The advent of ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft created brand new opportunities for California entrepreneurs and ride seekers. While services like taxis and buses have been around for years, private citizens not employed by a company who use their personal vehicles to transport passengers for a fee was a novel idea. It was the dawn of a new age for passengers seeking a way to traverse LA and a golden opportunity for southern Californians who wanted to earn some extra cash. This new business model didn’t just create new opportunities, though. It also created a host of new challenges for insurance companies, legislators, and law enforcement professionals. Specifically, the issue of liability in the event of an accident involving Uber or Lyft drivers had to be sorted out.
A Brief History of Ride-Share Laws in California
Legislators and insurers understood the implications of these new ride-share companies, or Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), almost immediately upon their invention. So did Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, who began seeing an increase in TNC-related cases, many of which were complicated by the lack of precedent and the vague insurance regulations surrounding the fledgling industry. After much debate and discussion, the first official California legislation that directly addressed the issue, Assembly Senate Bill 2293, went into effect on July 1, 2015. The law required TNCs to either provide liability insurance coverage or ensure that their drivers were carrying said coverage while the app was on since most personal insurance policies wouldn’t cover business-related claims. Since then, more insurance options have been added, insurance companies have created a range of products specifically designed for individuals who use their vehicle for ride-sharing business activities, and the laws have become far clearer when it comes to issues like how to determine fault.
What to Do After an Accident
If you’ve been involved in a car accident while ride-sharing in the Los Angeles area, it’s important to record as much information as possible. Liability in these cases is still a complicated issue, and the clearer you can be with your insurance company, the better chance you’ll have of recovering damages. In most cases, either the driver’s business-related policy or the TNC’s policy will cover your injuries. However, it’s still important to gather as much information as possible for both insurance and legal purposes.
If you’ve been injured in a ride-share accident, contact us today. We’ll help you through the process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.