Have you ever been a passenger in a California rideshare accident? Here's how it goes.
In the moments before the accident, you and your friends are zipping happily down a California city street in your Uber. But in a split second, everything changes. The Uber accident happens so fast, you don’t even have time to react.
Your Uber driver tries to make a fast left turn on a fading yellow light, and the last thing you remember is seeing a speeding car coming straight at your side window. You wake up in the hospital thanking your lucky stars you’re alive. And good news, your friends are all alive too.
Slowly you realize you have a fractured collarbone, a broken wrist, a broken leg, and a bad concussion. Your doctors say you’ll recover, but it will take a while. You head home to a new normal where you struggle to do daily activities like brushing your teeth and changing your clothes.
There’s no way you can work, so you have no income rolling in. Soon you receive an envelope from the hospital containing your bill. It’s almost $50,000!
It sure seems like someone else should pay that bill, right? You wonder if maybe your car insurance will take care of it, or the Uber driver’s insurance, or Uber itself. Who will cover the costs of an accident where you were merely the passenger?
An Uber or Lyft accident as a passenger is scary and confusing. Although every crash is unique, Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers can provide some general insight into how insurance works and how you can hold someone liable for what happened.
First of all, if you weren’t the driver and it wasn’t your own car, your auto insurance almost certainly won’t be involved. You’ll need to look to the rideshare company’s and/or the Uber driver’s insurance company for compensation.
Uber and Lyft drivers are required to have auto insurance. Drivers usually arrange it through one of the rideshare companies’ partner policies from Allstate, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and many others. However, these policies don’t guarantee coverage for rideshare passengers. Coverage depends on the circumstances and you’ll discover that the insurance companies often try to wriggle out of paying Uber and Lyft passenger injury claims.
But here’s some great news. In June 2020, California’s new gig work law, AB 5, made it easier for accident victims to sue rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. AB 5 calls rideshare drivers “presumed employees,” putting pressure on rideshare companies to take responsibility for their drivers’ accidents.
Uber and Lyft drivers might be presumed employees, but they’re only on the clock at certain times. Before the passage of AB 5, when an Uber driver’s app was off, coverage defaulted to their personal car insurance. When the app was on and they were waiting to accept a request, Uber liability coverage was triggered. While a passenger was on board, Uber provided a higher level of coverage.
Under the previously-established law, called AB 2293, Uber was required to cover drivers when the app was active, not just when a driver had accepted or was actively carrying a passenger. It also required rideshare companies to hold liability policies of $1 million in the event of an accident injuring someone.
Now, with the passage of AB 5, we’re in new and somewhat uncharted waters. Either the Uber driver’s insurance or Uber’s own insurance should kick in to provide coverage, but there will likely be some heated legal battles fought over Uber passenger injury claims.
This is a great question. Sometimes both drivers are at fault, but of course, the passenger can’t control anything about how fault is assigned.
Let’s say you’re part of a Lyft passenger injury claim where the police have concluded that both drivers are at fault. As the passenger, you’re now caught in the middle between two insurance companies - the Lyft insurance and the other driver’s individual insurance. Ideally, you could recover proceeds from both Lyft’s liability policy and the other driver’s liability policy, but you’ll need to make two separate claims.
Confused? You’re not alone. Any experienced rideshare accident attorney has seen plenty of clients just like you, caught in the crossfire as an innocent passenger in a complex accident claim.
Plus, there’s always the added confusion of what happens when there are multiple passengers. Now you and your friends are all making claims. There’s probably a dollar-value maximum limit to the insurance policies, which means you’ll be battling your own friends over a limited pool of funds.
Here’s another headache to consider: an uninsured driver. You should be able to take advantage of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), but California law does not allow you to “stack” the amount of money you receive from a UIM claim on top of a third-party liability policy.
Clear as mud? We understand that it’s hard to grasp how all of this insurance stuff works. That’s why Sally Morin Law is here to lend a helping hand after your Lyft or Uber passenger accident. If you’re a rideshare passenger who has severe injuries from an accident, contact us right away.
You need an experienced Uber accident personal injury attorney to help you navigate the process and make sure that the insurance companies don’t leave you hanging in the middle. Contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers for your FREE online rideshare accident case evaluation now.
Motorcyclist hit by an Uber driver
Last year I was in a serious Motorcycle accident that was not my fault. Beyond the initial emergency room visit, I required surgery and months of rehab. All in all, my left leg will probably never reach 100%. It has been a stressful and scary year. But one of the comforts through it all has been the services that Sally Morin provided.
While I was focused on my health, she was taking care of everything else. And in the end she got the other drivers' insurance company to settle at an amount that was substantial enough to cover the pain and suffering I had incurred as well ease my worries about paying for any future care related to the accident.
She even got the medical collections to decrease my balance due by thousands. I was skeptical to hire a lawyer off of YELP, but in the end it was the best thing I could have done.
Experience a serious Uber or Lyft accident?
Visit our Uber Accidents Help Page to learn more about how the personal injury process works.
The moral of this story is that being involved in an LA Uber or rideshare accident can become quite complicated. Even more so when there are multiple people making personal injury claims with multiple insurance companies involved. You need an experienced Uber accident personal injury attorney to help you navigate the process and make sure that the insurance companies do not leave you hanging in the middle. Contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers: Los Angeles for your FREE online Uber accident case evaluation now to see if we can help with your Uber accident claim or Lyft injury claim.