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Steps in a Rideshare Accident Lawsuit

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Posted on May 5, 2024

We love the convenience of a private car showing up to drive us to a destination with the simple swipe of an app. The rideshare industry has exploded in the last decade, going from a niche market to a global phenomenon that changed the way we travel while on vacations, business trips, and within our communities. Fortunately, most rideshare journeys end well, with a passenger safely dropped off at their destination; however, rideshare accidents are on the rise due to the overall increase they’ve caused in traffic congestion. A University of Chicago Study shows an increase in accidents by about 3% since Uber and Lyft became popular and added to overall traffic congestion not only while carrying passengers but by cruising the streets between bookings.

Rideshare accidents occur every day and cause injuries to passengers, to those in other vehicles, and to pedestrians and bicyclists. Compensation claims and lawsuits are complex due to the complicated tiered system of insurance coverage in rideshare claims. Contact the Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyers in San Diego from Haffner & Morgan, LLP to get the compensation you deserve.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

The first step in a rideshare accident claim begins immediately after the accident. Whether you were a passenger in the rideshare or in another vehicle in a collision with an Uber or Lyft car, it’s urgent to go directly to the hospital from the scene of the accident to have medical treatment and document your injuries. While waiting for help to arrive, use your cell phone to snap quick photos of the accident scene, damaged vehicles, and any visible injuries. If you are too seriously injured to move safely, ask an uninjured person to use it for you.

Report the accident to Uber or Lyft through the rideshare’s emergency tool kit and get the driver’s contact information. Then, call a rideshare accident lawyer before you speak to insurance adjusters assigned to the claim.

Determining the Appropriate Insurance Coverage Based on the Stage of the Rideshare

It often takes an experienced rideshare attorney to determine the correct insurance coverage for a compensation claim after a rideshare accident. Disputes are common due to the structure of coverage required by rideshare insurance. It’s necessary to determine which level of coverage is in place. The rideshare insurance structure works as follows:

  • When an Uber or Lyft driver uses their vehicle for personal reasons their standard auto insurance coverage is in place
  • Once the driver turns on a rideshare app to seek a booking, their lower-tiered rideshare insurance coverage takes effect with $25,000 in property damage, $50,000 per person in bodily injury coverage, or $100,000 total coverage per accident
  • Once the driver connects with a passenger, throughout the drive to pick up the passenger, and then during the rideshare journey with the passenger inside the vehicle, the top-tier coverage is in place with up to $1 million of insurance compensation per accident.

An attorney must investigate the accident, prove fault and liability, determine the stage of the rideshare when the accident occurred, and then file a claim against the correct policy.

Negotiating a Settlement After a Rideshare Accident

In most cases, the insurance company offers a settlement, particularly if the victim’s attorney compiles evidence and makes a compelling case. If the company does not offer an acceptable settlement, the case may proceed to court in a lawsuit as long as it’s filed within the state’s statute of limitations. Most states, including California, allow up to two years after the date of a rideshare accident for the case to go to court.

Jury verdicts may take longer to reach than a settlement but they are typically a larger amount since juries tend to have empathy for injury victims.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a rideshare accident, don’t navigate this complex process alone. As experienced San Diego personal injury lawyers, we at Haffner & Morgan, LLP are dedicated to securing the highest compensation possible for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation at (619) 541-8787 or reach out to us online. With us, you can have peace of mind knowing that we will do whatever it takes to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.