Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney In Irvine, CA
California is the forefront leader in ridesharing. We were one of the first states to have ridesharing services and the first to regulate ridesharing services. While other states were still deciding how to handle ridesharing, California was a thriving environment for ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft. We also have a robust taxi service which only grew stronger with the advent of ridesharing to compete. But while all of these ridesharing options have made the roads safer from drunk drivers or fatigued drivers, unfortunately, our Irvine Uber/Lyft accident attorney has seen firsthand prevalent rideshare car accidents are in Orange County. While these accidents may seem rare, studies have found that ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have actually increased traffic fatalities by 3%. Considering there are over 36,000 traffic fatalities each year, that 3% becomes another 1,100 wrongful deaths.
This is why Tim Dominguez Injury Law works hard to protect the rights of those injured in Uber/Lyft accidents. Whether you are a resident of Orange County, from California, or visiting the Golden State, our Irvine Uber/Lyft accident lawyer can help protect your rights to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and conscious pain and suffering. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, learn how we can help you during a FREE consultation with our personal injury law office.
Rideshare Accidents vs Standard Auto Accidents
At first glance, it may appear that a Uber or Lyft accident is just like a regular type of car or truck accident. After all, you’re in a motor vehicle and there was a collision with another vehicle or fixed object. It would seem that a ridesharing case could be handled by just any personal injury lawyer, right? Not exactly.
Uber and Lyft accidents in Orange County create very unique issues with liability. This is because the driver is acting within the scope of employment for Uber or Lyft. While it would seem that a crash would create liability for these ridesharing companies, they often fight back and disclaim coverage. Most ridesharing companies will argue that they hire a driver as an “independent contractor” or as a “freelancer,” not as an employee, meaning that the driver is not covered by Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy. That means victims may be limited to whatever insurance a driver has, which could be the state minimum—or none at all. This creates a huge problem for severely injured victims who have been hurt by the negligence of a ridesharing company. Without the help of an experienced Uber/Lyft accident attorney in Irvine, CA, injured victims may be at a loss and not know how to proceed with their personal injury claim.
What to Do After a Ridesharing Accident in Orange County, CA
If you have been involved in a ridesharing accident as a passenger or in another vehicle hurt by a rideshare driver, there are certain steps that you can do to help protect your rights to compensation and maximize your recovery. Some of the most important steps include the following:
Even if you do not feel injured, some injuries may manifest themselves after days, weeks, or even months—particularly neck, back, shoulder, hip, knee, nerve, and brain injuries. Anytime you are involved in a crash, call for medical assistance and law enforcement to evaluate you and create an official report. This will help you prove an accident occurred and you were injured, as well as protect your health.
Get Medical Treatment If You Are Hurt
Any minor or mild ache or pain should be evaluated. If EMS or a police officer advises you get evaluated at the hospital, GO. Do not play the hero. Your health is more important than any appointment or activity you were doing or about to do. Make sure you protect your life and limb and get evaluated. Some fatal brain injuries, such as a brain bleed, may present as a minor headache and become a major medical emergency. Always get evaluated. Not only does it protect your health, but it helps support your claim.
Take a Screenshot of the App and Map
Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies will try to argue that you were not engaged in an active ride at the time of the accident, thus defeating liability. This is a routine defense they nearly always use. The best way to protect your claim is to immediately take a screenshot of the opened app showing your progress on the map and that you have an ongoing ride. This will help make it difficult for a ridesharing company to argue you were not engaged in a ride. Send that photograph to yourself via email right away to preserve it further.
Take Photographs and Videos of the Scene
Although sometimes your injuries may prevent you from doing so, make sure to take photographs and videos of the scene of an accident to help support your claim. Focus on traffic signs, lights, and roadway markings to help prove liability. Also take photographs of vehicle damage, debris fields, and other related property damage. If a driver is acting fatigued, drunk, or high, taking a video to help support that argument can also be helpful.
Obtain Witness Information
You cannot rely on a police report to gather all witness information, especially because some witnesses may not want to wait for the police to get there. Gathering your own witness list of individuals and first responders, their phone numbers, and their addresses can help support your claim.
Contact An Irvine Uber/Lyft Accident Lawyer
Although you need to advise your insurance carrier right away of a loss, an adjuster will immediately begin to start undermining your injuries, liability, and damages—even your own adjuster! It is best to contact a personal injury lawyer right away to submit a claim and protect your claim from an overreaching and aggressive insurance adjuster.
How Tim Dominguez Law Can Fight Back
While your typical personal injury lawyer may not know how to counter Uber or Lyft regarding their lack of responsibility in a ridesharing accident, our Irvine Uber/Lyft accident attorney will not allow them to hide behind bogus policy exclusions. We can help prove liability against ridesharing companies by exercising the following strategies:
- Fighting against the “hiring” of a driver as an independent contractor or freelancer by arguing how these large companies can get the benefit of income but hide from the burden of liability, making it unfair to victims
- Arguing and proving that a ridesharing app negligently hired a driver
- Seeking a declarative judgment against a ridesharing app’s insurance carrier to establish coverage
- Negotiating with the driver and app’s insurance carrier to get a joint resolution
- Protecting your legal remedies in court if a fair resolution could not be reached
- Exercising any and all appellate rights as necessary, and
- Answering all of your questions and concerns as we march together to a fair and just outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Types of Damages Are Available to Uber/Lyft Accident Victims?
This is a common question we hear from victims involved in any kind of auto accident. It’s common to wonder who will pay your medical bills or pay to have your vehicle repaired. Under California personal injury laws, injured parties are entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages in California reimburse you for past and future out-of-pocket expenses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Lost future earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitative care
- Long-term care
- Property damage
What Causes Most Uber Accidents in Orange County?
Uber drivers are human like anyone else and accidents happen, however, they have the same responsibility as other drivers when it comes to safety. If an Uber or Lyft driver demonstrates negligence while driving and causes an accident as a result, you and your Irvine Uber/Lyft attorney can hold them accountable. Some of the most common causes of Uber and Lyft accidents in Orange County include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Pulling over to pick up/drop off passengers in an unsafe location
- Aggressive driving
- Illegal turns
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Drunk driving
- Illegal drug use behind the wheel
- Defective vehicle components
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Uber/Lyft Accidents In California?
Like with any accident, you must act fast to bring your Uber or Lyft accident claim to ensure you meet California’s filing deadline, otherwise known as the statute of limitations. According to California law, an accident victim normally has two years from the date of the rideshare accident or injury to file an injury claim with the civil courts. Forgetting to file a lawsuit within that time frame typically results in the courts throwing out the injury claim. It’s critical that you do not wait to take action after a rideshare accident in Orange County. Contact a skilled Irvine Uber/Lyft accident lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights and hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries and damages.
Contact An Irvine Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in Orange County, you may have a viable personal injury claim. Contact our Irvine Uber/Lyft accident attorney at Tim Dominguez Injury Law for a FREE consultation to learn what your rights may be under California law. We have the skill, resources, and experience necessary to hold some of the largest ridesharing accident companies responsible for your personal injuries and damages. We can help recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, loss of consortium, property damage, and of course pain and suffering. Call today to schedule your FREE appointment by dialing 800-5756-LAW or sending us a private message through our “Contact us” box available here.