Rideshare companies have exploded on the scene in California, and are an especially large part of the transportation landscape in cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and in the Uber and Lyft corporations’ home city of San Francisco. In Los Angeles alone, 8.4 million UberX and Lyft customers hailed rides in 2012. With so many rideshares per day, there are bound to be several accidents, as well. If you are a rideshare passenger in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation. An experienced and helpful Los Angeles car accident attorney will help you navigate the landscape of your rights and responsibilities.
First steps to take after an accident
If you are in a rideshare accident, use this quick list of next steps to guide your actions prior to contacting your LA car accident lawyer:
- First, seek medical attention – even for minor injuries. Receiving immediate medical attention after a rideshare accident is key to the later determination of your case’s value.
- File a police report. Although this is unlikely to be admissible in court, these reports are a key part of your overall evidence and strategy. Police reports also usually establish fault.
- Obtain information about the other driver, as well as information about your own rideshare driver. Knowledge is power, even for passengers. Collect information to share with your advocates at a later date.
- Take photographs of the scene, damage, and anything else seemingly pertinent to your case or establishing cause. You may be able to submit these pictures as evidence.
- Do not be tempted to speak to the driver-at-fault’s insurance company. Wait until you retain counsel from a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, and allow them to speak on your behalf.
Know your rights before giving any statements
You are not required to speak to the party-at-fault’s insurance company, and it is best if you do not prior to speaking with your own attorney. Insurance companies hawkishly contend with their bottom line, and it is common practice for adjusters to manipulate and mislead in order to save the company money. While this practice is arguably morally repugnant, it is not always illegal – nor is it often challenged, as many people represent themselves in front of the at-fault driver’s insurance company without thought to the veritable deck stacked against them.
Insurance companies might attempt to settle immediately, or might contact you and record statements you give about your injuries and the accident. Do not fall for these tricks! Make sure you have retained counsel if you are not certain how to progress in these situations.
In order to file a lawsuit, you must have evidence of negligence on the part of the rideshare driver at fault. California State Vehicle Code 5430 mandates that a rideshare company must carry a $1 million policy for personal injury, property damage, and death. This means that, if you can prove negligence, you may be entitled to a settlement.
California has vehicle code protecting you if you are in a rideshare accident, but it is wise to retain experienced counsel. In the Los Angeles area, the law firm of Taylor & Ring emphasizes rideshare personal injury cases among their practice. Call us today at 310.776.6390 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation.
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Serving clients throughout the Greater Los Angeles and Southern California area, we represent victims in a variety of civil litigation cases. If you or a loved one has been injured, turn to an experienced Los Angeles personal injury or sexual assault lawyer.
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