Ride Share Accidents in California—What to Do

There’s new research evidence to support the fact that there’s been a hike in Lyft and Uber accidents—and we mean fatal crashes—in the country.

In 2010, before you could hail rides so easily, fatal traffic incidents and subsequent deaths were at a record low. That’s when Uber first launched its services in San Francisco.

These numbers are expected to go further up, and for the simple reason that the rideshare industry is a growing financial success and will continue to grow. Globally, Uber’s net worth is $11.3 billion and that of Lyft is $2.16 billion. In the United States alone, Uber’s market share in the industry is a whopping 87.6%.

Rideshare Incidents in California and the Consequences

Liability insurance becomes a must-carry, even if the driver is driving without passengers: $50,000 minimum per person and $100,000 per accident, to be exact. With passengers, the numbers go further up. The driver needs liability insurance coverage of $1 million and uninsured motorist coverage of $1 million. Additionally, the services themselves—Uber or Lyft—must maintain excess coverage of $200,000.

Sounds like a lot? Not when you’re heaped with bills upon bills that can easily reach beyond $1 million. Insurance companies also present many hurdles, wanting to pay as little as possible to the victim.

The California Department of Transportation has itself taken up this issue and has notified ride-hailing services of the potential gaps in insurance. Online ride-hailing services in California now have new rules—although we don’t know if they count them correctly.

What to do if You’re in an Accident with Rideshare Vehicles?

The claim of the coverage and $1 million insurance aside, note that most Uber or Lyft drivers don’t work for a company. They’re independent contractors, and in the event of an accident, their insurance companies are liable to pay you—which the insurance companies will want never to do.

There is, therefore, a good chance that these companies might try to hoodwink and intimidate you. What’s worse is that you might become convinced that you’re in the wrong.

No matter what happens, don’t stop there.

Contact an Attorney

The first thing you should do when caught up in an accident with rideshare vehicles (especially if there are personal injury claims to be made) is to reach out to an experienced traffic attorney. It’s best to contact an attorney who practices locally for local expertise.

An attorney will immediately file a lawsuit and take action, not just against the driver but against the ride-hailing company as well. Even if the driver had no passengers with them at the time of the accident (the ride-hailing service will try telling you that this means the driver wasn’t ‘working’ at the time, and that this exonerates them from blame).

If you’ve been looking for such an attorney in California, reach out to Marquez Law Offices today. Based in Chico, we specialize in a number of legal issues, including traffic violations and accidents.

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