Providing Legal Counsel to San Diego Rideshare Accident Victims
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become a popular alternative to public transportation and taxi services throughout southern California, allowing app users to summon drivers on demand when they need rides throughout San Diego. While these rideshare services provide an accessible and affordable transportation option to customers and help some people make extra cash as drivers, it’s just as likely for anyone to experience a rideshare accident as they would any other car accident. However, rideshare accidents tend to generate more complex questions of liability and often lead to complicated insurance claims and recovery processes for victims.
Were You Injured While Riding an Uber or Lyft in San Diego, CA?
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to an Uber or Lyft accident in San Diego, you likely have many questions when it comes to your rights and legal options for recovering your losses. Unfortunately, navigating the complex insurance claim process is also incredibly difficult, even in seemingly straightforward claims. While rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft must offer insurance coverage to drivers and riders who experience accidents, the actual process of securing compensation for a rideshare accident is much more complex than most people realize. As a result, you may have trouble obtaining fair compensation for your damages without the assistance of an experienced San Diego rideshare accident attorney.
Why You Need a San Diego Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Navigating any civil claim without legal representation is more difficult than most people expect, especially when they must also manage the aftermath of their accidents, such as painful injuries and the inability to work on their own. Hiring an attorney will provide peace of mind during a challenging time, allowing you and your family to focus on recovery, knowing your legal affairs are in capable and trustworthy hands.
Chris and Frank have years of experience handling complex San Diego personal injury claims covering a wide range of incidents, including rideshare accidents. We understand the challenges many rideshare accident victims face when securing compensation for their damages and take the time to get to know every client’s situation. In addition, we strive to provide individualized and responsive legal representation in every case we accept, helping our clients make confident and informed decisions about their cases through every stage of their proceedings.
Hiring the right San Diego rideshare accident lawyer will make it significantly easier to obtain the insurance coverage you deserve from the rideshare company. Chris and Frank will handle correspondence with the appropriate insurance carrier on your behalf and help you secure appropriate compensation from their coverage. In addition, when a rideshare company’s insurance cannot fully cover your damages, our team will help you explore further legal options, including a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for causing the accident. Ultimately, legal counsel you can trust means a better chance of winning your case and a better chance of maximizing your recovery to the fullest extent possible under California law.
Who Is Responsible for a Rideshare Accident?
Determining liability is a crucial step toward recovery after any motor vehicle accident in San Diego. For example, if you were riding as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, your driver may have caused the accident, or another third party may be to blame for your damages. An experienced San Diego rideshare accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence you may need to establish fault for your recent rideshare accident. This evidence may include:
- Eyewitness testimony from the people who saw the accident happen, including drivers and passengers directly involved, other drivers nearby, and bystanders.
- Cell phone records from the drivers involved in the crash. These records could help a plaintiff prove distracted driving.
- Traffic camera footage if any nearby cameras captured the accident as it occurred. Your attorney may also subpoena security camera footage from nearby businesses if their security cameras captured the accident.
- Vehicle computer data. All modern vehicles have internal computers that carefully record accident data, including the exact times a vehicle speeds up, slows down, and experiences a collision.
- The police report from the accident. California drivers have a legal duty to call 911 and report any car accident that causes substantial property damage, injuries, or death. When the police respond, they will conduct a preliminary investigation and create a report detailing their initial findings and statements taken from the individuals involved in the crash.
This evidence will help you and your San Diego rideshare accident attorney establish fault for the incident. The next step will be to calculate the full scope of your damages and determine the best way to secure compensation for those damages. After most rideshare accidents, the company’s insurance coverage would come into play, but you cannot always rely on this coverage to fully compensate substantial losses from a serious rideshare accident.
Handling Insurance Claims After a Rideshare Accident
As rideshare companies gained popularity throughout the US, public concern over liability for accidents involving rideshare companies grew and spurred legislators throughout the country to pass new laws dictating rideshare companies’ insurance requirements. Previously, rideshare companies denied liability for accidents their drivers caused, and drivers’ own auto insurance policies would come into play after accidents. Today, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft must carry auto insurance that meets specific coverage thresholds. However, this coverage functions differently based on when an accident occurs.
Uber and Lyft provide almost identical insurance policies that apply to drivers and passengers and, in some cases, bystanders injured in rideshare accidents. For example, whenever a rideshare driver is not logged into their driver app and not actively searching for ride requests, their own auto insurance policy would apply if they had an accident. However, the rideshare company’s limited tier of coverage applies if they are logged into the app and waiting for a ride request when an accident occurs. This tier of insurance offers third-party liability coverage when the driver’s own auto insurance doesn’t apply, and it provides up to $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, up to $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for everyone injured in a single accident, and up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Both Uber and Lyft offer their most expansive tier of insurance coverage when a driver has accepted a ride request and is on the way to pick up the passenger or transporting the passenger to their destination. This tier of coverage includes up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage, bodily injury liability coverage for an accident with an underinsured or uninsured motorist, and comprehensive and collision coverage up to the vehicle’s actual cash value with a $2,500 deductible.
The largest tier of rideshare insurance coverage provided by Uber and Lyft can apply to the rideshare driver, passenger, and bystanders injured in the accident. However, if you were injured while riding a rideshare as a passenger, there is no way to ensure you will receive the full coverage provided by the rideshare company’s insurance policy. If you suffered significant damages, you would likely need the help of a San Diego rideshare accident lawyer to help you explore your available legal options for maximizing your recovery as much as possible.
Taking Legal Action Beyond an Insurance Claim
Any motor vehicle accident is capable of causing devastating injuries to those involved. While rideshare accidents often provide victims the opportunity to collect substantial insurance settlements, securing a claim settlement is not always easy or straightforward, and your damages could eclipse the total coverage provided by the rideshare company’s insurance. A San Diego rideshare accident lawyer can be invaluable in helping you determine fault for the accident and holding the responsible party accountable for your damages.
Once your attorney has assisted you in identifying the party or parties responsible for your rideshare accident, they will help you hold them accountable with a personal injury claim. Every personal injury claim filed in California hinges on the plaintiff’s ability to prove a defendant was negligent in some way that directly resulted in the damages listed in the claim. Establishing negligence involves four components:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, such as the responsibility to refrain from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The defendant breached their duty of care in some way, such as speeding, driving recklessly, or using a cell phone while operating their vehicle.
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm. An experienced San Diego rideshare accident lawyer will help their client prove the full scope of their claimable damages.
- The plaintiff’s damages were the direct results of the defendant’s negligence. Therefore, the plaintiff and their attorney must prove the claimed damages would not have happened but for the defendant’s negligence.
Successfully establishing these components of negligence will increase the chances of the plaintiff obtaining compensation for their damages if insurance isn’t enough to cover the full range of their losses.
Personal Injury Damages in California
Any motor vehicle accident can result in various damages. A good San Diego rideshare accident lawyer will help their client review the total scope of the damages they can include in a personal injury claim, such as:
- Medical expenses, including those incurred immediately after an accident, and long-term treatment costs the victim incurs. For example, your rideshare accident may have caused severe injuries that require not only immediate emergency treatment but also ongoing therapy and rehabilitation until you reach maximum medical improvement.
- Lost income and lost earning potential. Injuries from a rideshare accident could leave you unable to work for an extended time. You have the right to recover the income lost due to your accident. In addition, if you become permanently disabled due to the defendant’s actions, your attorney can help you hold them accountable for your lost future earning capacity as well.
- Property damage. Plaintiffs in personal injury claims can recover repair and replacement costs for any property damaged or destroyed by the defendant’s actions.
- Pain and suffering. California’s personal injury laws allow plaintiffs to recover financial compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma resulting from others’ negligence. The amount received depends on whether the plaintiff will make a full recovery, the extent of their claimed economic damages, and the long-term impact they are likely to experience from their injuries.
It’s common for personal injury plaintiffs to significantly undervalue their claims at first until they consult experienced attorneys. The right San Diego rideshare accident lawyer can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of a rideshare accident case, often uncovering channels of compensation the plaintiff may not have known they could claim.
What to Expect From Your San Diego Rideshare Accident Attorney
When you choose Chris and Frank to represent you in a San Diego rideshare accident claim, you can expect personalized and compassionate legal counsel through every phase of your case. Our firm has years of experience handling a wide range of personal injury claims for clients throughout the San Diego, CA, area, and we know that no two cases are exactly alike. Therefore, we will carefully learn the details of your recent rideshare accident, learning as much as we can about the effects it has had on you and your family.
You can rely on our team to represent you in front of large insurance companies. Dealing with any insurance company after a car accident is challenging, but if you must file a claim against Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance carrier, this can be daunting and difficult without an attorney guiding you. Our team can help you draft your demand letter for coverage after a rideshare accident and correspond with the insurance carrier on your behalf. In the event that insurance does not fully compensate your losses, you can rely on our team to guide you through the subsequent legal proceedings necessary for ensuring your recovery.
We know you probably have lots of questions about your legal options following a rideshare accident. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced team of San Diego rideshare accident attorneys, contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a consultation and get the answers you need to your most crucial legal questions.
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