request adequate compensation from any at-fault parties. 

What to Request in Damages in a California Uber and Lyft Accident Case  

You can pursue economic and non-economic damages in a rideshare accident personal injury case. Economic damages are related to medical bills, lost wages, and other objective losses you incur. Non-economic damages are difficult to quantify since they relate to pain, suffering, and other subjective losses. 

There are no caps on the damages you can ask for in a personal injury lawsuit in California. Therefore, you can request any amount of compensation from any negligent parties. To decide on how much money to request, it pays to partner with a Lyft and Uber accident attorney. 

Your lawyer helps you calculate your rideshare accident damages thus far and evaluate any expenses you may encounter in the near future. This total can reach tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. No matter how much you seek in damages, your lawyer does everything in their power to help you secure this amount.

How a Defendant May Respond to an Uber and Lyft Accident Lawsuit

An at-fault party may be surprised that you are seeking damages from them following a rideshare accident. The party may believe they are not responsible for your accident and injury. This may lead the party to hire an attorney to contest your claim. 

Alternatively, an individual may have concerns about your request for damages due to the fact that there may be a wealth of evidence against them. In this situation, the defendant in your case may be inclined to settle. If you accept a settlement proposal, the defendant may only need to pay a fraction of the damages you originally requested. 

The defendant in your case can offer you a settlement at any point prior to your trial. If you get a settlement offer, review it with your attorney. You and your lawyer can examine what can happen if you accept, reject, or counter a settlement proposal. 

What to Do with a Settlement Offer in a Rideshare Accident Case

By reviewing a settlement offer with your attorney, you can get insights into the short- and long-term ramifications of any decision you make regarding the proposal. Your lawyer will encourage you to consider how accepting a settlement offer will impact your finances. Meanwhile, your attorney will urge you to decline any settlement that does not line up with your expectations. 

You must make the final decision on a settlement proposal. It is in your best interests to take as much time as you need to assess a settlement offer. This ensures you can make a decision that makes you feel comfortable. 

If you want to reject a settlement, you should have no qualms about doing so. Your lawyer can notify the defendant if you decline a settlement. Next, your attorney will help you stay focused on what is most important: getting the best possible case result. 

How an Uber or Lyft Rideshare Accident Case Gets Resolved During a Trial

If you and the defendant cannot reach a settlement prior to a trial date, your case is presented in court. During your trial, both you and the defendant can explain your side of what happened during the rideshare accident. Your respective lawyers will present evidence and explain why the court should rule in their client’s favor. 

The court is responsible for considering the views of all parties involved in your rideshare accident case. It may take several hours or days for you and the defendant to make your case in court. After your proceedings are finished, the court will make a decision. 

If the court finds the defendant in your case is fully responsible for your Uber or Lyft accident and injury, you will be awarded damages. The court will notify both you and the defendant about its decision. Finally, the defendant is required to pay damages, and your case is closed as soon as you receive your compensation. 

Move Forward with a California Rideshare Accident Lawsuit

Moody Law is ready to help you file your rideshare accident lawsuit and take the first step toward securing damages. For more information or to request a consultation, please get in touch with us.