Everyone in Southern California has the right to safety––especially on our roads. In a culture that cherishes being on the move, many Los Angeles residents have turned to rideshare providers like Uber and Lyft for everyday transportation as opposed to public transportation (bus/train) or traditional taxi cabs. There are benefits to rideshare programs, some being ease of booking a ride request from a mobile device or travel tracking with a friend. However, with these benefits come, at times, grave outcomes, such as severe auto accidents or collisions, which can lead to property damage, catastrophic bodily injuries requiring medical treatment, high medical bills and insurance costs, and even sometimes the loss of life.
The Los Angeles team of Uber accident lawyers at the Dolan Law Firm have many years of experience advocating for our clients who have suffered injuries in rideshare accidents, and are eager to advocate on your behalf. Dolan Law Firm was one of the first plaintiff lawyers to take on Uber and litigate a case against them. You may have the right to a personal injury claim following a rideshare accident. A fair compensation could reinstate your enjoyment of life and travel, whether it be your daily commute or while on vacation.
The Dolan Law Firm has been serving California for over twenty five years. In that time, we have established positive attorney-client relationships with numerous members of our community from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. Unsure about the ways we can help? View our client testimonials to experience first-hand the lengths we will go to advocate for our clients and protect their rights. In addition, contact us to schedule an initial free consultation to go over the details of your case and to discuss all of your important legal options.
If you or someone close to you has been involved in a Uber/Lyft accident in Los Angeles, contact one of our highly skilled personal accident attorneys as soon as possible for a free consultation. You are not alone. The Dolan Law Firm is here to help today: 800-339-0352.
Christopher Dolan Fights for Change
On December 31, 2013, there was a tragic collision, where a little girl was struck and killed in a crosswalk by an Uber driver. Sophia Liu was 7 years old when she was killed. Her mother, Huan, and brother, Anthony, were pedestrians with her and witnessed her death. The driver was Syed Abid Muzaffar, and he was on the Uber app, but did not have a passenger at the time of the collision. Huan testified that just before being run-down she saw Muzzafar looking down at his cell phone, presumably checking his Uber app. At the time of Sophia’s death, Uber first claimed that Muzzafar was not acting as an Uber driver then, later, admitted that he had the app open but sought to continue to distance themselves from the tragedy by saying that he had no passenger onboard.
At this time Uber was still in its infancy and, acting as an infant, refused to accept any responsibility for Muzaffar’s conduct. Uber also revealed that they carried no insurance to cover losses, injuries, and/or death caused by Uber drivers. Muzzafar maintained the minimum amount of insurance on his vehicle: ($15,000.00 per any one person and no more than $30,000.00 for all injuries caused in a single event.) Prior to this tragedy, Christopher Dolan had written that such a tragedy would happen. He had raised an alarm about the business operations of Uber, that went unaddressed by leaders in California. Sophia’s death, the first to occur anywhere in the world by a “rideshare” driver, finally brought the issue to the public consciousness.
Given Mr. Dolan’s previous work on the “Uber issue” he was retained by the family to represent them in the wrongful death case. Given their limited English, Mr. Dolan spoke on their behalf at Sophia’s funeral. The Liu family wanted Mr. Dolan to communicate not only the beauty of their daughter in her life, but also the devastation which befell them with her death. They wanted him to communicate loud and clear that they would seek to hold Uber and the driver accountable for the devastation inflicted on their family. They also asked Mr. Dolan to commit to be that agent of change.
The Dolan Law firm filed the first wrongful death lawsuit against Uber alleging several novel theories in addition to the standard negligence claims. Mr. Dolan pleaded a cause of action maintaining that the app, as employed by the drivers, constituted a dangerous product as it required driver interaction, and instant messaging which violated California law thereby creating a risk of driver distraction: the very cause of Sophia’s death.
In addition to the lawsuit, Mr. Dolan joined the California Public Utilities proceedings, as a party, and participated in advocating for citizen safety, and Uber driver protection, demanding that Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies (now called Transportation Network Carriers -TNC) be responsible for providing insurance protection to cover the conduct of their drivers as well as harm the drivers might suffer from the negligence of others. Mr. Dolan also advocated for safety regulations for the Uber cars and background and security checks on drivers to provide a minimum level of public safety.
In doing so Mr. Dolan was joined by the taxi industry, the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other groups in advocating for regulation of this new industry that refused to follow existing safety rules. The proceedings were a success and regulations were developed to enhance public safety. At the same time, Mr. Dolan advocated that the Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, wade into the debate. He took the position that TNC’s had to maintain one million dollars in insurance coverage for their operations. He also spurred development of new types of insurance to cover drivers when engaged in the commercial activities of Lyft and Uber.
Simultaneously, the Consumer Attorneys of California (of which Christopher Dolan was former President), the statewide association of trial lawyers who advance the rights of and represent citizens who are injured through no fault of their own, through their head lobbyist, Nancy Peverini, worked hand in hand with Mr. Dolan and others, including then Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, to introduce legislation (SB 2293). SB 2293 required Uber, Lyft and other TNC’s to carry up to one million dollars of insurance to cover their drivers while the app was on. The courageous Liu family accompanied Mr. Dolan to Sacramento where together they advocated for the regulations which ultimately passed and were signed by Governor Brown. Later the CPUC adopted the same regulations and the insurance mandate became the model for every state in the US.
The Liu family ultimately reached a resolution of their Civil Lawsuit against Uber yet continued to advocate for accountability of the driver. District Attorney George Gascon, who had reviewed the case, charged Muzaffar with vehicular manslaughter. Again, Mrs. Liu testified about that fateful evening and, thanks to the effort of the DA’s office, Muzaffar was found guilty of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Following the conviction, Mrs. Liu stated that while she was glad that justice was done, she lived every day knowing that she would never see her daughter again. She also stated that she was glad that, in honor of Sophia, the law had been changed.
Out of tragedy can come change. Not only for those directly involved but for society as a whole. Mr. Dolan has been involved in great change dozens of times. This happens only when people think beyond themselves and are willing to fight for justice. That is what Christopher Dolan and the attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm do every day whether it is in the courts, the Statehouse or through a regulatory agency.
Our Uber Accident Lawyers in LA Will Represent Your Interests
Ride-share providers like Uber and Lyft have exploded on the scene as a means of transportation for users worldwide who find them convenient, cost-effective, and preferable to traditional taxi cabs. Transportation network companies, as they are referred to in California, are especially popular in Los Angeles: According to Business Insider, the municipal region lands a spot at #12 on the list of top cities throughout the world for Uber and Lyft usage. However, despite the attraction of using an app to arrange, track, and pay for a ride, accidents still happen. Due to the unique arrangement among passengers, drivers, insurance companies, and ride-share companies, these incidents can be even more complex than typical motor vehicle collisions.
Despite the intricate, sometimes confusing laws, negligence is still at the heart of many rideshare accidents in Los Angeles, which means you still have rights as an injured party. At the Dolan Law Firm, our skilled Los Angeles Uber/Lyft accident attorneys are here to help you overcome the challenges you face in recovering the compensation for your damages. Our team of Uber accident lawyers in Los Angeles have been serving the Southern California region for more than two decades. In that time, our attorneys have nurtured their expansive knowledge of the statute of limitations and have been involved in helping our clients obtain settlements and resources that they are now proud of. Please contact our office to set up a free consultation about your case, gain top-quality knowledge and legal advice, and obtain information about rideshare liability: 800-339-0352.
Different Scenarios Affecting Uber/Lyft Accident Claims
When you arrange a ride through Uber or Lyft, there is one thing that will almost always be clear about liability in an accident: As a passenger, you will not be at fault. Aside from this factor, there are multiple scenarios that call blame into question:
- The accident was caused by negligence of the Uber/Lyft driver before picking up a passenger;
- The collision was the result of an Uber/Lyft driver’s negligence while carrying a passenger; or,
- The crash is due to the negligence of another motorist or multiple motorists on the road.
If the collision was the result of the driver not operating your rideshare vehicle, you stand in the position of any other passenger who is hurt in a car accident. You would file a claim with the responsible motorist’s insurance company and attempt to recoup your losses. When the accident is due to the negligence of the Uber/Lyft operator, there are complicated routes of recovering compensation.
There are three phases of insurance for Uber and Lyft drivers:
- The first phase is when a driver is logged into the app, but has neither accepted a ride, nor do they have a passenger. In this phase there is $50,000 in coverage.
- In the second phase, a driver has accepted a ride and is going to pick that passenger up. During this phase there is $1,000,000 in coverage.
- During the third phase the passenger is in the Uber or Lyft and there is $1,000,000 in coverage. Should the driver not be logged into the app at all, only their personal coverage would apply as any other driver on the road. The state minimums are currently $15,000 per person and $30,000 per incident, but each driver has made their own decisions should they wish to carry higher levels of coverage.
Contact our Los Angeles office to learn more about your right to compensation after a rideshare accident has occurred. Our compassionate and competent team will assess the damages pertaining to your claim and help to build a strong case for you. Our Los Angeles office phone number is (213)-667-0308. We are also available on our website 24/7 using the chat function.
Similarities to Typical Car Accidents
Though your situation is slightly different as the injured party in an Uber/Lyft accident, there are some common elements that will seem familiar. Therefore, you should keep in mind that:
Negligence Remains the Key Factor: The specifics of auto crashes vary and may include speeding, drunk driving, falling asleep at the wheel, using a cell phone, and other causes. However, negligence is still at the core of most motor vehicle incidents, including Uber/Lyft accidents. In such a claim, you must prove:
- The driver had a responsibility to operate the vehicle safely;
- He or she breached this legal duty of care;
- Because of the breach, you were injured in a crash; and,
- You suffered losses as a result of your injuries.
Insurance Companies Will Protect Their Own Interests: Whether you are dealing with the insurance company for the Uber/Lyft driver, the rideshare company, or a third party motorist, you can expect a fight in attempting to get compensation for your losses. Insurers are not in business to protect your interests; they are motivated by profits. Decisions regarding insurance policies are determined with the provider in mind, not the injured party. Be sure to protect your rights by contacting an Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles.
You are Entitled to Compensation: If you are injured in an Uber/Lyft accident, you can recover losses related to your injuries, including:
- Your medical costs, including expenses for surgery, emergency care, ongoing treatment, pain medications, and related amounts;
- Lost wages for the time you cannot work due to your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Diminished quality of life;
- Emotional trauma; and,
- Other losses depending on how your injuries affect your life.
The Los Angeles injury attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm can provide a complete case evaluation and answer legal questions you may have. You do not need to protect your rights alone. We are here for you.
There are Potential Limitations on Your Claim: California law may affect your right to compensation because, like any personal injury case, there is the state statute of limitations. You may have up to two years after the date of your Uber/Lyft accident to file a lawsuit. Beyond this timeframe, you may no longer be able to proceed with your claim.
In addition, California law follows the rule of comparative negligence in motor vehicle collisions. If you are partially at fault for causing an accident, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to your actions. As a passenger of a rideshare service, the rule may not apply to you. However, if you are a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or driver of another car, comparative negligence may operate to reduce the amount of compensation you can recover. If you or someone you know was involved in an Uber/Lyft incident, seek out the legal team at the Dolan Law Firm for help now.
Consult with a Skilled Los Angeles Uber Accident Lawyer About Your Case
You do not give up your right to recover compensation just because you were injured in an Uber/Lyft accident rather than a motor vehicle collision involving private drivers. However, when there are multiple potential parties and complicated laws covering ride-share companies, you may not know where to begin with filing a claim. We understand that pursuing legal action after a traumatic event can feel overwhelming. We are here to remind you of what laws are in place to protect you during such a difficult time for you and those closest to you.
At the Dolan Law Firm, our Uber/Lyft accident lawyers in LA are prepared to fight for your interests because we have extensive experience in car crash cases involving rideshare operators and specific knowledge of the relevant statutes. We lead with patience and empathy. We will not pressure prospective clients to pursue any action that they do not feel is necessary. If you were injured in a Los Angeles Uber/Lyft accident and want to hear more about your legal remedies, please call us at 800-339-0352 or check us out online. We can schedule a free case assessment to review your circumstances.
As an experienced Uber Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles, what advice can you give for filing a Lyft and/or Uber accident claim?
Filing a personal injury claim following an accident involving a rideshare driver can feel overwhelming and intimidating when doing it alone. Contact a Los Angeles injury lawyer at the Dolan Law Firm to get help throughout the entire process. At the Dolan Law Firm, our years of experience attest to our commitment to putting our clients’ needs first and we have testimonials that prove our commitment to success for our clients.
How much can an Uber Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles get for me following an accident?
To establish an accurate amount, the details of your case will need to be considered, such as the severity of your injuries, the amount of medical bills incurred, lost wages, and the circumstances of the accident. Getting immediate legal representation from an Uber accident lawyer might improve your injury case as they can review your details during an initial free consultation, and provide you with options and projected outcomes (if possible) stemming from your injury claims.
If I was involved in a rideshare accident, do I file a claim with the Uber/Lyft driver?
Following an incident, the help of a personal injury attorney will ensure that the person involved in the accident will properly file a claim with the proper auto insurance. Contact us right away to learn more about your rights.