Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have changed the way people get around the San Mateo area. Although convenient and a better option for some than taking public transportation, rideshare services pose risks to passengers if the Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident or another vehicle collides with the vehicle you're riding in.
If you suffered injuries in a rideshare accident as a passenger, you likely have options to pursue compensation. However, you need a San Mateo rideshare accident lawyer to help you navigate the complex claims process and help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
- Why Choose Us as Your San Mateo Uber or Lyft Accident Attorney
- Rideshare Drivers Can be Distracted and Fatigued On the Job
- Uber, Lyft, and Other Rideshares Must Carry Insurance
- Rideshare Companies and Their Insurers Don't Make Things Easy
- Responsibility for Damages Caused by Rideshare Accident
- Proving Liability for a Rideshare Accident
- Rideshare Claims are Complicated, So Call a Lawyer As Soon as Possible
- Connect With a San Mateo Rideshare Lawyer Now
- Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP
Why Choose Us as Your San Mateo Uber or Lyft Accident Attorney
One of the San Mateo rideshare accident lawyers from Galine, Frye, Fitting, and Frangos is standing by to answer questions about your rideshare accident. We know how to stand up to insurance companies for the full compensation you deserve.
- One insurance company offered our client $300,000, and we obtained a $4.5 million settlement in the end.
- Another insurance offer to a client was $20,000, and our client walked away with a $1 million jury award.
If you suffered injuries in a crash involving a rideshare vehicle, reach out today to learn more about how we can help. You can call us at (650) 419-0473 or complete our online contact form to receive a no-cost case evaluation.
Rideshare Drivers Can be Distracted and Fatigued On the Job
Operating an Uber or Lyft vehicle takes a great deal of time and attention. The drivers use their smartphones to identify passengers, find their way around new areas, and line up the next passenger, all while driving.
Using a smartphone while driving is a form of distracted driving, which is doing any activity that takes your attention off the road. Distracted drivers who cause accidents are liable for the injuries they cause, as are fatigued drivers.
Rideshare drivers are often overly tired, as these contract positions can be in addition to other full-time jobs. Drivers also tend to drive at night when people are looking for a safe way home after drinking. Given the structure of rideshare companies, many drivers work very hard and naturally become fatigued.
A driver who is engaging in drowsy or fatigued driving often cannot properly respond to risks on the road as quickly as if they had ample rest, leading to danger on the road. When a tired driver causes an accident, they are negligent and should cover the losses of accident victims.
Rideshare insurance is designed to fill the gaps in coverage that may exist when an Uber or Lyft driver uses their personal vehicle for ridesharing services. The coverage provided by rideshare insurance generally depends on the specific insurance policy and the stage of your rideshare activity. Here's a breakdown of how rideshare insurance typically works:
- Personal Use (App is Off): During periods when the rideshare driver is not actively using the rideshare app (e.g., the app is turned off), their personal auto insurance policy is in effect. This coverage typically applies to personal use, such as running errands or commuting.
- Rideshare App is On (Waiting for a Ride Request - Period 1): When the rideshare app is on, and the driver is waiting for a ride request, their personal auto insurance may have limited coverage. Some insurance companies offer optional rideshare insurance that extends coverage during this period. This coverage is especially important because personal auto insurance may not cover accidents that occur while the app is on but the driver hasn't accepted a ride request.
- Ride Accepted, En Route to Pick Up (Period 2): Once the driver has accepted a ride request and are on their way to pick up the passenger, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft typically provide increased liability coverage. However, this coverage may not include comprehensive or collision coverage for the rideshare driver's vehicle. Rideshare insurance can fill these gaps, providing coverage for the vehicle's damage during this period.
- Passenger in the Car, On the Way to Destination (Period 3): When a rideshare driver has a passenger in their car and are en route to their destination, rideshare companies usually provide the highest level of coverage, including liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Rideshare insurance can still be valuable to ensure that you have adequate coverage for all potential scenarios.
- Coverage Limits: Rideshare insurance policies may have specific coverage limits, deductibles, and terms. It's essential for a rideshare driver to review their policy carefully to understand the extent of coverage during each period and any limitations that may apply.
- Coordination with Rideshare Company Insurance: Rideshare insurance is designed to complement the insurance provided by the rideshare company. In the event of an accident, coverage from both the rideshare driver's personal insurance and the rideshare company's insurance may come into play. Rideshare insurance helps bridge any gaps in coverage and provides a seamless layer of protection.
Rideshare Companies and Their Insurers Don't Make Things Easy
When it comes to rideshare companies, profit is king, above and beyond the well-being of their drivers. If you look at the news, you will see many stories about the negative experience of rideshare drivers, including not taking breaks and feeling like they should put in the maximum allowed hours of driving, even when tired.
Rideshare companies long worked to avoid liability for accidents involving rideshare drivers and passengers, though states passed laws requiring the companies to share liability under specific circumstances. These companies must carry at least $1 million in coverage for people injured in crashes when a driver already accepted a pickup or had an active passenger.
In these situations, if a rideshare driver injured you, you do not take money from the driver but from the rideshare company’s insurer. This does not mean the insurance company will willingly offer you full compensation, however, as these companies will try to limit or deny liability. Insurance companies and rideshare companies work for profit, not for you, and they will do whatever they can to deny your claim if possible. If they can’t deny it in full, the insurer will try to pay you as little as possible.
If a third-party driver was the ultimate cause of the accident, they should be liable for your damages, which means you will have to file a claim with that driver’s insurer. Our rideshare accident attorneys will assess the facts and determine your best options to seek full financial recovery.
Although rideshare drivers drive other people to and from places for a living, they typically do not undergo any greater training than other drivers.
Instead, a person can work as a driver for a rideshare company if he or she passes a criminal background and driving record check, has a valid driver’s license for the minimum amount of time specified, and meets the requirements regarding age, vehicle status, and insurance. Drivers who work for rideshare companies, however, must adhere to the California Vehicle Code and must drive in a safe and responsible manner, like all other drivers.
While rideshare drivers offer services on behalf of rideshare companies, in most cases, they are not employed by these companies but instead operate as general contractors. This means that in most instances in which a driver for a rideshare company is involved in a collision, the rideshare company will not be held vicariously liable for any harm caused by the collision.
In many cases, though, a rideshare company’s insurance carrier may provide coverage for the damages that arise due to the accident if the accident occurred while the driver was working for the company. A rideshare accident attorney at our San Mateo firm can help a victim bring a claim against the insurance policy.
Generally, the amount of coverage available depends on whether the accident occurred during, before, or after a trip. If the accident occurred while the rideshare driver was not driving for the rideshare company, however, his or her personal insurance would apply.
Lawsuits arising out of rideshare accidents are similar to those arising out of other car accidents, in that usually the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent to establish liability. Thus, the plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care, but the defendant breached the duty.
For example, if a car driver caused an accident by driving too fast for conditions or turning without adequate clearance, this may constitute a breach of the standard of care. The plaintiff must also show that the breach caused the plaintiff’s harm. While the breach does not need to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, it must be a substantial factor in bringing about the accident.
A San Mateo rideshare accident attorney who successfully establishes liability may be able to obtain many forms of damages for an injured victim. These may include damages for the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and out of pocket expenses, and for the pain, suffering, and anguish caused by the accident.
As soon as you receive emergency medical care for your injuries, it is time to reach out to a San Mateo rideshare accident attorney. Your attorney will step into your shoes and handle all negotiations and communications with the insurance company so that you can focus on recovering from your physical injuries. If you try to collect your damages on your own or accept a settlement offer from the rideshare insurance company, you will probably recover much less than you deserve and not enough to cover the full costs of your accident.
The purpose of a settlement following an accident is to make you whole, which puts you in a position as though the accident had never happened. When you have experienced only property damage and minor personal injury that will completely heal and does not cause you to miss a minute of work, then a settlement offer might cover your damages in full.
However, most accident claims are not so simple, and most injuries result in extensive losses, including:
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Disabilities or disfigurement
- Lost income
- Lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
It’s never too soon to consult with an experienced rideshare accident attorney.
Our experienced San Mateo rideshare attorneys have the experience you need to recover the fullest compensation possible for your injuries. Our firm has a network of medical and occupational experts who can help assess your injury and measure its full impact on your body and ability to earn a living in the future.
This includes the accurate computation of the costs associated with your injury in terms of short-term medical care, long-term treatment, medication, and rehabilitation that you might need.
Additionally, the money lost during recovery and any long-term losses of earnings must factor into the calculations; so must intangible losses such as pain and suffering.
Overall, accurate calculations of your losses are key to ensuring you are not responsible for future costs after you receive a settlement.
Rideshare apps allow many people to travel without worrying about driving, but as the number of rideshare drivers on the road increases, so does the rate of rideshare collisions. If you were injured in a rideshare accident, it is advisable to talk to an attorney regarding the compensation that you may be able to recover from the party responsible for your harm.
Reach out today to a San Mateo rideshare accident lawyer from Galine, Frye, Fitting, and Frangos at (650) 345-8484 or use our contact page to get your free consultation. We are ready to discuss your options and help you determine if you have a valid claim.