California Rideshare Car Accidents: Insurance Gap Problems
California was one of the first states to make ridesharing legal in 2013. The state effectively categorized these rideshare services under a newly created category of “transportation network companies” or TNC. Ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, use online platforms to connect passengers with independent drivers, typically through mobile apps.
Even though ridesharing is legalized in the state, it evades much of the strict scrutiny that taxi companies receive at both the city and county levels. While this is nice and dandy for the rideshare companies, it can create problems for the passengers, especially in the event of an accident.
Insurance Liability Concerns
Unlike taxi service companies, transportation network companies take every step possible to isolate themselves from legal responsibility by asserting that they only facilitate fares. This can allow them to avoid responsibility for the wrongdoing or dangerous driving of their cars. Moreover, the individual drivers may rely on their own personal motorist insurance policy for accidents. The problem with this is that most of these policies do not provide coverage for commercial accidents.
These issues can result in significant insurance gaps in the event of motor vehicle accidents. A case in point is the tragic 2013 New Year’s Day accident involving an Uber driver who fatally hit a 6-year-old San Francisco girl. Uber’s insurance company denied coverage based on the fact that the driver was between rides.
Although the California Public Utilities Commission enacted a law that mandates the rideshare companies to have a minimum $1 million policy per incident covering drivers while they carry a fare or on their way to pick one up, ambiguities still remain as to whether other job related activities (such as checking for fares, like in the San Francisco case) are included.
Injured In an Uber or Lyft Accident? You Need Legal Assistance!
Getting seriously injured in any motor vehicle accident may require the legal assistance of an attorney. However, if your accident occurred while you were a passenger in a rideshare, such as Uber or Lyft, it is imperative that you hire an accident attorney who is specifically familiar with the laws pertaining to transportation network companies. In most cases, it is not uncommon for the TNC’s to fight these claims in an attempt to avoid liability.
Since the companies and the pertaining laws in the state are relatively new, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who understands the legal issues involved in rideshare accidents. With the help of an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney, you can be confident that you and your loved ones will recover the full compensation that you deserve for the injuries that you have suffered.
Consult with an Uber Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident while riding as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Uber accident attorney, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas today at 888.848.5084.