Irvine Rideshare Accident Attorney
Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have become popular alternatives to public transportation and taxi services in the Irvine area and throughout the country. These services offer accessible and affordable transportation to passengers and a simple and often enjoyable way for drivers to earn extra income. However, despite the convenience that rideshare services offer, accidents involving rideshare drivers can be very difficult to resolve.
Legal Counsel for Irvine, CA, Rideshare Accident Claims
California enforces a fault system for vehicle accident cases, meaning the driver responsible for causing the accident is liable for any resulting damages. However, liability for a motor vehicle accident isn’t always clear, and it’s vital to assess fault before filing an insurance claim for a recent accident. Additionally, you will face different legal proceedings depending on whether you were driving when your accident happened or if you were a passenger of a rideshare service.
Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys has a team of experienced Irvine rideshare accident lawyers with years of experience handling complex vehicle accident claims in southern California. We know how challenging it can be to secure a fair insurance settlement after an accident, especially when it involves a rideshare company. While modern rideshare services must have insurance protection for their drivers and passengers, there are strict limitations to their coverage. Therefore, navigating the legal proceedings necessary to recover from your accident will be much easier with an experienced lawyer.
Why You Need an Irvine Rideshare Accident Lawyer
You might think that if liability for your recent rideshare accident is clear, you should have minimal trouble ensuring accountability for the at-fault driver. The reality is that many car accidents are more complicated than they seem, raising complex questions of liability that influence subsequent insurance claims and civil court proceedings. Attempting to manage the procedural aspects of any rideshare accident case while handling the medical issues resulting from your injuries would be incredibly difficult on your own.
Working with an experienced Irvine rideshare accident attorney means you can recover with the reassurance of knowing your case is in trustworthy hands. Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys has the professional resources and experience necessary to ensure your case meets all procedural requirements with insurance carriers and the civil court system if you must pursue a personal injury claim. Insurance is likely to be your primary point of recovery after a rideshare accident, and the liability coverage offered by Uber and Lyft is substantial. However, dealing with any insurance company will be much easier with an attorney representing you, especially when you seek extensive compensation for severe damages.
Ultimately, you have the best chance of successfully recovering from your accident as fully as state law allows with an Irvine rideshare accident attorney on your side. You are also more likely to maximize your final recovery. Dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy, especially with complex policies like those held by leading rideshare service providers. When you need assistance with your insurance claim after a rideshare accident, or if you must file a personal injury claim to fully recover your losses, Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys is ready to provide the comprehensive legal counsel you need to approach your case with confidence.
Commonly Reported Causes of Vehicle Accidents in California
In California, it’s necessary to determine fault for an auto accident before proceeding with an insurance claim. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a rideshare accident recently, you must determine who is responsible before you can file a claim for coverage. Uber and Lyft are legally required to have auto insurance that functions differently under certain conditions. Some of the most commonly reported causes of rideshare accidents that generate complex insurance claims and personal injury disputes include:
- Speeding. It is illegal for drivers to exceed posted speed limits in California, and doing so dramatically reduces the time and distance a driver may have to avoid a collision.
- Distracted driving. All drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles attentively at all times. Unfortunately, a few seconds of distracted driving is enough to result in devastating injuries.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and alcohol. This is a serious criminal offense in California. For example, if an impaired driver causes a rideshare accident in Irvine, CA, they face prosecution in addition to liability for civil damages they caused to others.
- Moving violations, such as illegal turns and running red lights. These actions can startle other drivers and disrupt traffic flow, easily resulting in collisions.
No matter how your recent rideshare accident occurred, it’s vital to determine who caused it so you can hold them accountable for any damages you sustained. If you were riding as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you likely have grounds for an insurance claim against the rideshare company’s liability insurance regardless of whether your driver or a third party caused the accident. If you were driving your own vehicle and a rideshare driver hit you, the rideshare company’s insurance may apply depending on whether the rideshare driver was waiting for a ride request, on their way to pick up a passenger, or transporting a passenger to their destination.
Insurance for Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accidents in California
In California, all drivers must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. Every auto insurance policy must offer bodily injury liability coverage for a single person injured in an accident caused by the policyholder, as well as bodily injury liability coverage for all persons injured in an accident caused by the policyholder. Additionally, an auto insurance policy must include property damage liability coverage. In California, the minimum coverage amounts for these three forms of liability coverage are $15,000, $30,000, and $5,000, respectively.
While not legally required, drivers are strongly encouraged to purchase additional coverage for accidents involving an underinsured or uninsured motorist. California has a very high volume of uninsured and underinsured drivers, and this form of coverage would allow you to claim against your own policy when an at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance coverage to fully compensate your losses.
After nationwide pressure to provide greater customer protection, rideshare companies have been compelled to maintain expansive insurance policies to protect their drivers and riders. All drivers who work for Uber and Lyft in California must have their auto insurance policies and maintain coverage to be eligible to drive for rideshare services. This coverage applies when they are not logged into their Driver apps or are using their vehicle for personal reasons. Once a rideshare driver has marked themselves as available for a ride request, the rideshare company’s insurance protection expands to the first tier of coverage. After the driver accepts a ride request, the second tier of rideshare insurance coverage applies until they deliver their passenger to their destination.
The first tier of insurance coverage offered by Uber and Lyft applies as third-party liability coverage and offers $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, up to $100,000 in total accident bodily liability coverage, and up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. The second tier of insurance coverage extends to $1 million in third-party liability coverage. Once a victim has exhausted their other insurance coverage options from a rideshare accident, this tier of protection would compensate for any remaining losses.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Rideshare Accident
While the insurance coverage offered by Uber and Lyft may seem like more than enough to cover the total cost of a serious rideshare accident’s damages, the reality is that most insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying out on claims. No matter how clear the fault may be for your recent rideshare accident in Irvine, CA, you may not be able to rely on auto insurance alone to recover from your damages.
After your Irvine rideshare accident lawyer has helped you exhaust your recovery options through insurance, you may have grounds to proceed with a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for causing your accident. Success with a personal injury suit requires proving all the damages you incurred from the incident in question and then proving the defendant you have named in your suit directly caused those damages.
Claimable Damages in a California Personal Injury Case
California’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff to seek full compensation for all economic losses suffered due to a defendant’s intentional misconduct or failure to act with reasonable care. Your Irvine rideshare accident lawyer can assist you in securing compensation for your medical expenses and property damage through available insurance coverage. The remaining losses not covered by insurance must be recovered through the personal injury claim process. In California, economic damages listed in personal injury complaints typically include:
- Medical treatment costs for the victim to heal from their injury and manage their symptoms in recovery. Some personal injury victims experience persistent complications from their injuries that demand ongoing treatment. Others develop lifelong disabilities that may interfere with their ability to work and live independently. You have the right to hold the defendant in your claim accountable for immediate medical expenses following your rideshare accident and compensation for your anticipated future medical treatment costs.
- Lost income and lost future earning capacity. If the rideshare accident you recently experienced forced you to miss work while you recovered from your injuries, you can hold the defendant accountable for income lost during your recovery and the value of any paid time off you were forced to use at work. If you cannot go back to your job or cannot work at all in the future due to the severity of your injuries, the defendant could be liable for your lost future earning potential as well. An experienced attorney can help you calculate the future income you would have reasonably expected to earn if your accident hadn’t happened and include this amount as economic damages in your claim.
- Property damage. If your vehicle or other personal property was damaged or destroyed in your accident, you could seek repair or replacement costs through a personal injury claim.
The average person with minimal legal experience should be able to calculate immediately recognizable damages like vehicle repair costs and hospital bills, but they may undervalue their claim until they secure reliable legal counsel to assist them.
Along with these economic damages, personal injury claim plaintiffs in California also have the right to seek compensation for non-economic damages. While pain and suffering may sound ambiguous and difficult to quantify in monetary terms, modern personal injury attorneys have various methods they can use to calculate reasonable pain and suffering compensation for a client. In addition, the amount claimed in pain and suffering should reflect the severity of the plaintiff’s condition following the effects of the defendant’s actions, so plaintiffs who suffer catastrophic life-changing injuries are likely to secure substantial pain and suffering compensation.
When a plaintiff is likely to recover from their injuries in a relatively short time, their attorney may seek per diem pain and suffering compensation that awards a set amount every day until the plaintiff fully recovers. Alternatively, if the plaintiff faces lifelong disabilities and a diminished quality of life due to the defendant’s actions, their attorney may seek a large lump sum calculated by multiplying the plaintiff’s economic damages by a factor of one to five, or even more if the attorney deems it reasonable given the severity of their client’s damages.
When a personal injury case goes to trial, and the judge determines the defendant’s actions exceeded the scope of typical negligence, or if the defendant engaged in any illegal behavior that resulted in the rideshare accident in question, the judge may add punitive damages to the final ruling, increasing the plaintiff’s final recovery while penalizing the defendant’s behavior. Your Irvine rideshare accident lawyer can advise you as to whether any such variables are likely to come into play as your case unfolds.
What to Expect From Irvine Rideshare Accident Lawyers
When you choose Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys to represent you in a rideshare accident claim, you can expect compassionate and personalized legal counsel through all phases of your recovery efforts. We can assist you in filing any necessary insurance claims to secure compensation for your losses as quickly as possible after your accident. When a rideshare accident case raises difficult questions of liability or when a defendant accuses a plaintiff of comparative negligence, we can help our client address these issues and develop comprehensive legal strategies for navigating their cases effectively.
Our goal in every case we accept is to help our client feel more comfortable with their legal proceedings and clarify any uncertainties they may have about their recovery options. In addition, we strive to help every client recover as much compensation as state law permits and take time to address each client’s needs and concerns as we guide them through their case proceedings.
Q: Can You Sue a Rideshare Company for an Accident?
A: Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have invested heavily in liability coverage for their drivers and passengers. Most accidents can be resolved through insurance claims and personal injury actions against the specific parties responsible for causing these incidents. Rideshare drivers are independent contractors, so rideshare companies are not responsible for their actions. Once an accident victim has exhausted the rideshare company’s insurance, they would need to take further legal action directly against the party responsible for the accident.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Rideshare Accident Case?
A: Navigating complex insurance claims after any vehicle accident can be a tedious and stressful process. However, most auto insurance claims filed in California can be resolved within a few weeks of filing. Your Irvine rideshare accident lawyer can estimate the time it will take to secure an insurance claim settlement, and if your case must proceed with a personal injury claim, they can offer a likely timeline for this as well.
Q: What Happens If I’m Partially at Fault for a Rideshare Accident?
A: California upholds a pure comparative negligence statute, meaning a plaintiff can lose a percentage of their case award from a personal injury claim if they bear partial responsibility for causing their damages. If a plaintiff in a rideshare accident claim bears partial fault for the accident, this could result in a diminished insurance claim settlement, loss of a percentage of their personal injury case award, or both.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring an Irvine Rideshare Accident Lawyer?
A: It is always worth investing in legal counsel you can trust, especially if you have sustained a severe personal injury and face extensive damages. You will most likely win your civil claim and maximize your recovery when you have experienced legal representation handling your case. In addition, the sooner you connect with a reliable Irvine rideshare accident attorney, the sooner they can begin working on your case.
Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys understands the frustration and uncertainty that can follow any motor vehicle accident, especially one as potentially complex as a rideshare accident claim. Whether you are unsure about liability for your recent rideshare accident, you need help filing an insurance claim, or if you believe a specific party bears fault for the damages that insurance can’t cover, we can help. To speak with an experienced Irvine rideshare accident attorney about your legal options, contact Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys today and schedule your consultation and learn more about the legal services we offer.
Irvine Practice Areas
- Irvine Personal Injury Lawyer
- Irvine Car Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Truck Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Irvine Dog Bite Lawyer
- Irvine Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Irvine Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Rideshare Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
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