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Published on Mar 23, 2022 at 7:46 pm in Rideshare Accidents.
Will Good, a 31-year-old Boston man, was riding in an Uber on April 30, 2021, when his driver slammed into a parked car. Will slammed into the headrest and broke his neck. He is now paralyzed from the neck down, unable to use his arms or legs. The Uber driver that Good had entrusted to take him home after work that morning had 20 traffic citations. In January of 2021, Will filed a $63 million lawsuit against Uber for its negligence. Is the Uber driver or the Uber company ultimately responsible for the fact that Good can no longer care for himself?
In the aftermath of a car accident, particularly one involving a company you can only contact by logging in to an app on your phone, things can be stressful, to say the least. Liability is definitely not cut and dry when a rideshare app is involved. These apps are only a few years old, and new laws and policies are being created constantly to keep up with the changes in our fast-paced, tech-centered culture. You need a rideshare accident attorney to help you sort out your options.
Whoever was driving the Uber or Lyft and hit you is going to primarily be the accountable party. Rideshare apps have always been particularly careful to make sure their drivers are NOT employees (and, therefore, the rideshare apps are not “responsible” for them). In the case that you were riding in an Uber or Lyft that crashed due to negligence of the driver and you were injured, your driver is also personally at fault.
Uber and Lyft drivers are supposed to let their auto insurance carriers know when they start driving for a rideshare app. This unique coverage is definitely better than a regular passenger vehicle policy from the injured party’s perspective, but the fact remains, it is not and never will be as good as a massive corporate policy would be. This is when your lawyer may involve the rideshare app’s corporate offices. Many accident victims have started to go after the companies directly due to weak insurance coverage by the drivers’ individual insurance policies.
Lawsuits against Lyft and Uber grow year after year. Despite the massive efforts from Lyft and Uber to do everything in their power to avoid responsibility, the California Public Utilities Commission ruled that they have a duty to the people who use their services.
Both Uber and Lyft have $1 million policies covering passengers as well as drivers. These insurance policies cover accidental death and medical treatment. Many insurance companies cancel the policies of their customers once they start driving for Lyft or Uber. GEICO, Allstate, USAA, and Progressive have all started offering specific policies just for rideshare drivers.
If you’ve been involved in a California rideshare app accident, contact us today to set up a free consultation and review your individual case. We help clients in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose.