Rideshare refers to a type of transportation service in which individuals can use a mobile app to request a ride from a private driver. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in recent years, but with this popularity has come a rise in rideshare accidents.
Rideshare accidents can range from minor fender benders to serious collisions resulting in injuries or fatalities. These accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including distracted driving, intoxicated driving, speeding, fatigued driving, and poorly maintained vehicles.
California Rideshare Accidents Happen
According to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), there were a total of 19,132 reported Uber and Lyft accidents in California in 2019. Of these, 4,295 resulted in injuries and 51 resulted in fatalities. However, these numbers may not reflect the full extent of rideshare accidents in the state, as not all accidents are reported to the CPUC.
It’s important to note that while rideshare services can provide a convenient and efficient transportation option, they also come with risks. It’s important for both rideshare drivers and passengers to be mindful of safety and to follow the rules of the road to help prevent accidents.
Cause of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents on the road, and it can be especially dangerous for rideshare drivers who may be using their phone to navigate or communicate with passengers.
Intoxicated driving: Rideshare drivers are not immune to the dangers of drunk driving. If a driver gets behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it can lead to a serious or even fatal accident.
Speeding: Excessive speed is a common cause of accidents on the road, and rideshare drivers are no exception. Driving too fast can make it difficult to react to hazards on the road and can increase the severity of an accident.
Fatigued driving: Rideshare drivers may work long hours and may be at risk of becoming fatigued while on the road. Driving while tired can impair a driver’s reaction time and judgment, leading to accidents.
Poorly maintained vehicles: Rideshare companies have a responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained and safe for use. If a rideshare vehicle is not properly maintained, it can increase the risk of an accident.
Understanding the causes of rideshare accidents is important for identifying potential liability and seeking compensation for injuries and damages.
Legal Responsibility of Rideshare Drivers
In the event of a rideshare accident, determining legal responsibility can be complex. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there may be multiple parties who could be held liable, including:
Rideshare companies: Rideshare companies may be held liable for accidents caused by their drivers. This can be the case if the company did not properly screen the driver or if the driver was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident.
Drivers: Rideshare drivers may be held personally liable for accidents they cause. This can be the case if the driver was negligent or reckless while driving, or if they were driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Passengers: Passengers may also be held liable for rideshare accidents if they contributed to the cause of the accident, for example by distracting the driver or encouraging reckless behavior.
Steps After a Rideshare Accident
If you have been involved in a rideshare accident, there are several steps you should take to protect your rights and pursue compensation:
Seek medical attention: It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if you don’t think you have been seriously injured. Some injuries, such as head injuries or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent.
Gather evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible after the accident, including photos of the scene, the vehicles involved, and any injuries you sustained. This can be helpful in supporting your claim for compensation.
Report the accident: Be sure to report the accident to the appropriate authorities, such as the police or the rideshare company.
Consult with a lawyer: An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. It’s important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that your rights are protected.
Compensation After A Rideshare Accident
If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. This can include compensation for:
Medical expenses: You may be entitled to compensation for the cost of medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgery, and rehabilitation (California Civil Code Section 3333.2).
Lost wages: If you were unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages (California Civil Code Section 3342).
Pain and suffering: You may be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the accident (California Civil Code Section 3333.2).
Property damage: If your personal property, such as your car or bike, was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing it (California Civil Code Section 3333).
Contact our office to discuss your claims if you have been injured.