When you get into a rideshare car accident in a comparative fault city like Los Angeles, California, liability for the damages depends on the at-fault driver or drivers, even if this driver happens to be the one working for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft.
In cases where the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage falls short, the rideshare company’s insurance may compensate for it.
How much you will receive in damages, however, is another question. The adjuster of the at-fault driver’s insurance company will investigate matters, and he’ll most likely offer an amount that is more favorable to the insurance company than you.
If you want the best settlement you can get, know how to assert your right to the amount you deserve. In this case, getting the help of a rideshare car accident attorney is a good move.
A rideshare car accident lawyer is experienced in negotiating with insurance companies and can help you determine damages. He or she will also help your assessment of the following:
- How much should the damage claims be?
- Who’s at fault, by what percentage, and who should pay how much?
- Should you file a personal injury lawsuit or not?
Let’s look at them one by one.
How much should you claim as damages?
In a car accident, there are what we call economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easier to compute and straightforward. It includes:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Damaged property repair and replacement
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Burial expenses
It’s the non-economic damages that are more difficult to assign a monetary value to:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Physical injury
- Emotional distress
- Other losses or inconveniences
Who should pay how much?
As mentioned earlier, damages fall on the driver who is at fault, since he is considered an individual contractor. He is not the rideshare company’s employee, and therefore, is responsible for his insurance. If his insurance cannot cover the damages, the rideshare company’s insurance policy will cover the remaining cost.
In some car accidents, multiple parties may be at fault. In California’s pure comparative negligence system, each of these parties is held financially responsible, to the degree of their fault. Based on investigations, if your driver is 25 percent at-fault and the other driver is 75 percent at-fault, then the damages will be divided accordingly.
What if the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to pay?
When an insurance policy does include occupational accidents or a rideshare insurance extension, your at-fault driver’s insurance company may refuse to pay for the damages. It may also have insufficient coverage. When one of these two happens, you can file claims from the rideshare company’s insurer.
Should you file for a personal injury lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is tedious and stressful. And it puts you in a win-all or lose-all situation. If you lose the case, you don’t receive anything, not even the pre-litigation settlement offer by the insurance companies.
However, where outright negligence has resulted in extensive damages like permanent disability or loss of a loved one, filing for a personal injury lawsuit may be the only way you can get the compensation you deserve.
When you’re in this situation, you may want to consult an attorney who is experienced in a car accident or rideshare injury to know your chances of winning the case. At Haffner Law, we have experienced Uber or Lyft accident attorneys who can help you determine the best course to take after a car crash in a ridesharing trip. We will thoroughly investigate your accident and negotiate for the compensation you deserve, whether through an amicable settlement or a lawsuit.
Contact us at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637) to schedule a consultation today.