Ridesharing services are responsible for an increasingly sizable chunk of roadway traffic today, both here in California and across the nation.
Unfortunately, drivers for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are also responsible for an increasing percentage of serious and fatal accidents on those same roadways.
If you use ridesharing services occasionally or often, it is also important to know that ridesharing traffic law is still a quite new and evolving branch of traffic law. Precedents are being set in many of the cases being tried now, especially in fatal traffic accidents that involve Uber or Lyft drivers, passengers and bystanders.
With the statistics being what they are today, it is more likely you may be involved in a ridesharing accident at some point in the future. In this post, learn how many fatal accidents Uber drivers have been a part of and how to protect yourself by choosing the best Lyft accident lawyer if you are involved in a ridesharing accident.
Uber Accident Facts: A Statistical Overview
The numbers have both good news and bad news to share when it comes to how the ridesharing industry has impacted traffic accidents nationwide.
For example, overall, the ridesharing industry deserves some credit for reducing serious accidents, likely due to removing some distracted or impaired (drunk) drivers from behind the wheel and placing them in the passenger seat instead.
However, when compared with passengers who use traditional taxi services, fatal traffic accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers still occur more frequently than do their taxi counterparts.
In another ongoing research project, researchers currently estimate that as many as three percent of serious and fatal traffic accidents can be traced back to Uber or Lyft drivers.
For this, the researchers attribute an increased use of vehicles by individuals (passengers) who might otherwise have used public transportation or even just stayed home. With more riding comes more driving and thus, more chance of serious auto accidents.
To that point, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), the overall death toll from traffic accidents just keeps rising - at last estimate, at least 40,000 people lose their lives each year due to roadway accidents.
Overall, the ridesharing aspect of California traffic law is still a fledgling field and only a handful of Los Angeles personal injury lawyer teams have sufficient experience and knowledge to successfully prosecute unsettled ridesharing claims.
What Is the Most Common Outcome from Deadly Uber Accidents?
While there is no doubt that ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have added more vehicles to the roadways and thus more congestion, these companies continue to be slow to do their due diligence in terms of protecting passengers who use their ridesharing services.
Even the most casual glance at ridesharing news headlines make it clear the corporate giants are eager to deny responsibility for any traffic incident involving their drivers. Why? Because they can afford to and because their shareholders expect them to.
Legal resources make it clear that even Uber's $1 million passenger insurance policy can be very difficult to access - the company, like so many corporate giants, has its own legal team dedicated to avoiding payouts at all costs.
In fact, the only reason these companies even have such a robust policy is because many states now require it for Lyft and Uber to operate in those states! Here, it almost goes without saying that you will want the best Lyft accident lawyer on your team rather than trying to go head-to-head with their corporate lawyers on your own.
How Ridesharing Passenger Insurance Works
Understanding how ridesharing passenger insurance claims actually work can sometimes feel like you need a law degree yourself.
Here is the lowdown:
- Ridesharing drivers operate on three levels: not available (off duty), available (seeking passenger or an route to pick up passenger) and not available (transporting passenger).
- The amount of passenger insurance coverage the ridesharing parent company provides is based on which level their driver is in when the accident occurs.
- Whether or not you receive coverage as a passenger involved in a ridesharing accident is also based on fault, at least here in the state of California. If the ridesharing driver is declared not at fault for the accident, you may find your only recourse is with the other driver's insurance policy, if any.
- Technically, ridesharing companies do not carry insurance to protect bystanders who may be involved in an accident as a result of the actions of their drivers. If you are a bystander involved in a ridesharing accident, the law becomes murkier still and your best option is hiring a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to represent you.
What To Do If You Are Involved in a Ridesharing Accident
Before you take another trip with a ridesharing driver, you need to know what to do immediately after being involved in a ridesharing accident, whether it was minor or serious.
1. Record the driver's vehicle number and take down their contact information.
2. Get the driver's personal insurance information.
3. Contact the ridesharing parent company to report the accident.
4. Call the police and ask them to come to the scene and create an accident report.
5. Get the information (number, license, insurance) for any other driver(s) involved.
6. Interview any witnesses who saw what occurred and are willing to talk about it (also get their contact information).
If your claims process is anything less than smooth sailing and completely straightforward, it is time to retain the services of a ridesharing accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
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