Oxnard Rideshare Accident Lawyers
Serving Ventura County & Beyond
Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are growing in popularity, with millions of users and thousands of drivers signing up for these services every year. However, there are numerous safety concerns that surround these services.
Ridesharing drivers are not required to undergo the same extensive background checks as taxi drivers and other transportation services, which means that rideshare drivers could have criminal histories or other issues that could make them unsafe drivers.
If you've been involved in a rideshare accident in Oxnard or Ventura County, The Schurmer Firm is here to help you navigate the legal complexities and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (805) 470-1628 today to discuss your options.
What Are Common Rideshare Accident Injuries?
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized how we get around, but they've also introduced new risks. Accidents involving rideshare vehicles can result in a spectrum of injuries, some of which can be life-altering. Here's a closer look at some common injuries:
- Whiplash and Other Neck Injuries: Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents and occurs when the head is forcefully and quickly thrown forward and then backward, causing damage to the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Other neck injuries may include strains, sprains, or even fractures.
- Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: The impact of a collision can result in serious back injuries, including herniated discs, compression fractures, and spinal cord injuries. These can lead to chronic pain, limited mobility, and in severe cases, paralysis.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): TBIs are caused by a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts normal brain function. They can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. Symptoms may include headaches, confusion, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
- Broken Bones: The force exerted during a car accident can easily break bones. These fractures can occur in any part of the body but are most common in the arms, legs, ribs, and collarbone.
- Cuts, Bruises, and Lacerations: Flying debris, shattered glass, and the impact of the crash can cause various superficial or deep wounds. These injuries can lead to significant blood loss and may require stitches or surgery.
- Psychological Trauma: Not all injuries are physical. Many people experience psychological trauma after a car accident. This can manifest as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health conditions.
It's important to remember that symptoms of these injuries may not appear immediately after the accident. Therefore, it's crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible following a rideshare accident, even if you feel fine initially.
What Are Common Rideshare Accident Causes?
Rideshare accidents are often the result of a combination of factors. Here's a closer look at some common causes:
- Distracted Driving: This is one of the top causes of all types of auto accidents, including rideshare accidents. Distractions can include anything from using a phone for navigation or communication, eating, talking to passengers, or even adjusting the radio. Any non-driving activity that diverts attention from the road can be considered a distraction and increases the risk of an accident.
- Speeding or Reckless Driving: Speeding not only reduces the driver's ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, but it extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation. Reckless driving, which may involve changing lanes without signaling, following too closely, or ignoring traffic signals, also significantly increases the risk of an accident.
- Driver Fatigue: Rideshare drivers often work long hours or during late-night/early morning hours to earn more money when demand is high. This can lead to fatigue, which can slow reaction times and impair a driver's ability to make good decisions.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Rideshare vehicles are typically personal cars that are driven for many miles each day. If these vehicles are not properly maintained, they can develop issues that increase the risk of an accident. This can include worn-out brakes, bald tires, or faulty headlights.
- Driving Under the Influence: Alcohol or drug use impairs the driver's ability to operate the vehicle safely. It affects their judgment, coordination, and reaction times. Driving under the influence is illegal and highly dangerous, yet continues to be a cause of many accidents, including those involving rideshare vehicles.
These factors underscore why it's important to always be alert and aware as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle. If you notice your driver exhibiting any of these risky behaviors, it's crucial to speak up for your safety.
Who Is Liable for a Rideshare Accident in California?
Determining liability in a rideshare accident can be complex due to the involvement of multiple parties.
Rideshare Driver: If the driver's negligence caused the accident.
Other Drivers: If another driver's actions contributed to the accident.
Rideshare Company: Under certain circumstances, the company may be held liable.
Under California law, rideshare companies are required to have a $1 million liability policy to cover damages in the event of an accident. However, they may try to dodge liability through several tactics.
Dodging Liability: Tactics of Uber, Lyft, and Similar Companies
Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft often employ various tactics to minimize their liability:
- Independent Contractor Status: One of the primary ways rideshare companies avoid liability is by classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. This distinction is critical because it allows these companies to argue that they are not responsible for the actions of their drivers. Instead, they claim to merely provide a platform that connects drivers with passengers.
- Driver Accountability: In line with classifying drivers as independent contractors, rideshare companies often assert that drivers, as independent entities, are solely responsible for any accidents that occur. This approach attempts to shift all blame and legal responsibility onto the driver.
- Limited Insurance Payouts: Rideshare companies do carry commercial insurance policies, but they often have specific limitations. For example, these policies typically provide coverage based on the driver's status at the time of the accident (whether they were logged into the app, whether they had accepted a ride, etc.). These conditions can significantly affect how much compensation is available to accident victims.
Other tactics employed by rideshare companies include aggressive lobbying efforts to shape regulations in their favor, and even creating fake accounts to interfere with competitors.
Navigating these tactics can be challenging for those injured in a rideshare accident. It underscores the importance of having knowledgeable legal representation to fight for just compensation.
How The Schurmer Firm Can Help
At The Schurmer Firm, we understand how to navigate the complexities of rideshare litigation. We relentlessly fight against the tactics used by rideshare companies to dodge liability. Our dedicated attorneys work tirelessly to investigate the accident, gather evidence, establish liability, and negotiate with insurance companies.
We are committed to helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We don't shy away from taking a case to trial if necessary, to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients.
Involved in a rideshare accident? Contact The Schurmer Firm today for a free consultation. Let us fight for your rights while you focus on your recovery.
"The whole staff is nice and professional."- Martha Mora
"I would highly recommend the Shurmer Firm."- Elisa D.
"My experience with Mr. Schurmer and Ms. Wood was of complete professionalism and a sense that my injury case was taken seriously"- Julia St. Morgan
"I want to thank all the staff at this firm!"- Sergio B.
Our firm's personal promise and commitment to you is to make sure that we care about you as a person. Every client who has been injured deserves the proper representation and our goal at The Schurmer Firm is to ensure that they get that.
$3 Million Drunk Driving Accident
Settlement for a 42-year-old gentleman who was seriously injured when a drunk driver crossed over the double yellow line.
$950,000 Bilateral Leg Fractures
Settlement on behalf of a disabled gentleman who was seriously injured when a medical transport van driver failed to appropriately fasten his wheelchair to the interior of the van.
$3 Million Car Accident
A wrongful death settlement for the young daughter of a woman who was tragically killed as a result of a motor vehicle accident.