Santa Barbara Rideshare Accident Attorneys
As rideshare and ride-hail companies have become increasingly popular over the last few years, the potential for serious and even deadly accidents involving rideshare drivers has also increased. There are concerns about how well drivers who represent companies like Uber and Lyft are checked out before being allowed to make money for and from them. In California, recent laws have made it more difficult to become a rideshare driver, with increased background check requirements and restrictions on allowable intoxication levels for the driver.
Even as efforts are made to prevent accidents involving rideshare drivers, there is still a risk of collisions occurring. If you or someone you know has been in an accident involving a driver for one of these companies, make sure your rights are protected. While these businesses are required to have insurance that can help offset your expenses, you might have issues filing a claim and receiving compensation. Don't try to handle all of these responsibilities yourself. Call a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer at NordstrandBlack PC today at (805) 962-2022.
Rideshare services are businesses that allow regular drivers to pick up passengers and take them to another location for a fee. Unlike taxis and similar services, the drivers for these businesses are not actually hired employees and do not receive training or vehicles provided by the company. Ridesharing drivers use their own cars or trucks and have standard driver's licenses, as opposed to the commercial driver's licenses required by many other companies.
In California, rideshare businesses like Uber and Lyft have to carry a certain amount of liability insurance that can be used should one of their drivers be involved in an accident. This insurance is meant to help anyone injured in such an accident, including passengers in the rideshare vehicle as well as those outside the car. Additionally, drivers must have their own insurance, like any other California driver, and this typically includes additional coverage in case of an accident while acting as a rideshare driver.
Recent laws were enacted to place additional regulations and restrictions on these companies and their drivers. Rideshare companies in California must now perform background checks on their drivers going all the way back to when the driver turned 18, not just for the last seven years.
People who have been convicted of certain types of crimes, including sexual assault and domestic violence, are not allowed to be rideshare drivers. Drivers with a DUI in the past seven years are also restricted from driving for such companies in California. Finally, these laws also allow rideshare drivers to drive with a blood alcohol level of .04%, the same as for people with a commercial driver's license, instead of 0.08%, the allowable blood alcohol limit for a driver with a Class C license.
In terms of negligence and liability after an accident, there are some important differences between rideshare services and companies that run taxis. Because the rideshare company does not oversee the vehicles used, any vehicular malfunction is typically not the fault of the company and therefore the company likely will not be held liable for accidents that come from such a malfunction. The driver or vehicle manufacturer is much more likely to be personally liable for such an accident.
Only if the rideshare service has clearly violated a law or other reasonable limit on hiring drivers can the company be held liable, whereas cab companies are often more vulnerable to lawsuits.
If you have been involved in any kind of vehicle accident, including one involving a rideshare driver, call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022. We will discuss your case and talk about what you can do to protect your rights and get compensation.