Holidays are here, and while it is the time to be jolly, we’ve all got plenty on our to-do lists. You may be putting the finishing touches on decking your halls, zipping out for eggnog supplies, heading to that work party, or wrapping those last-minute gifts that get you every year. There is plenty to keep all of us busy.
While we were hoping to have the pandemic behind us this holiday season, it didn’t quite work out that way, and holiday anxiety levels are definitely up a notch or two. In other words, we’re all running on empty, and those rideshare companies – like Uber and Lyft – are really coming in handy about now. However, with all the heightened holiday everything, the risk of car accidents, including rideshare accidents, is also on the rise. If you are injured in an accident, whether you are the driver or you are a passenger, you need an experienced Southern California rideshare accident attorney in your corner.
Turning up the Holiday Heat
So why is the best time of the year, also the time where we have an increasing volume of motor vehicle accidents:
- People are out in full force – whether they are running errands, tying up those loose holiday ends, raising a glass of cheer, or doing just about anything else – and you can expect traffic to be heavy (including at odd times).
- People are stressed – because it’s the holidays, and there is a pandemic, and it’s a lot – and all that stress can lead to distracted and/or more aggressive driving.
- Everyone is in a rush, and all that dashing around increases the risk that dangerous accidents will transpire.
With all the reindeer games out there, you can expect it to be more difficult to get where you’re going and to find a parking spot when you do finally arrive, and this is where those rideshare companies really shine.
On Dasher, On Dancer, On Prancer, and Vixen!
With all that you have to do, it is no surprise that we will need the extra help- even just so you can get some work done while in the car or prevent you from spending hours looking for parking. With that said, Uber and Lyft rides can be worth their weight in gold this time of year. It’s like having your own sleigh and seven reindeer (for 30 minutes or so at a time), and it really couldn’t be more convenient. Gone is the need to plan the best route, to fight traffic, and to score parking – you have an (Uber)driver for that, and there is no reason to worry your pretty little head. Unfortunately, rideshare accidents are all too real and are often exceptionally dangerous.
When the Holidays and Rideshares Meet
The holiday factors that turn up the heat on accidents this time of year are not the end of the story. There is also a wide range of factors that make rideshare accidents that much more likely in the first place, including:
- Rideshare drivers do not need a commercial driver’s license – or any special skills or experience – to ferry you from place to place. While hailing a rideshare vehicle gives you the feeling that you’re hiring a professional driver, this is only true in the sense that you are paying him or her.
- Rideshare drivers face considerable hurdles on the path toward payment, including finding passengers awaiting their arrival (when those passengers are where they’re supposed to be to begin with), driving on roads and in areas that are unfamiliar to them, interacting with the rideshare app behind the wheel, pulling in and out of traffic frequently (when every driver is at his or her most vulnerable), and contending with their own holiday hoopla behind the scenes.
- Rideshare drivers put a lot of wear and tear on their vehicles, and there is no guarantee that these vehicles are roadworthy when they hit the streets.
When the factors that make the holidays more dangerous converge with the factors that can make rideshares more dangerous, to begin with, it can lead to fireworks.
Filing Your Rideshare Accident Claim
If you were out powering through your holiday chores and were injured by a rideshare driver’s negligence, or you were injured as a passenger in a negligent rideshare driver’s car, the matter of your rideshare accident claim is paramount. And this is where things often become tricky. To make the matter a bit more manageable, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has – according to Reuters – broken things down into stages from 0 to 3, which can help
you better understand which insurance company is responsible for handling your rideshare accident claim.
Period 0 means that, although the at-fault driver happens to be a rideshare driver, he or she was not at the app at the time. Even if the rideshare driver just toggled off the rideshare app, the rideshare company is off the hook in terms of liability. All claims are filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.
Period 1 refers to the phase in the rideshare process when the rideshare driver is on the app but has no passengers in his or her vehicle and has none who are waiting to be picked up. At this juncture, the rideshare company’s liability is more limited than in later phases, but its coverage will generally pick up where the driver’s ends.
Period 2 refers to the phase in the rideshare process in which the rideshare driver has no passenger but is en route to pick one up. At this point, the rideshare company’s coverage should be in play.
Period 3 refers to when all the rideshare bells and whistles are going off – when the rideshare driver has a paying passenger in his or her vehicle. The rideshare company’s insurance provider has got this one covered.
Reach out to an Experienced Southern California Rideshare Accident Attorney for the Holiday Help You Need The practiced rideshare accident attorneys at Arshakyan Law Firm – proudly serving LA, San Diego, and all of Southern California – is in your corner this holiday season (and well beyond). To learn more, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 888-851-5005 today.