Uber / Lyft Car Accident Lawyer
Companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar describe their services as “ride-sharing” are now all over, including North County cities like Escondido, Oceanside, Carlsbad and Vista. They are not taxi companies or even a car service, instead they provide an app which allows drivers to offer their services and users to get a ride. These companies insist they are not taxis which can help them to avoid regulation; they prefer to be seen as technology companies. To classify this new type of transportation company, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created a new category of transportation services: transportation network companies, or TNCs.
It is important to note that TNC drivers are not professional or commercial drivers, such as a taxi cab or shuttle service driver. They do not go through the same kind of training and are not employed by a company but are independent contractors.
So, what happens if you’re in an accident while being transported by a ride hailing service such as Uber or Lyft? This can vary from state to state but typically ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft carry liability insurance for their drivers, and also require their drivers to carry their own insurance policies.
But since TNC drivers are not employed by a company, in most states the corporate insurance policies are only valid when the drivers are actually providing services on the ride-sharing system. Once the driver is engaged in transporting a passenger for the ride-sharing service, the corporate policy will cover anyone in the vehicle for injury or death and also pedestrians due to driver negligence. The corporate policy also covers any damage done to public or personal property due to a car accident involving one of the company’s drivers.
In California, ride-sharing companies are required to provide secondary insurance from the moment the ride-sharing app is turned on, rather than only when the drivers have accepted or are transporting passengers. Drivers must also maintain primary liability coverage of at least $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence of death and personal injury, as well as $30,000 of coverage for property damage. In addition, TNCs are required to provide, at minimum, $1 million per incident excess liability coverage.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident while using a ride hailing service, Walton Law Firm can help. Our lawyers can assist you in reaching a settlement with the other party’s insurance company to settle your claim or if required, we can represent you in a lawsuit. You are entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, car damage, lost wages, pain, suffering and inconvenience.
We have successfully represented individuals and families who have been victims of all types of car accidents, including accident caused by negligent Uber/Lyft drivers (as well as taxi drivers) for 20 years. We would be happy to provide a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your accident. We will provide an honest appraisal of your case, and let you know if you even need a lawyer. Or, if you prefer, you can submit a confidential question online. You can reach us at (866) 607-1325 or locally in North San Diego County at (760) 571-5500.