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Do I Sue the Driver or the Rideshare Company in an Uber/Lyft Accident in California?

Getting into a rideshare vehicle accident can be an overwhelming experience. You may suffer injuries, property damage, and emotional distress. As you grapple with the aftermath, one pressing question is who should you hold responsible – the rideshare driver or the company itself? This article will help you determine which route to go, but to get better legal advice contact the personal injury law firm in Los Angeles, Personal Injury Legal Group.

The answer is not always straightforward as it depends on the specific circumstances of your case and the applicable laws in California. In this article, we will explore the potential liability of both the driver and the rideshare company, guiding you through the process of determining the best course of action.

Suing the Rideshare Driver or Company in CA

Suing the Rideshare Driver

In many cases, the first party you might consider suing is the rideshare driver directly involved in the accident. Drivers who operate vehicles for companies like Uber or Lyft are typically classified as independent contractors rather than employees. This classification means that they are responsible for their own actions and negligence while on the job.

If the rideshare driver was at fault for the accident, you may have grounds to sue them for damages. Some key pointers of driver negligence include:

When suing the driver, you would file a personal injury claim against them and seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

However, it is important to note that drivers may have limited personal assets and insurance coverage, which could make it challenging to recover the full extent of your damages.

Suing the Rideshare Company

In certain situations, you may have a stronger case against the rideshare company itself. These companies are required to carry commercial insurance policies to cover accidents involving their drivers.

Under California law, rideshare companies are considered “transportation network companies” (TNCs), and they are held to specific regulations and liability standards. The potential liability of the TNC depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident:

  • Driver logged off the app: If the driver wasn’t actively looking for passengers or was not on a trip when the accident occurred, their personal auto insurance will be the primary coverage.
  • Driver logged on app but no passenger: When the driver has the app turned on but is not matched with a rider, the rideshare company provides contingent liability insurance. This covers injuries and property damage up to $1 million per accident.
  • Driver on a trip with passenger: Once a driver is matched with a passenger and the trip has begun, the rideshare company provides primary liability insurance with much higher coverage limits, typically $1 million per accident for bodily injury and $1 million for property damage.

In these cases, you may have grounds to sue the rideshare company directly if the driver was negligent and caused the accident while actively working for the TNC.

Additionally, you may be able to hold the rideshare company accountable if their negligence contributed to the accident. For example, if the company failed to properly vet the driver’s background or maintain adequate insurance coverage, you may have a claim against the company itself.

Determining the Best Course of Action

To determine the most appropriate party to sue, it is crucial to gather all relevant evidence and documentation surrounding the accident. This includes:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Photographs or videos of the accident scene
  • Medical records documenting your injuries
  • Repair estimates or invoices for vehicle damage

It is also advisable to consult with our experienced personal injury attorneys at the Personal Injury Legal Group who can review the specifics of your case and advise you on the best legal strategy. A personal injury lawyer can help you deal with the difficult nature of rideshare accident cases.

In some instances, you may choose to sue both the driver and the rideshare company, especially if the driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to fully compensate you for your damages.

Remember, time is a crucial factor when filing for a personal injury claim. California has a two-year statute of limitations¬†for most personal injury cases, meaning you need to file your lawsuit within two years of the accident date. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible can help ensure that you don’t miss any crucial deadlines

Seek Legal Help

If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, do not hesitate to contact the Personal Injury Legal Group today. We will consult with you to discuss your case and answer your questions. Let our Los Angeles rideshare accident attorneys help you today.

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