Uber Passenger Injury Attorney Los Angeles
As an Uber passenger injury attorney in Los Angeles, I have seen the mobility of society give rise to various transportation network companies, or TNCs, in the last five years. Also called rideshares, these companies offer a less expensive option to taxis. In addition, they have attracted numerous drivers due to the scheduling flexibility for students or others who like the option of extra weekend work. However, the occupation is not without risks as accidents can occur when using a TNC.An Overview
With a solid presence in nearly 20 cities, Uber boasts the quickest expansion rate in Los Angeles of all their markets, according to a Forbes article written in 2015. A Princeton University professor, Alan Krueger, along with their Head of Research released an analysis of the company’s history and earnings. They reported that the company is hiring new drivers at a rate that more than doubled every six months between 2012 and 2014. The company’s Upscale service, which uses black cars, has seen some growth, but most of the growth is via the traditional service, where drivers use their own vehicles.Increased Accident Risk
Many rideshare drivers are simply looking for a way to earn extra money and have no additional driving experience. In addition to the usual reasons for accidents in the city, the following factors can combine to increase a rider’s risk of an accident when using a TNC:
- Time constraints
- The driver’s lack of training
- The busy traffic in Los Angeles and
- The pressure of transporting people in exchange for payment.
If you think that your rideshare driver acted negligently, which resulted in your injury, contact our attorney for assistance.California Laws
On July 1, 2015, new legislation under AB 2293 went into effect, unique to the state of California. The law mandates that all drivers must adhere to specific insurance coverage requirements.
Their affiliate company, Raiser-CA LLC or the driver must have minimum liability insurance coverage as follows during Period 1:
- $30,000 for property damage
- $50,000 per person and
- $100,000 per accident.
Of additional interest is the fact that the personal auto insurance of rideshare drivers no longer covers them if they happen to be involved in an accident, injuring a passenger in the process. Under the new law, they will need to specifically buy insurance created for ridesharing. This applies to all types of vehicle coverage, including:
- Comprehensive, which covers the vehicle if it is totaled
- Collision, which covers repairs to a damaged vehicle
- Medical payments, which covers driver injuries or those to another person
- Uninsured coverage and
- Underinsured coverage.
Although drivers are not legally required to buy additional insurance to protect them during Period 1, they might choose to take advantage of higher liability limits for their own protection.Insurance Coverage and Periods Under New California Laws
The new legislation defines three coverage periods when rideshare drivers are on the job.
Period 1 is the time when the driver goes online until he or she agrees to a client pick up. Company insurance, not personal insurance, covers drivers during this time.
Uber’s coverage under Period 2, when traveling to pick up a customer, and Period 3, when transporting passengers, includes:
- $1 million in liability coverage, unless the driver has his or her own ridesharing insurance coverage
- $1 million for uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage if the other motorist does not have enough coverage and
- Comprehensive and collision insurance, less a $1,000 deductible.
The company must also provide additional liability coverage valued at $200,000.Why hire an attorney if injured in an Uber Accident?
Given the complex insurance coverage issues and liability concerns outlined above, it is always prudent to consult and hire an attorney if you are injured as a passenger riding in and Uber in Los Angeles or anywhere in California. Insurance companies have the goal of either eliminating or reducing payouts on these claims. They do this in many ways such as denying liability, discounting the value of medical services, denying that the accident caused injury, and many other tactics. Having a legal advocate to confront these claims is crucial to recovery of full value. An Uber accident attorney can best evaluate who is at fault, against whom claims should be made and how to maximize the value of any personal injury or wrongful death claim. Uber injury lawyers can also assist victims in obtaining medical evaluation and treatment so that the injured party can simply concentrate on getting better rather than dealing with insurance representatives and adjusters simply looking to eliminate or reduce their payout.
Along with other states, California has responded to the need for updated laws regarding Uber and similar rideshare services. If you were a passenger and suffered an injury due to a driver’s negligence, reach out to our law firm for help in understanding your legal rights. We will examine insurance coverage issues, assess fault and evaluate the ramifications of your case under current law. We work on a "contingency", which means we charge nothing up front and no fees unless and until we recover money for you.