Are you an existing or potential driver for a ride-sharing company? Perhaps you are a frequent passenger who recently had a bad experience using one of these services, prompting you to consider the legalities associated with ride-sharing. Brett Drouet of the Law Offices of Brett C. Drouet prepared this article to help keep you up to date with everything surrounding ride-sharing and California law. Brett Drouet is a Uber or Lyft claims attorney who has the answers to your questions about these issues based on years of experience representing clients in this practice area.
Can I sue Uber or Lyft directly?
Although Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, Uber and Lyft require that they have their own auto insurance. Despite this, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have their own auto insurance coverage as well. Unfortunately, many people do not know this.
Ride-sharing companies’ insurance takes effect once a driver begins a job driving a passenger to their destination. Once they arrive and end the ride, the company’s insurance is no longer in effect.
Since ride-sharing drivers are independent contractors that require their own insurance, ride-sharing companies attempt to avoid liability for accidents the driver was involved in, let alone at fault for.
Technically speaking, if the ride-sharing driver is at fault, ride-sharing companies’ insurance can – and often will – cover liability, collision, and medical damages. If the driver is not at fault, they can and will cover liability, collision, uninsured/underinsured, and medical.
This is to say, if you are injured while a passenger in an Uber or Lyft driver’s vehicle, suing a ride-sharing company such as Uber or Lyft is not entirely off the table.
Can I sue the driver of the Uber or Lyft vehicle?
As the answer to the previous question indicates, ride-sharing drivers are supposed to have their own insurance. You may sue the driver in addition to the ride-sharing company. Making this determination with a Uber or Lyft claims attorney will be the best course of action, as suing the driver rather than the company may not be the best move to make in certain instances. The opposite is equally true.
How do I file a claim against Uber or Lyft?
Because of the complexity of having companies, independent contractors, and such at play in these cases, we highly recommend consulting an Uber or Lyft lawyer before filing a claim against a ride-sharing company instead of attempting to on your own.
This aside, these types of companies are notorious for not taking claims from individuals without an attorney seriously. Do not risk unnecessarily compromising a potentially strong case out of the gate.
Who is responsible for paying for my medical bills and other damages?
Responsibility depends on several factors, such as who is at fault.
If the driver does not have insurance, you will be able to seek compensation via the ride-sharing company’s insurance policy.
Consulting with an Uber or Lyft lawyer will help you understand your rights in the context of your specific case.
How do I know if I have a strong case?
As a passenger, you generally have a strong case since you are passive in the accident.
The real question is how strong it is. This depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
How much is my case worth?
How much your case is worth will depend on the nature of your injuries.
After getting a complete medical examination and a general idea of how much recovery will cost, a settlement for an Uber or Lyft accident will begin to take shape, assuming your Uber or Lyft lawyer has a solid strategy in place.
Contact a Uber or Lyft lawyer like Brett Drouet of the Law Offices of Brett C. Drouet to get a better idea of how much your particular case may be worth.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
This, too, will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.
If you have had the unfortunate experience of incurring many injuries requiring a lot of medical attention, your case will be much longer than if this were not the case. Examinations, in some instances, second opinions, etc., all add time to your case’s clock.
What are my legal options if I disagree with the settlement offered by Uber or Lyft?
Generally speaking, you could reject a settlement offer and escalate your case. Since this article is intended to be more of an overview, this is all we can advise in answer to this question.
Deciding to escalate or accept a settlement is best done with the counsel of your trusted Uber or Lyft claims attorney who knows the law, your situation, and these companies’ veracity to dodge liability.