In recent years, the rise of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft has revolutionized the way people travel. However, as the popularity of rideshare app usage increases, the risk of accidents involving rideshare drivers also increases. Being involved in a car accident is a stressful and often traumatic experience that can negatively impact your health and finances. If you were involved in a rideshare accident in California, you may be wondering about the average settlement amount.
The average rideshare accident settlement in CA is unique to each case. How much you can sue for will depend on various factors that affect the value of your claim, including the nature and extent of your injury, your damages, and insurance limits. In this article, we will explore the key factors affecting the settlement amount in rideshare accident cases in California.
How Does the Rideshare Accident Claims Process Work in CA?
After a rideshare accident, you can file a claim with either the rideshare driver’s personal insurance or the rideshare company’s insurance. The insurance company will then investigate to determine negligence. In California, you must establish the following elements to prove negligence:
- Duty—the driver owed you a duty of care;
- Breach—the driver failed to meet that standard of care through their conduct;
- Causation—the breach of duty caused the car accident; and
- Damages—you incurred damages as a result of the accident.
If the rideshare driver is found negligent, you may get a settlement offer from the insurance company. An experienced rideshare accident attorney can negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement amount. If you are unable to reach a settlement amount, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your damages.
What Is the Average Rideshare Accident Settlement in California?
The average Uber or Lyft settlement amount depends on various factors, which we will explore below.
Type and Extent of Injuries
A significant factor affecting the value of your rideshare accident settlement is the type and severity of the injuries you have suffered. For example, a case involving soft tissue injuries that resolve quickly and with minimal medical treatment will not have the same settlement value as a long-term disability such as a traumatic brain injury. Medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, and potential long-term effects will all be considered.
Amount of Damages
In California, your damages can include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include quantifiable costs incurred, such as:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Reduced earning capacity, and
- Property damage.
Noneconomic damages include damages that are personal to the victim and are therefore hard to quantify, such as:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of consortium.
Both economic and noneconomic damages are affected by the severity of your injuries. An experienced attorney can help walk you through each of these categories and give you a better idea of what your claim might be worth.
The amount of available insurance coverage can influence the Lyft or Uber settlement amount. For example, if you have $100,000 in damages but the defendant only has $50,000 in liability coverage, you may not be able to collect the full value of your claim. Insurance coverage in rideshare accidents differs from regular car accidents, because the Uber or Lyft driver may be working at the time of the accident. The “status” of the rideshare driver at the time of the accident can affect the amount of liability coverage available.
Personal Insurance Coverage
If a rideshare driver does not have a passenger at the time of the accident and is not logged into the rideshare system for work, they are only covered by their personal insurance coverage. California law requires that all drivers have at least 15/30/5 liability insurance coverage. These minimum liability insurance requirements include:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person;
- $30,000 for all persons injured in any one accident; and
- $5,000 for property damage.
The California minimum liability insurance requirements may not provide for the full amount of your injuries and damages.
Personal and Rideshare’s Insurance Coverage
If an Uber or Lyft driver is logged into their system and is waiting for a fare, but does not have a passenger in their vehicle, the driver’s personal insurance will be primarily responsible for the resulting accident.
However, in this case, if the driver’s personal insurance company denies the claim or doesn’t have adequate liability coverage, the rideshare company’s insurance policy will be responsible for damages.
Rideshare’s Insurance Coverage
If a rideshare driver is logged into the system and has a passenger in their car or is on the way to pick a passenger up, the driver is covered by the rideshare company’s insurance policy. Parties covered under this policy include the rideshare driver, the rideshare passengers, and the other parties involved in the accident. In this case, the policy limits may be much more than the minimum policy requirements in California. For example, Uber provides a one-million-dollar coverage policy in these circumstances.
California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that if you are partially at fault for your accident, your compensation is reduced by your percentage at fault. In a pure comparative negligence state, no matter how high your percentage of fault, you can still recover damages. For example, if you are in a car accident and a jury finds that you have suffered $100,000 in damages but determines you are 75% at fault, you will still be awarded $25,000 in damages.
If you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you are most likely not at fault for the accident, and comparative negligence will not apply. However, if you are a driver or pedestrian outside the rideshare vehicle, you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident.
Having an experienced attorney fighting for your interests can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. They can negotiate on your behalf and, if necessary, guide you through the legal process and help you obtain the best outcome.
How Frederick Law Firm Can Help
Rideshare accidents in California can be complex, involving multiple parties and insurance companies. The average rideshare accident settlement in California varies, depending on the severity of the injury to liability and legal representation. The experienced car accident attorneys at the Frederick Law Firm can help you determine what your claim is likely to be worth. We are prepared to take your case to trial and have won millions of dollars for our clients in personal injury cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.