How Do Uber and Lyft Work in California?
Uber and Lyft use the ownership of smartphones to connect passenger clients to their ridesharing service. To put it in simpler terms, they offer personal transportation services that can be requested with the push of a button (on an app).
Once a ride seeker has made a request, the closest available Uber vehicle is notified and sent to his or her location. It’s as simple as that. This certainly beats having to call or wait for a taxi and flag it down.
Uber and Lyft also price their rides at a very cheap rate, relative to taxi fees. They accomplish this by labeling their ridesharing driver as a contract worker, not an employee, which, in turn, allows them to externalize costs like gas, payroll, etc. so that profits are maximized and expenses are kept to a minimum.
Employee obligations and benefits aren’t the only things they’ve cut down on, though; they have been able to skirt insurance liabilities as well through the use of convoluted language in their respective liability coverage policies.
Uber & Lyft Car Accident in Los Angeles: Uber’s Policy and Liability Insurance
- Uber classifies its drivers as “independent contractors” and not employees in an attempt to deflect liability for any injuries sustained in a crash. However, passengers are covered by up to $1 million per ride in commercial liability insurance.
- Unlike taxi cab companies, Uber defines itself as a technology provider, not a transportation company or car service, which, again, allows the company to deflect blame onto its drivers and makes it more difficult for accident victims to make complaints or claims with Uber.
- Uber is notorious for being hard to reach by phone. Victims may be able to contact Uber customer service care or an Uber partner by e-mail or through their social media, but even those channels are known to be unreliable. Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to touch base with Uber and its drivers.
- California law sets insurance coverage requirements for all Transportation TNCs, including Uber. The company now provides $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 of contingent coverage between trips. However, there remains the question of what happens when a driver has multiple ridesharing apps open at the same time.
- Injured pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists are also entitled to substantial compensation. Victims who are not passengers can still recover from the driver’s insurance policy in addition to Uber’s excess policy.
Why You Need an Experienced Los Angeles Uber Accident Attorney
Uber’s insurance provider has the wealth and resources to employ armies of investigators, experts, and other professionals to fight your claim for the sake of preserving their profits. You need an advocate on your side who is both a skilled negotiator and an aggressive trial attorney, and can ensure you get the maximum recovery for your injuries as an Uber accident victim.
At Wilshire Law Firm, we provide custom-tailored legal solutions for clients. Our goal is always to obtain the maximum award for a client’s injuries. In service of this goal, we utilize cutting edge technology for litigation management, legal and medical research, and data collection. In addition, we have highly-trained specialists handle all aspects of a case – from medical treatment to liens reduction to litigation. We are so proficient in what we do: other lawyers often turn to us for help with their cases.
Top Uber Accident Attorneys in Los Angeles
- Litigator Award – Trial Lawyer Board of Regents
- AV Preeminent Rating – Martindale-Hubbell
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers – The National Trial Lawyers
- President-Elect in 2016 and President in 2017 of Top 40 Under 40 – The National Trial Lawyers
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum – Lifetime Member
- Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum – Lifetime Member
- Perfect 10.0 ‘Superb’ Rating – Avvo
- Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities (LATLC) – Executive Board Member
- Southern California Rising Stars Up-And-Coming 100 – Super Lawyers
- Best Personal Injury Lawyers – Three Best Rated
- Best Personal Injury Attorneys 2016 – Newsweek
- Southern California’s Top Verdicts & Settlements – Los Angeles Times
Who Pays for a Crash Caused by an Uber or Lyft Driver in Los Angeles?
Photo from NYPost.com
Injured in an Uber Car Accident in Los Angeles? Here’s Some Advice
Surely, the people reading this article, especially Millennials, are familiar with Uber and Lyft, the two giants of the “disruptive” ride-sharing industry. Now valued at billions of dollars each, these companies have achieved enormous success at an extremely rapid pace. There are two primary reasons for their success: convenience and competitive rates.
How Uber and Lyft Work in Los Angeles
Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies use the ubiquitous ownership of smartphones to connect passenger clients through their proprietary applications. To put it in simpler terms, they offer personal transportation services that can be requested with the push of a button (on an app). Once a ride seeker has made a request, the closest available driver is notified and sent to his or her location. It’s as simple as that. This certainly beats having to call or wait for a taxi and flag it down.
Uber and Lyft also price their rides at a very cheap rate, relative to taxi fees. They accomplish this by labeling their drivers as contract workers, not employees, which, in turn, allows them to externalize costs like gas, payroll, etc. so that profits are maximized and expenses are kept to a minimum.
Employee obligations and benefits aren’t the only things they’ve cut down on, though; they have been able to skirt insurance liabilities as well through the use of convoluted mumbo jumbo in their respective policies.
The Ride-Sharing Liability Dilemma
To their credit, both Uber and Lyft provide adequate coverage to injured passengers. However, matters get quite murky when it comes to accidents involving other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and so on. While both companies have expanded their coverage to include accidents incurred during a gap between rides, their policies come into effect only if a driver’s personal policy does not cover the accident. Many questions immediately come to mind:
- What happens if the resulting damages of an accident exceed the driver’s coverage? Who or what fills this insurance gap? Does the victim have to turn to his or her own resources?
- Isn’t personal policy coverage ineffective in cases where the liable driver was driving for commercial purposes? If this is the case, who covers the damages?
A Complex Legal Issue
Clearly, there are significant issues surrounding third-party liability insurance in the ride-sharing industry, and many are starting to realize this fact. Legislators in multiple states, including California, have challenged Uber and Lyft on their policies, and there will be many legal disputes in the coming years before clear regulations are established.
At Wilshire Law Firm, our knowledgeable attorneys stay on top of the latest developments in ride-sharing accident liability law.
Contact Our Los Angeles Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer Today
We understand that Uber & Lyft accident claims can be very confusing. The renowned legal team at Wilshire Law Firm has a firm grasp on the insurance policies and coverage involved in these accidents and can provide the support you need to obtain an optimal case outcome. Whether you need to file a claim with the right parties or have been denied compensation for your injuries, we are ready to fight for you. Call us today at (844) 601 4833 for immediate assistance.