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What Happens if my Rideshare Driver is Uninsured or Underinsured in my California Car Accident?

How to Recover Compensation if Your Rideshare Driver Fails to Have Enough Insurance

Even a minor car accident could have massive ramifications for you and your family.  These ramifications include high medical bills and significant lost wages, which make it harder to afford the new medical bills.  Oftentimes this also translates into a more difficult time for a family to pay bills and utilities like the mortgage, food, or electric. Even though California law requires all motorists to carry auto insurance, that does not mean that a motorist will have enough to pay all of your healthcare expenses.  Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers know what to do if your rideshare driver is uninsured or underinsured in California.

This is because, at the Broadway Law Firm, we have the skill, experienced, and knowledge how to handle all types of motor vehicle accident cases.  Ridesharing accidents are some of the most complex and difficult types of motor vehicle accident cases for many reasons, including the many layers of liability that ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft create to insulate themselves. When a driver is not properly insured, that only adds to the difficulty to make a case even harder.  

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a ridesharing accident in California, learn how our experienced car accident lawyers in Los Angeles, CA can help recover compensation for your including medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.  We accept cases on a contingency fee basis which means we only get paid after you get paid in a settlement or court award.  Learn how we can help recover you compensation during a FREE consultation by dialing 213.344.0067.

Auto Insurance in California

Like all states, auto insurance is required in California.  There are minimum amounts of auto insurance that an individual must obtain to comply with the law.  The failure to obtain these minimum amounts can result in criminal fines and penalties.  The minimum amounts of insurance that must be obtained and maintained in California include the following:

  • $15,000 for the injury or death of any one person in a single accident
  • $30,000 for the total injuries or deaths suffered by two or more people in a single accident
  • $5,000 total property damage amount.

As you can tell, the amount of coverage here is very minimal.  There are very few injuries that will result in medical bills of just $15,000 for a single person.  When individuals are seriously hurt such as suffering broken bones, brain injuries, or paralysis, the $15,000 will be wholly insufficient.  

Ridesharing Insurance 

Apps such as Uber and Lyft require drivers to obtain and maintain adequate auto insurance.  The ridesharing companies even require proof of insurance and regularly check the insurance of its drivers.  When there is an auto accident, the driver’s insurance may be what covers the damages if the ridesharing driver is at fault.

If the ridesharing driver is not at fault, the ridesharing driver’s insurance may not be on the hook.  Rather the at-fault driver’s insurance may be required to cover the medical bills of a victim.

In some instances where the ridesharing driver’s insurance is inadequate, or in certain instances where the ridesharing company made a mistake in vetting the driver, the ridesharing company’s insurance may be required to pay for your expenses.  Most times the ridesharing company has a significantly higher insurance coverage which can be used to pay your medical bills and lost wages.

What Happens if the Ridesharing Driver Does Not Have Enough Insurance?

Given the low amount of minimum insurance, it is likely that an Uber or Lyft driver may not have enough coverage in a serious car accident.  In this situation, an insurance carrier could quickly pay the policy of $15,000 and then you could still be left with many thousands of dollars of medical bills and lost wages.  This could be a serious and crippling issue for you and your family.

There are several ways to protect yourself or to obtain compensation.  This includes the following:

1) Have UM/UIM Coverage

This is an additional policy or rider to a policy.  UM is for uninsured motorist coverage and UIM is for underinsured motorist coverage.  They are not a liability policy, but function as an extra damages policy for a family.  This means that UM/UIM policies only affect a victim and the victim’s family.  This means your premiums are being spent on yourself if a claim ever has to be filed.

You can get virtually any amount of UM/UIM coverage.  However, the more coverage that you obtain, the higher that your premium will be.  It is recommended that most families have $500,000 or more.  But it can be difficult to afford, so having $200,000 or more really should be the minimum families aim for.  The most, the better to protect your family.

This way if a ridesharing driver fails to have an adequate amount of insurance for your injuries, you will be able to have enough compensation to cover your family.  Other injured in the accident, including the driver or other third-parties, are not entitled to UM/UIM coverage that you purchase—that is just for your family.  This is important for a family to realize.

2) Obtain a Judgment

If the ridesharing driver’s insurance does not cover your bills and damages, you can obtain a judgment against him or her.  This can be used to garnish wages or put a lien on certain assets, including inheritances in the future.  You may not get your money right away, but it may be possible to eventually collect.

3) Fight it Out With Uber and Lyft

Ridesharing companies are vicariously liable for the actions of their employees.  Most times an experienced car accident lawyer will be able to pin liability against the ridesharing company in order to collect damages.  This is true even though ridesharing companies argue that their drivers are not employees, but rather freelancers.

4) Look for Other Sources of Payment

Were you on the job or within the scope of your employment when the accident happened?  You may be entitled to workers’ compensation to help pay the bills.

Are you now disabled?  You may be entitled to SSDI or other government-subsidized programs.

Ask an experienced lawyer and law firm for what other means of compensation that you may be entitled to for your damages.

Injured by a Ridesharing Driver’s Negligence?  We Can Help

Learn how the experienced car accident lawyers at the Broadway Law Firm can help recover you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, and for your pain and suffering during a FREE consultation by dialing 213.344.0067 or by using our easy-to-use contact us box available by clicking the link here.  We are a law firm in Los Angeles, California dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals hurt by the negligence of another.  Time is limited to file a claim, so do not delay and act now.

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