In the last 5 years ride-hailing services such as Uber have transformed the way we get from place to place. In 2013, California created a new business category of “transportation network companies”, becoming the first state to legalize ridesharing services. Since then, Uber and Lyft have gained momentum in cities all over the country–and world. But what happens in the event of an accident?

Uber and Lyft drivers and passengers are covered by each company’s commercial automobile insurance policy, but the eligibility and amount of that coverage depends on the driver’s activity at the time of the collision.

Accident Statistics

According to statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety 2015 Annual Performance Report and OTS online rankings:

  • In 2014, there were 3,074 traffic fatalities and 10,664 serious traffic injuries in California
  • Since 2010, the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities has increased
  • Observations of distracted driving (cell phones) has increased from 6.6% in 2014 to 9.2% in 2015
  • In cities with populations over 250,000, the top three cities for fatal and injury collisions were in Southern California (Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Los Angeles)
  • Los Angeles had 3,836 nighttime fatal and injury collisions

Ridesharing Accident Insurance

When an Uber driver is offline (that is, not available to pick up passengers), the driver is covered by personal automobile insurance. When a driver accepts a trip, Uber’s commercial automobile coverage goes into effect. This coverage is active until the trip concludes. The Uber policy offers physical damage and bodily injury coverage. Should another motorist with inadequate insurance be at fault, Uber offers additional coverage to protect against damages. The bodily injury coverage extends to all occupants in the car.

Like Uber, Lyft’s coverage depends on the driver’s mode. If the driver mode is off, the driver must rely on a personal policy. If the driver mode is on, but no ride has been accepted, Lyft offers contingent liability coverage, which can provide additional protection in the event the driver’s personal insurance is unresponsive. When a ride request is accepted, Lyft’s primary liability insurance is activated.

Common Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents

The causes of Uber accidents are similar to those of other vehicle and car service accidents. Some leading causes include:

  • Driver inattention
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver intoxication
  • Traffic violations
  • Vehicle malfunction

Although an accident may be the result of the rideshare driver’s negligence, another driver or third party may be at fault. As with all vehicular accidents, the California Vehicle Code applies.

Pursuing a Ride-Hailing Accident Claim

If you have been involved in a rideshare accident and have suffered injuries or losses, you are entitled to legal help and may be eligible for compensation. Because of the number of parties involved–and possibly injured–in a ride-hailing related accident, it can be difficult to navigate the compensation process. It is important to know the intricacies of insurance coverage as it pertains to the occupants in a ridesharing car. It is highly recommended that you seek legal advice to ensure that you have the best representation when seeking damages.

Why Choose Us

As the new ridesharing industry continues to grow, the legal landscape is changing. At California Personal Injury Attorneys, we are experienced vehicular accident attorneys and can navigate the regulatory and liability laws that affect ride-hailing companies. We advocate for our clients, working diligently to get the financial settlement they deserve.

Our attorneys understand how difficult an injury or loss can be. If you are an Uber or Lyft driver or passenger who has suffered an injury during a trip, contact California Personal Injury Attorneys in LA. We serve the residents of Encino and the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.