Rideshare Driver Safety: Is Driving for Uber and Lyft Safe?

Before you choose to apply to drive for Lyft or Uber, you need to be aware about rideshare driver safety. In today’s digital age, the horror stories about ridesharing are no longer new. You are probably thinking that these companies are doing the best they can to ensure the safety of their drivers.

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However, their ability to protect their drivers is relatively limited due to the nature of their business. Drivers are considered contract workers and not employees, which means valid safety training is not required and thus many drivers do not know how to react to emergency situations.

Rideshare Driver Safety According to the Numbers

Regarding threats to drivers, ride-sharing companies claim that they are keeping a detailed report about them. Nonetheless, the companies refuse to share the numbers with the public. By looking at the data released by the federal regulators, you would probably understand why drivers often need legal guidance from rideshare lawyers.

According to the statistics, taxi drivers are more than 20 times likely to be a victim of a murder while they are on the job compared to other types of workers. Rideshare drivers face many of the same, if not exactly the same, risks.

The Bureau of Labor also released a report in 2014 where a shocking 3,200 taxi drivers were murdered or injured while they were on their job. Around 5.6% of them have sustained an injury that was caused by a violent passenger or person. Due to figures like these, the number of drivers getting rideshare insurance is slowly rising.

Ridesharing Companies Are Aware of the Risk

Judging from the action of the ridesharing companies, they are not completely unaware of the safety risks posed to drivers. Nonetheless, they still refuse to reclassify their drivers as employees probably because they want to avoid additional expenses. Instead, they’re finding other ways to address the issue, some of them quite bizarre.

Recently, Uber has tested a toy that is supposed to distract drunk, disruptive passengers from bothering drivers and potentially putting themselves—and others on the road—in danger. The ridesharing company believes that the best way to dissuade passengers from exhibiting disruptive and dangerous behavior is to entertain them and calm their nerves.

There are also reports that said that Uber is testing how mirrors would affect passengers if they could see themselves in them. The idea behind this concept is to allow the passengers to reflect upon their unruly behavior—both in a literal and figurative sense.

Overall, the drivers of the ridesharing companies are left to fend for themselves. More drivers are choosing not to drive during the wee hours of the night and avoiding picking up drunk passengers. Though it may affect the amount that they will earn, their safety is their priority.

There are rideshare lawyers who specialize in protecting drivers and their rights. In case they encounter unfortunate situations while they are in the job, drivers need lawyers who are willing to advocate for their rights and get them the highest amount of compensation possible when negligence leads to injury and other damages.

How to Handle a Scary Passenger

Rideshare programs are becoming an increasingly popular choice for both passengers looking for cheap transit options and drivers looking for an extra source of income. Rideshare driver safety is a growing concern among drivers, as dangerous situations involving passengers increase as the number of people who participate in rideshare programs increase as well.

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Be Prepared

In any typical stressful situation, adrenaline will cause your body to behave in ways that are difficult to predict. As a rideshare driver, rideshare driver safety depends on your ability to be prepared in advance for any situation that may pop up.

The first thing to have on hand is the phone number of an experienced rideshare lawyer. You can breathe a little easier knowing you have someone who is familiar with the law on your side. As a driver, you should always be up-to-date with your rideshare insurance, and make sure you’re familiar with its terms.

The War on Drugs

As a driver in a rideshare program, you should be prepared for customers who try to do drugs in your car or even talk about specific drug deals while in your car. If this is the case, local law enforcement recommends you end the ride as soon as it is safely possible. The best way to do this is to stop at a populated area that is well-lit, like a gas station or department store parking lot. Make an excuse for your passengers of why you need to stop the ride and that they should find another option.

If you feel this could cause some conflict, make an excuse to exit the vehicle and head into a business to make your phone call to 911. Stopping at a police station is not recommended, as this could cause an adverse reaction in your passengers that could put your safety and the safety of others at risk.

Abusive Passengers

Drivers in rideshare programs can be subject to verbal and physical abuse from their passengers. This can range from name-calling to full-out physical assault, and you need to be prepared for any number of situations. Unfortunately, many rideshare businesses employ drivers as independent contractors, so official rideshare driver safety training isn’t offered for many rideshare drivers.

Verbal abuse can be ignored, but physical abuse puts not only you and your passengers in danger, but anyone on the road can become potential collateral damage. In the event of a physical altercation, you need to safely stop the car as soon as possible and exit the vehicle. Call 911 immediately and report the situation. If you feel your safety is still in danger, get to a safe location like inside a store or around other people as soon as you can.

The Camera Is Your Best Friend

Your most precious tool in any of these dangerous situations is a dash-cam. Visible cameras within your vehicle will not only discourage unruly passenger behavior, but it’s also your best evidence against any false claims of what happened during the ride.

New California Traffic Laws for 2018

The California Legislature passes new laws concerning different spheres of life every year, and 2018 is not an exception as new traffic laws have already taken their effect on January 1 of this year. All of them were carefully examined by our experienced car accident attorneys in preparation of this article. Some of these laws are important and necessary, while others may be more controversial.

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Here is a quick overview of the New California Traffic Laws for 2018 and their effect on citizens of the Golden State.

The Usage of Marijuana

Even passengers are now not allowed to do anything that can distort the driver from the road and hinder driver safety. This law prohibits passengers to from ingesting or smoking marijuana if they are sitting in a moving vehicle.

Pedestrians’ Security

The new law makes it even clearer when pedestrians can cross the road. It clarifies that people can legally cross the street while the “Don’t Walk” signal or its equivalent are flashing. However, this is only allowed if the person can manage to cross before the traffic signal is stops flashing. The authorities hope that this law will make pedestrians safer, and even prevent them from crossing the road when it is prohibited. If effective, this law may even decrease the number of car accidents.

Regulating the Work of Ridesharing Services

Drivers who are working for ridesharing companies, such as Lyft or Uber, are now subject to stricter blood alcohol regulations. If there is a passenger in the car, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 are strictly prohibited from driving. Those who break this rule can get in trouble with the law. Our car accident lawyers think it’s just about time for this regulation.

Smog Checks Exemption

The smog checks exemption has been prolonged from six to eight years. However, drivers will have to pay more money annually. The fees will increase from $20 to $25 during the seventh and the eighth years.

A Training Program for Motorcyclists

Thanks to a new law, motorcyclists may complete a CHP-approved motorcyclist-training program in lieu of the required motorcycle skills test. After completing the course, motorcyclists receive a certificate that waives the skills test. This does not apply to riders under 21 years of age, as they still have to complete a novice motorcyclist-training program.

All in all, the new California Traffic Laws have improved road safety. Our team of car accident attorneys approve!

Recovering from Accident Trauma

If you’ve recently been injured in an accident, you may be experiencing many different feelings: shock, disbelief, anger, anxiety, fear, and guilt. These feelings may hit you all at once right after the accident, or they may gradually arise in the following days or weeks.
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What you are experiencing is trauma, and it is perfectly normal. Most accident victims experience trauma on some level, especially if injuries are involved. Usually, trauma goes away with time, and life goes back to normal. However, if the trauma remains or worsens after a long time has passed, it can become a serious, life-affecting issue.

When Trauma Becomes PTSD

Normal trauma is temporary and, like most physical wounds, heals with time. Post-traumatic stress, on the other hand, can change the way you act and think in the long term and get in the way of everyday life. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after an accident, you may have post-traumatic stress:

  • Persistent anxiety
  • Fear of driving or riding in vehicles
  • Resistance against medical treatment
  • Irritability and mood changes
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • A feeling of disconnection from the world around you
  • Constant, uncontrollable “replays” of the accident inside your head

Taking Steps to Recover

There are active measures you can take to facilitate your recovery from accident trauma:

1. Talk about your experience. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up inside. Instead, tell a friend, family member, or counselor about the accident and what you’re going through. It may sound like a cliché, but talking really does help.
2. Keep yourself active. Don’t do anything that might exacerbate your injuries. That said, talk to a physician to establish your limits and do what you can to stay active and healthy.
3. Follow up with your doctor. Your health matters first and foremost, so be proactive and vigilant. In the weeks and months following your accident, check with your doctor often to monitor your recovery. If you’re struggling with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, your doctor can refer you to a mental health specialist or therapist.
4. Try to get back to a routine. Accidents are often disruptive, making victims feel like they have lost control of their lives. It is an important part of the healing process to regain a sense of control and normalcy. The best of way of going about this is to reestablish a routine and stick to it.
5. Make stress reduction a priority. While some stress is normal, too much stress will only hinder your recovery. Relieve stress in the moment by practicing mindful breathing and engaging in sensory input that calms you down. Other effective stress reduction methods include meditation, taking time to relax, and getting plenty of rest.

As an accident victim, you should be able to focus 100% on your recovery, from your physical injuries as well as your mental trauma. However, you need compensation for your damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.), which means you must file an injury claim. In your current state, you may not be prepared to take on the legal challenges that come with a claim.

Fortunately, the top injury attorneys at Lalezary Law Firm can handle every aspect of your claim for you, so you can focus on your well-being. We will file the paperwork, get you coverage for your medical expenses, get your vehicle repaired or replaced, and more—and at no upfront cost to you. To speak to an attorney now, call (310) 550-8888 for a FREE consultation.

7 Steps to Winning Your Insurance Claim

The insurance company is not on your side. You may think that insurance companies are there to help you in times of emergency, but like every other business, their number one interest is their profits. Even if you have a legitimate claim, they may give you the runaround and make it difficult for you to get the compensation you are entitled to.

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If you want to get full and fair compensation for your damages (medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc.), you must be able to beat the insurance company at their own game. Here’s how:

  1. If the insurance company denies your claim, request a written explanation. Because you have a legal right to this information, the company must meet your request.
  2. Get your paperwork in order. Retain any document you have signed from the insurance company in addition to your original policy and an overview of your benefits. If you are missing any documents, you can request them from the insurance company.
  3. Conduct a close review of all your documents. It is highly advised that you get a professional set of eyes to look at your documents and determine whether your claim was rightfully denied.
  4. Make sure your signature was not forged. Shocking fact, insurance companies have been known to engage in this shady and deceitful practice in the past. Any document that bears your signature, make sure they’re legit.
  5. Keep all receipts and put all requests in writing. You want to keep a meticulous record of every communication and transaction that you have with the insurance company. Otherwise, any gaps may be exploited to reduce or deny your claim.
  6. Filing errors are not grounds for denial. If the insurance company says otherwise, challenge them. If you don’t show them that you are well aware of your rights, they will keep trying to push you around.
  7. Consult with an experienced attorney. This should really be the first step. Insurance companies are much more likely to play fair when an attorney is present. Also, initial consultations are almost always free, so there’s literally zero risk to calling an attorney.

At Lalezary Law Firm, our award-winning team of accident attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of cases for clients. We can help you get your medical bills paid, your vehicle repaired or replaced, and your damages fully compensated for, with no upfront out-of-pocket costs to you. To speak with an attorney now, call (888) 778-8888.

Personal Injury FAQ

Find answers to your basic questions about personal injury claims below. If you want to speak to an attorney about your case in detail, call (888) 778-8888 for a FREE consultation. Lalezary Law Firm represents all clients on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay unless we win.

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Do I really need an attorney?

If you have been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement, and other damages.

HOWEVER, you will have to file paperwork, gather evidence, get medical treatment, talk with the insurance adjuster, etc. Or you can get an experienced personal injury attorney to take care of everything for you.

We can get you medical treatment with zero upfront costs to you. We can get you a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired or replaced. We can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. We can file all the paperwork. We can handle every aspect of your claim, so you can concentrate on getting healthy again. It is our goal to make your life easier when times are tough.

But the insurance company said I don’t need an attorney.

First, it is illegal for anybody who is not an attorney to give legal advice. Second, your interests and the interests of the insurance company are not the same. In fact, their interests may be in direct conflict with your interests, so it’s best not to take advice from them.

If you want an unbiased legal opinion, your best bet is to speak to a reputable attorney.

What is my case worth?

No attorney can provide you with an exact figure—in fact, it is against bar regulations to make guarantees of this sort—but he or she can give you an estimate based on the following factors:

• The severity of your injuries and the resulting medical bills
• The circumstances of liability
• Your insurance and the liable party’s insurance
• Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
• Pain and suffering

The amount of compensation you receive will be affected not only by the above factors, but also by the quality of your legal representation. A decent attorney may get you a mediocre amount of compensation, just barely enough to cover your losses, but an exceptional attorney will utilize every resource and angle to maximize your compensation—which is what we do here at Lalezary Law Firm.

How long will my case take?

Similar to case worth, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to provide an exact estimate of case length. No two cases are alike and therefore there is no general timetable for these things. Some claims may settle within a few months, while others can go all the way to litigation and take years to complete.

Can I still get compensation if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Yes. The state of California uses the system of “pure comparative negligence” when determining damages in a personal injury claim. In simpler terms, your compensation award is reduced by an amount equivalent to your percentage of fault. For instance, if you’re awarded $100,000 in compensation but the jury determines that you were 50% at fault, then you will receive a total of $50,000 ($100,000 minus 50%).

How much will it cost to hire Lalezary Law Firm?

We charge no upfront, out-of-pocket costs. Instead, we take a fair percentage of your settlement or verdict. This means that we don’t get paid unless you win. So there is literally zero risk to seeking our help.

If you want to discuss your personal injury claim with one of our award-winning attorneys, contact us now. Our line is open 24/7.

Most Dangerous Intersections in Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles has been promoting alternative ways of transportation to be less-dependent on motor vehicles such as walking or biking. While this alternative may seem eco-friendly, it also leads to different safety risks. One recent report revealed that 5,094 pedestrian injuries were recorded over a year. Additionally, the collision data indicated that pedestrians were found at-fault on 31% of the collision cases.

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Top Five Most Dangerous Intersections in Los Angeles

Out of all accidents that took place in California, Los Angeles comprised 38% of the total injuries and around 29% of the fatalities. This explains why many of the most dangerous intersections in California can be found in Los Angeles. Here are the top five most dangerous intersections found within Los Angeles that accounts for the bulk of pedestrian injuries and accidents.

1. Imperial Hwy and Vista Del Mar

This place might be stunning, but experienced car accident attorneys will tell you that more pedestrian accidents as well as car crashes happen here compared to most other areas in Los Angeles. The cause of this unprecedented number of accidents may be due to many different factors, such as bad road design and inadequate signage.

2. Roscoe Blvd and Van Nuys Blvd

Around 18 collisions happened in this area during the time of the study. This is quite surprising considering that a DMV building is situated in this area.

3. W Florence Ave and S. Western Ave

With about 16 collisions that happened in this area, this definitely belongs in the 3rd spot. This is quite scary considering the fact that a school is located near this area. Many students cross this intersection as they go to and from school.

4. Lennox Ave and Roscoe Blvd

The city of Panorama shows up multiple times in this report. This particular intersection has more than its fair share of accidents, with around 15 collisions happening in this area.

5. West Pico and La Cienega

During 2014-2015, this intersection claimed at least 15 lives—and that only includes the incidents which were reported.

According to the statistics, pedestrians face a much higher risk of dying in a collision with a motor vehicle than motorists, which makes sense, considering how fragile the human body is in comparison. All knowledgeable car accident lawyer know that pedestrians are at least five times more likely to obtain a life-threatening injury after a collision compared to motorists.

This study did not particularly focus on the number of pedestrians’ injuries, but according to the 2014 studies, there were 207 fatalities in Los Angeles, which is significantly higher compared to Maricopa who took the second spot.

In the event that you get injured in a pedestrian accident, we highly encourage you to seek the help of pedestrian accident lawyers. They will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve while you focus on rehabilitation.

Most Dangerous Freeways in California

California is one of the most populated states in America, thus it has a high volume of people with cars, which makes it one of the largest population of drivers in the country. The state has two freeways that are among the most dangerous in the United States because of the exceptional amount of car crashes that happen there.

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The first is “The 5”. About one million vehicles use Interstate 5 on the daily. The road used to commute from Los Angeles to San Francisco is used by motorists of all kinds. Data from 2016 showed that about 200 people died per year in a span of four years. They were involved in fatal car crashes.

Interstate 10 is the second most deadly freeway in the state. A high volume of car crashes occur due to alcohol intoxication, distracted driving, and traffic volume. These are the most common causes of car crashes in I-8 and I-40 as well.

If you are involved in a car crash, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can guide you through the process. A car accident attorney will help you get compensation for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and more, especially if you were injured in the crash.

How to Avoid Car Accidents?

The very first thing to do is to follow the traffic rules and regulations from that freeway. Keep your eyes on the road. Avoid any distraction from cellphones or even from kids.

Try adjusting your driving style. Adopt a defensive driving philosophy; it will allow you to foresee probable crashes because you will become more cautious. Some advice to keep in mind when driving defensively: keep pace with the traffic, but also drive slow enough so that you will have ample time and distance to react in case of an emergency.

Don’t forget to use your turn signals and don’t be aggressive against the other motorists around you. If you see an accident on the road, turn on your emergency lights to indicate to other drivers that something has happened on the road.

Try not to drive in bad weather conditions. Bad weather causes a lot of accidents because the road gets slippery gets too slippery and the car becomes more difficult to control. If you see yourself driving under these conditions, the first thing you have to do is slow down and keep steady, or you could lose control of your vehicle.

If your vehicle happens to break down on the road, try to steer it safely to the side of the road. If your vehicle breaks down on the freeway, DO NOT under any circumstances get out of the car. Turn on the emergency lights and the interior lights. If your engine is still operative, keep your vehicle on so the battery doesn’t lose charge completely.

Call a trustworthy towing company, so the help arrives faster, and remember to NOT GET OUT of your vehicle.

As hard as it may sound, try to keep calm because calm minds make better decisions. Also, remember that help will arrive.

To Split or Not to Split

When motorcyclists and cars share the road, you will often see the former split lanes. You can define splitting lanes as the practice of riding a motorcycle between cars, which are usually at a standstill or moving slowly when this occurs. The rider utilizes the space left in between cars.

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California became the first and only US state to make lane splitting legal. That means that a police officer may not issue you a ticket for lane splitting. If you are involved in an accident due to splitting lanes, it is just like any motorcycle crash where the law applies.

Of course, this issue is sensitive, and there are conflicting sides. On one hand, you have most motorcyclists, and on the other hand, you have other motorists who believe the practice is disruptive and dangerous.

What Motorcyclists Say

Motorcycles groups across America are advocating for lane splitting to be made legal. In most places such as Texas, there are no laws that clearly address the question of splitting. Those for lane splitting argue that it could lead to reduced rear-end fatalities.

They point to the evidence that when motorcycles wait behind cars, they become very vulnerable. The car in front and behind makes it easy for a motorcycle crash to occur. According to this camp, the space between cars is sufficient to keep the traffic flowing.

What Opponents Say

Lane splitting becomes highly dangerous when someone is moving at a fast speed. While the majority of lane splitters have never been involved in an accident, most of them have nearly hit a car, according to a study done in California.

Among the responders, 34.6 percent had struck a side mirror. The percentage of riders who had suffered severe injuries was 9.9, and 11.1 percent had minor injuries.

Speed is a determinant of the safety of lane splitting. Not splitting at speeds of 30 mph or greater is one of the guidelines of the California Motorcycle Safety Program (CMSP). At high speeds, the rider will have less time to react to a potential hazard.

The guidelines advise riders to travel at 10 mph faster than the rest of the traffic when splitting lanes. They should not split near off-ramps or freeway exits. The riders should never split where they cannot fit or on unfamiliar roads.

Riders have to be keen and note what cars are doing, the guidelines further recommend. They must implement measures to become more visible to other motorists. Splitting is not allowed when it is dark or in the rain.

The California Motorcycle Safety Program (CMSP) permits a police officer to assess your riding to determine if your lane splitting was safe and prudent.

In Case of a Motorcycle Crash

You are responsible for your safety thus learn and follow the recommendations of the CMSP. If you used reasonable safety measures but suffered an accident, consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to learn more about your case and how you can recover. The lawyer will determine who is legally liable for your injuries and damage to the motorcycle. The lawyer will also ensure your motorcycle insurance provides you with the coverage you deserve.

The $1 Million Rideshare Insurance Policy

Many car owners become Uber drivers because they get to control their own work schedule and meet new people—and the sign-up bonus is always nice. However, what happens when there’s an Uber accident? What insurance coverage is available in this case?

rideshare accident

Any experienced rideshare accident lawyer will know that Uber provides a $1 million rideshare insurance policy. A personal auto insurance policy does not cover the driver during rides if he or she is driving for Uber. Most car insurance providers view driving for Uber as a commercial activity, and most policies exclude such activity in their regular coverage.

Requirements for $1 Million Rideshare Insurance Policy

Uber drivers have a certain level of insurance by default. The rideshare company provides it to them once they become part of the company. The insurance policy covers the activity of the driver at the time of the Uber accident.

When the driver is using the vehicle for personal purposes and not available to accept rides from the app, then the Uber insurance policy doesn’t apply. Instead, the personal policy of the driver takes effect (if qualifying insurance is available).

If the driver is available on Uber and he/she is not yet carrying a rider during the accident, the primary insurance will be the driver’s personal policy. However, the ridesharing company provides additional coverage for liability up to $50,000 for each injury and a maximum of $100,000. Uber’s insurance policy will also cover a maximum of $25,000 in damage to property.

When the driver is carrying a rider during the time of the Uber accident, then the $1 million insurance policy takes effect. Both the driver and the passenger are covered by the liability insurance policy. If there are third parties injured in the accident, the policy also covers them.

Uber’s insurance policy provide drivers the right amount of insurance required by the State of California when it comes to minimum financial responsibility. The rideshare insurance policy protects both drivers and passengers.

The rideshare insurance policy provides $1 million of liability coverage for each Uber accident; $1 million of underinsured/uninsured motorist injury coverage for each incident; collision and contingent comprehensive insurance; and no-fault coverage.

Cost of Uber Driver Insurance

The driver insurance from Uber is affordable. According to rideshare accident lawyer, the insurance is worth every penny. The cost of the policy from a private insurance provider is around $6 to $20 a month. The cost depends on the coverage amount, the city you are driving in, a provider of the policy, and other factors.

Drivers can also opt for a commercial insurance that provides more protection for drivers when they are logged into the Uber app. Commercial insurance is advisable for high-end vehicles such as UberSUV and UberLUX. While this type of policy is more expensive than the standard rideshare policy, it provides greater coverage for the driver.

These are the things you need to know about Uber’s $1 million rideshare insurance policy. If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, it is advisable to contact a rideshare accident lawyer right away. The right accident lawyer can help you sort things out and guide you through the process.